The Value of Integrating AI with BI, and the Effects on the Data Industry


In an age of ever-accelerating data collection, companies have never had such actionable insights within their reach. Yet, current business intelligence adoption rates hover around an abysmal 21 percent.

Why? A significant reason for this lag in adoption is due to the fact that even the best business intelligence platforms take time to deliver insights and provide value. And that’s assuming users ask the right questions.

However, there’s a silver lining – enterprise tech is starting to mimic the ease of use found in consumer technologies through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). We’re no longer just in the golden age of consumer tech. AI-driven BI tools extend knowledge discovery beyond the data team and empower employees to think more critically in their roles and pull data insights themselves. No wonder enterprises that have adopted BI platforms in 2018 are rating product usability, quality and reliability at an all-time high.

Let’s discuss a few reasons why AI for BI makes for a beautiful synergy.


Provides Quick Answers to Ad-Hoc Queries

There’s never a better time to investigate a query than the moment it surfaces. This isn’t possible with limited business intelligence platforms that require data scientists to interpret the findings; which can take weeks or even months to return an answer. AI business intelligence software can answer ad hoc questions accurately in a matter of moments, pulling from an organization’s entire suite of data sources simultaneously.


Answers Questions Businesses Have Yet to Ask

Searching pre-set data views and building routine analytic reports with traditional business intelligence tools can only get a modern enterprise so far. The digital economy moves quickly. Companies that can’t see beyond their own questions will lose their competitive advantage. AI-driven BI tools go beyond providing fast, accurate answers to users’ questions, they also suggest insights a user didn’t think to ask! This makes the knowledge discovery process truly explorative and interactive.


Extends Data Discovery Throughout a Company’s Ecosystem

Data professionals are in high demand, but they’d rather spend their time working on challenging high-level problems that contribute to an organization’s long-term growth. However, most business intelligence platforms aren’t accessible enough for the average business user to navigate. This results in data teams building custom report after report because pre-set data views can only answer so much. This causes bottlenecks and prevent data professionals from focusing on more complex tasks.


Facilitates Takeaways, Improves Decision-Making and Overall Productivity

Text-based data leaves a lot to be desired for the less tech-savvy users. Even if the answer arrives in seconds, our brains process images much faster than text. AI for BI automatically pairs the findings it presents with engaging visualizations.

This not only allows for faster data processing but also easy sharing among teams and departments. Whether a team is having a brainstorm and needs to look to the numbers or an employee is making a decision in their daily workflow — AI will drive productivity.


AI for BI Tools That Are Changing the Industry

A prime example of how AI for BI is changing the data ecosystem lies in features like SpotIQ — part of ThoughtSpot’s data analytics platform. The goal behind SpoptIQ was to create an analytics engine that could deliver impactful business outcomes for both BI professionals and non-technical users.

SpotIQ incorporates dozens of AI-powered insight-detection algorithms to catch anomalies, trends, cross-correlative data and more. These critical components ensure employees don’t miss essential takeaways that may require a trained eye. SpotIQ also includes the source of every finding it presents to develop trust with the users it serves and give them a sense of control in the process.

Trust in data means everything. As Doug Henschen writes for ZDNet, “delivering transparent and explainable AI that instills trust will be crucial to making smart systems succeed.”

Look for more tools like SpotIQ to surface in the future as businesses across industries realize that intuitive data access for all is the only way to compete with their peers.

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