Organizations are collecting data from multiple data sources and a variety of systems to enrich their analytics and business intelligence (BI). But collecting data is only half of the equation. As the data grows, it becomes challenging to find the right data at the right time. Many organizations can’t take full advantage of their data lakes because they don’t know what data actually exists. Also, there are more regulations and compliance requirements than ever before. It is critical for organizations to understand the kind of data they have, who is handling it, what it is being used for and how it needs to be protected. They also have to avoid putting too many layers and wrappers around the data as it can make the data difficult to access. These challenges create a need for more automated ways to discover, track, research and govern the data.
Business intelligence has evolved. It now includes a spectrum of analytics, one of the most promising of which has been described as augmented intelligence. Some organizations have used the term to describe the practical reality that artificial intelligence with machine learning is not replacing human intelligence, but augmenting it. The term also represents the application of AI/ML to make business intelligence and analytics tools more powerful and easier to use. It’s this latter usage that I prefer and I’d like to explore in this perspective.
Organizations are managing and analyzing large datasets every day, identifying patterns and generating insights to inform decisions. This can provide numerous benefits for an organization, such as improved operational efficiency, cost optimization, fraud detection, competitive advantage and enhanced business processes. By bringing the right, actionable data to the right user, organizations can potentially speed up processes and make more effective operational decisions.
The analytics and business intelligence market landscape continues to grow as more organizations seek robust tools and capabilities to visualize and better understand data. BI systems are used to perform data analysis, identify market trends and opportunities and streamline business processes. They can collect and combine data from internal and external systems to present a holistic view.
For years, maybe decades, we have heard about the struggles between IT and line-of-business functions. In this perspective, we will look at some of the data from our Analytics and Data Benchmark Research about the roles of IT and line-of-business teams in analytics and data processes. We will also look at some of the disconnects between these two groups. And, by looking at how organizations are operating today and the results they are achieving, we can discern some of the best practices for improving the outcomes of analytics and data processes.
I’m proud to share Ventana Research’s 2022 Market Agenda for Digital Technology. Our focus in this agenda is to deliver expertise to help organizations prioritize technology investments that increase workforce effectiveness and organizational agility, ensuring ongoing operations during any type of disruption.
Organizations today have huge volumes of data across various cloud and on-premises systems which keep growing by the second. To derive value from this data, organizations must query the data regularly and share insights with relevant teams and departments. Automating this process using natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) enables line-of-business personnel to query the data faster, generate reports themselves without depending on IT, and make quick decisions. Some organizations have started using NLP in self-service analytics to quickly identify patterns and simplify data visualization. Our Analytics and Data Benchmark Research finds that about 81% of organizations expect to use natural language search for analytics to make timely and informed decisions.
Organizations today are working with multiple applications and systems, including enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM) and other systems, where data can easily become fragmented and siloed. And as the organization increases its data sources and adds more systems and custom applications, it becomes challenging to manage the data consistently and keep data definitions up to date. This increases the need to use master data management (MDM) software that can provide a single source of truth to drive accurate analytics and business operations.
How does your organization define and display its metrics? I believe many organizations are not defining and displaying metrics in a way that benefits them most. If an organization goes through the trouble of measuring and reporting on a metric, the analysis ought to include all the information needed to evaluate that metric effectively. A number, by itself, does not provide any indication of whether the result is good or bad. Too often, the reader is expected to understand the difference, but why leave this evaluation to chance? Why not be more explicit about what results are expected?
Alteryx is a data analytics software company that offers data preparation and analytics tools to simplify and automate data wrangling, data cleaning and modeling processes, enabling line-of-business personnel to quickly access, manipulate, analyze and output data. The platform features tools to run a variety of analytic functions such as diagnostic, predictive, prescriptive and geospatial analytics in a unified platform, and can connect to various data warehouses, cloud applications, spreadsheets and other sources.