William Webster

written by

William Webster

Researcher, Avoncourt Partners GmbH

Culture Blog - Aug 18, 2018

AI and Business Intelligence to
Sharpen Your Axe

“Ugh! There’s nothing to do!”

When we were teenagers, this was our constant complaint to our parents, as we sat on the couch, eyes glued to the television, and we flipped through the same 25 channels. It was the early signs of a phenomenon which has taken huge proportions in all sectors of society today: FOBO, which means “fear of better option”.

businessman looking to graph on virtual touchscreen

Thriving businesses today are not just hit or miss enterprises. They, like all other businesses, are exposed to FOBO – so much internal and external data to sift through and order. It paralyzes some, overwhelms others, and the successful few know how to harvest and harness that data. It is business intelligence (BI) which gives them the competitive edge on survival. And it is AI which provides businesses with BI.

BI technologies can give past, present and future estimates of business operations. Since BI technologies can handle large amounts of data (structured and unstructured), it helps businesses identify, develop and even create new strategic business opportunities. Their purpose is to help businesses easily interpret the huge amounts of data they possess. BI creates powerful data analysis models to intelligently find and anticipate new customer trends, identify new services to deliver and to optimize customer experiences. Identifying new opportunities and implementing an effective strategy based on insights can provide businesses with a competitive market advantage and long-term stability.

Businesses can best utilize BI which combines external data, derived from the market in which the company operates, and internal data, from sources within the business such as financial and operations data, as well as audits. When combined, external and internal data offer an integral overview which creates an “intelligence” that cannot be derived from any singular set of data.

The AI technologies involved in BI can help a business go from great to greatest.

Businessman analyzing a business analytics (BA) or intelligence (BI) dashboard on virtual screen showing sales and operations data statistics charts and key performance indicators (KPI)

They can reconcile financial data generated by multiple sources for accuracy prior to publishing, thus reducing the risk of inaccurate financial statements and reports that can result in fines, penalties and reputation damage. And for compliance, it can employ policy automation and continuous scanning to ensure compliance with diverse regulations, like Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The regulations set by these instances can be overwhelming for traditional computer-based integrative systems.

Ultimately, AI and BI bring lower costs and increased productivity. They can automate identification, notification and resolution of business process exceptions, including accelerating root-cause analysis, enabling employees to focus on more strategic value-added tasks.

The possibilities are numerous, and there is no need to fear a better option when the first step is to begin integrating AI and BI into our business processes. The most difficult step of a thousand mile journey will always be the first.