Artificial intelligence is the future of business intelligence

Today, every organisation depends on data. And this data can be used to improve employee satisfaction, operations, understand customer behaviour, optimise the supply chain, and more.

Data, then, plays an important role in the success of the organisation. However, based on the volume, speed, and variety of the data in use, best results can only be obtained by adopting business intelligence (BI).

Latest BI tools open up a number of possibilities, enabling the discovery of new ideas, economies, and innovations. With optimised data use, organisations can be more proactive in the execution of daily activities.

And BI technology is advancing at a rapid pace. With its current global development focus, can you imagine the future of business intelligence? Here, we explore how artificial intelligence (AI) plays an important role in the future of business intelligence. 

BI: an overview

BI software: A tool that retrieves high volumes of unstructured data from both internal and external systems. It then analyses and transforms that data, powering reports for business intelligence.

Business intelligence software is increasingly necessary for the modern business. As demand grows, development efforts also intensify. So, BI’s future will likely see an increase in functionality to power improved usability for non-technical users, more streamlined workflow, and ever more powerful predictive capabilities.

AI: an overview

AI software: AI is a catch-all term covering a huge selection of tools and computer science branches. (Machine learning, natural language processing, computer vision, hyperautomation, etc.) In general, these tools and branches share the same goal: performing tasks that would typically require human intelligence.

Today, many businesses take advantage of artificial intelligence in many numbers of ways. This spans everything from the deployment of AI-based chatbots in call centres, to the use of deep learning in banks for analysing countless data points in seconds and identifying fraud.

AI is deployed in factories for automating complex physical tasks that need adaptability and agility. AI is used by marketers for generating individualized recommendations as well as automatic order fulfilment. There is almost an infinite list. 

Many services like credit card fraud detection, email spam filters, predictive traffic alerts, personalized reminders are not possible without artificial intelligence. And one area in which artificial intelligence is widely used is business intelligence.

The emerging future of business intelligence

Increasingly, BI and AI work together to complement the other.

Already, there are multiple BI tools on the market used by businesses of all sizes. Think Power BI, Oracle BI, Qlik Sense, etc. Other tools like the Looker Analytics platform help organisations explore, analyse, and share the real-time business analytics with ease.

Meanwhile, enterprises are also starting to tap into deep learning algorithms. In so doing, they can identify behavioural patterns that may lead to sales, use IoT sensor cues for inventory optimisation, perform predictive maintenance, and more.

But what companies are doing today is only a small part of an opportunity. AI is entering the BI fray.

AI makes it possible to make direct decisions

Due to the proliferation of data, many businesses are at risk of being overburdened with data. The unique rise of ‘big data’ — and the obsession with its analysis — can easily silence the core business of the company.

Enter BI and AI. Business intelligence software based on AI allows businesses to break down data into manageable insights and understand big data. 

AI is set to alter the very dynamics of analysis. The current generation of analysis tools (supported by AI) makes it possible to perform predictive analyses, or to use data to decipher future insights. And this can also use historical and behavioural data to predict the possibilities. 

In turn, organisations can use their AI-powered BI platforms to make direct, data-led decisions with speed, precision, and foresight.

Enter prescriptive analysis

Prescriptive analytics: a form of advanced analytics which examines data or content to identify what should be done.

The future of business intelligence will see prescriptive analytics taking over. Here, prescriptive analysis tools based on artificial intelligence would look at vast amounts of data. Then, they’d allow users to prescribe a variety of possible actions and advise realistic solutions.

But the prescriptive analysis does more than a prediction; it also provides sound advice and explains the reason why things will proceed in the same way.

Changing from reactive, predictive analysis to proactive, prescriptive analysis enhances both the power and relevancy of business decisions. Real-time insights allow companies to make the most of their operational data. So, they can make decisions based on what is happening today — instead of what has happened in the past.

According to the available inputs, most recommendations may also be automated, with the best action plan identified by the smart machine. 

AI puts facial and voice recognition on the central stage

Elsewhere in the future of business intelligence, facial and voice recognition will begin entering the fray.

Voice activated personal digital assistants — based on AI — have already given millennials a kick start. The enormous popularity of digital voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Google Assistant is a sign of things to come. The voice replaces the keyboard and tactile interfaces as the default standard.

Similarly, mature facial recognition technology is ready to make advances compared to current levels in the foreseeable future. Facial recognition technology powered by artificial intelligence can make the highly annoying typed password obsolete.

For BI, this means analysis of more types of data than before – including voice data and facial data. It could also allow users to interact with complex BI platforms in more accessible ways. (By asking it a question, for instance.)

AI allows hyper-personalisation

Artificial intelligence takes lessons from experience and improves with each transaction. That is, the next decision automatically prescribed is better than the previous one. And this is key for BI platforms and the way in which they influence organisational operations.

Soon, the AI model will be mature and include all contingencies. It just keeps getting easier to use and power decisions.

The future of business intelligence combined with AI will see the analysis of huge quantities of contextual data in real-time. So, the tool will quickly capture customer needs and priorities and do what is needed. As well as hyper-personalised recommendations, this BI/AI of the future may automatically decipher the emotions of the user.

Further, AI is ready to make hyper-personalisation the default (instead of premium) service. For example, a company could collect data directly from the client’s involvement with the company, social media posts, etc, for understanding the thinking process and emotional response to a product. Then, the AI-powered BI system could perform real-time interventions to strengthen or modify these perceptions.

The future of business intelligence

Artificial intelligence isn’t going anywhere. And nor is the need for powerful BI systems.

Together, AI and BI can transform the way top executives make decisions. This includes marketing specialists interacting with clients, the way companies compete with one another, and global growth initiatives.

Simply, the future of BI is likely to be driven by artificial intelligence-based systems.

Guest post by Anusha Vunnam. Anusha works as a content writer in HKR Trainings