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Does new tech herald the end of BI as we know it?

Jon Wrennall, CTO at Advanced asks whether new tech like AI and IoT will mean the demise of traditional business intelligence

We already know that Business Intelligence (BI) will put an organisation on the front-foot and provide the basis for intelligent insight that has the power to recharge any business. Having access to this insight ensures businesses are well prepared to make more informed decisions by anticipating problems or trends, maximising opportunities and identifying chances to innovate.

However, while it has been a staple in the corporate community for many years, BI – just like most IT applications and solutions – is rapidly evolving in line with the emerging technologies that are driving a new era of intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and the Internet of Things (IoT), for example, are all creating additional sources of data streams that could lead to the demise of BI – as we know it. More data has been created in the last two years than in the entire history of the human race, so imagine the volume of data created as these emerging technologies hit mainstream!

There’s no stopping data

According to our Trends Survey Report 2018/19, which questioned over 1,000 business professionals in the UK, over half (52%) say technology is their business spending priority for 2019. More than a third (35%) want to see AI in the daily working lives, followed by IoT (26%) and RPA (18%).

Businesses therefore need much more than a dashboard to analyse what will be (and already is for some) an explosion in data, as well as to be able to present it efficiently and effectively across the organisation. They need a technologically-driven solution that will empower them to recharge their business intelligence. Otherwise, organisations will find it incredibly hard to keep up – and, critically, they won’t be using these intuitive, responsive and proactive technologies to their full potential.

We are already seeing businesses turn their backs on BI. The same report found that only 37% of respondents see BI in their daily working life compared to 50% in 2017-18 – a significant drop of 13%. This suggests the demise of stand-alone solutions, and perhaps points towards a demand for embedded BI solutions that support the adoption of AI and machine learning.

Robotic Business Intelligence (RBI)

A new era of business intelligence and applied machine learning is coming, which is why we believe Robotic Business Intelligence (RBI) – a term coined by Advanced – will eventually become part of every digital organisation’s repertoire. RBI will allow new ways of interacting with data and algorithms, deploying and scaling complex solutions without worrying about infrastructure, and visualising the results of complex predictive modelling in intuitive and straightforward dashboards.

Creating the right ecosystem of RBI will ensure digital businesses are able to adopt a culture of insight. Connected data and analytics powered by innovative and integrated technologies, will give leaders and employees crucial time back to focus on improving business performance, anticipate disruptive trends and maximise industry opportunities like never before.

An RBI ecosystem will also 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.

RBI for all

RBI is not just the preserve of large organisations. Many mistakenly believe that only those with a multi-million-pound budget can afford a business intelligence solution and the benefits it delivers. However, RBI can deliver return on investment and benefits for businesses of all sizes. Moreover, a cloud-based solution offers ease of use and a pragmatic cost structure.

The bottom line is that BI is changing and, like it or not, everyone needs to get on board. Any organisation using AI, RPA, IoT – or indeed any other disruptive technology – to revolutionise and grow their business, will need to create rapid, deep and accurate insights based on powerful analytics. Turning BI into RBI could deliver the level of automation and technical prowess they need.