Time to unlock business intelligence

Published 16/01/2019 by Jon Wrennall, Chief Technology Officer, Advanced

How to recharge your company with a new ecosystem of ‘RoBusiness Intelligence

We already know that a connected, modern infrastructure will put an organisation on the front-foot. Having the right data-driven dashboards ensures businesses are ready to make more informed decisions by anticipating problems or trends, maximising opportunities and identifying chances to innovate. If decision-making is fuelled with the latest intelligence and information, a business can be revolutionised. Good data provides the basis for intelligent insight that has the power to recharge any business.

However, basic Business Intelligence (BI) is no longer enough. With continually evolving technologies, from robotic process automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning to Natural Language Processing, how do companies ensure they recharge their intelligence in a new era of RoBusiness Intelligence (RBI)?

 

A technologically enhanced BI ecosystem

Technology is at the heart of delivering greater insights into the operations and potential of a business. Not only can it deliver new capabilities, when harnessed effectively, it can also improve performance of staff and the business as a whole.

But with new technology trends and additional sources of data streams coming into play, it can be hard to keep up. Developing an ecosystem of business intelligence, that harnesses the very latest technologies, is essential if businesses are to manage, as well as use and learn from the increasing sources of data levels that penetrate almost every aspect of life – from smart homes to connected cars and even connected bodies.

It’s never been more important to ensure an RBI ecosystem is in place.

RBI – the next generation of BI

BI is nothing new; it’s a term that’s been a staple in the corporate community for many years.

But, as with most applications and solutions in the IT sphere, it has evolved in line with the emerging technologies that drive it. RBI is a term we’ve coined to reflect the current and future impact robotic technologies will have on BI.

The growth of new and emerging technologies are changing the face of BI as we know it; it’s much more than a dashboard to present data efficiently and effectively. Instead, by integrating features such as AI, Machine Learning, personalisation, Natural Language Processing, voicebots and chatbots, RBI is moving traditional business intelligence into a robotic, technologically-driven solution that will empower organisations to recharge their business intellect using these intuitive, responsive and proactive technologies.

Let’s take one example – Machine Learning, which is a rapidly growing area of analytics. Whether it is analysing libraries of textual data to inform government policy, scanning pension data to automatically recommend better savings plans, or reviewing past cases to identify plausible causes and outcomes in straight-forward incidents, these data sources need to be brought into a new ecosystem of RBI. This new era of robotic business intelligence, with applied Machine Learning, is opening up innovative ways of interacting with data to transform straightforward real-time insights into intuitive, predictive sources of intelligence.

The RBI ecosystem

However, unlocking these insights into the business in order to maximise opportunities and succeed and thrive during Industry 4.0 is crucial. While traditional BI has empowered leaders to make decisions based on real-time data, recharging an organisation’s intellect by creating a culture based on fact and insight from robotic analytics runs much deeper.

An RBI ecosystem will harness the very latest and most impactful technologies to truly transform productivity levels and create a workforce that delivers higher value. From creating new products and services to being ready to respond to changing markets at pace, employees will have unprecedented abilities to make a real impact at both the boardroom and grass roots levels.

The demise of BI?

There are many businesses that have yet to adopt BI; in our recent Advanced Trends Survey 2018/2019, only 37% of 1,000 business respondents admitted to seeing BI in their daily working life compared to 50% in 2017-18 – a significant drop of 13%. Perhaps this is signalling the demise of stand-alone reporting solutions? Do users instead want to see embedded BI solutions which support the adoption of AI and machine learning solutions, and where data accuracy is the lynchpin of success.

That said, there’s still clear demand for what business intelligence can deliver in principle - effectively to add better decision-making - with 32% wanting to see it in their daily working life. Arguably, turning BI into RBI will deliver the level of automation and technical prowess these professionals need from their business intelligence solution.

With RBI comes data scientists

With increased levels of analytics and the advent of AI-powered enterprises comes a greater need for data specialists – especially when the concept of basic business intelligence has remained aloof to some business leaders. This rise in robotic BI is leading to increasing demand for data scientists, skilled experts who can deploy the most effective emerging technologies, manipulate the wealth of corporate data and provide instant recommendations and analytics for business leaders to use.

Have you considered whether your organisation is ready for its first data scientist? While for some this may mean upskilling or retraining existing staff, for others, it may mean embracing the Generation Z workers that are set to increase in presence over the next few years.

With a lack of skilled data scientists available, Generation Z workers – with a digital by default mindset – are arguably the most technology literate cohort. Not only have the majority have been taught IT from an early age in formal education, they have been brought up with the latest technology as part of their lifestyle DNA. Harnessing their knowledge is likely to enhance a company’s business intelligence with their ability to truly realise the term RoBusiness Intelligence.

What is the right RBI ecosystem for your organisation?

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you have a clear view of all data pipelines across your organisation to build a connected RoBusiness digital ecosystem?
    1. Are your departmental systems data sources integrated centrally?
    2. How often do you review your pipeline of data sources?
    3. Do you have a vision of the future for data sources e.g. integrating future robotic technology?
  2. How do you future-proof your RoBusiness Intelligence ecosystem?
    1. What are the relevant emerging and future technologies?
    2. Have you got access to a pool of verified data scientists?
    3. What is the future scope of the business and will the ecosystem support it?
  3. Are you at risk of over-data?
    1. Do you know what data your business will benefit from in order to remove the ‘white noise’?
    2. What data will help you to grow and meet your commercial objectives?
  4. How do you locate your useful data?
    1. Do you know what data you have?
    2. Is it useable?
    3. Where is it?
    4. How do you access it?
  5. Do you have the right digital pioneers to drive an ecosystem of RoBusiness Intelligence?
    1. Are your staff engaged?
    2. Do they have a desire to gain insights?
    3. Are they experienced enough to drive change through technology?
  6. How can you recharge your employees’ roles?
    1. What tasks/jobs will become redundant due to tech advances?
    2. Will training be needed to move existing employees into ‘data scientist’ roles
    3. How can you capitalise on Generation Z entering the workforce?

 

Creating the right ecosystem of RBI will ensure that digital businesses are able to adopt a culture of insight. Connected data and analytics powered by new, integrated technologies, will give leaders and employees crucial time back to focus on improving business performance, anticipate disruption trends and maximise industry opportunities.

What’s more, companies can gain a new recharged lease of life by embracing this new era of RBI, to create innovation within people, processes and products/services for end customers and, in turn, ready to reshape to unlock the potential of every aspect of every business.