Last update: 24/06/2016 14:53

Business Intelligence

With Quitus, Lato Sensu Management has fully embraced the principle that we need to focus more and more on the Business Intelligence. Business Intelligence will most probably be the driving force of the next 2 to 5 years of IT expansion and since we say that software eats the world

Since 2015, Business Intelligence has been at the center of the interest of companies and charismatic individuals. More people and more oragnizations have understood that data, when anylized properly, contain extremely valuable information. This has pushed companies and governmental bodies equally to (1) prepare and consume data, (2) expose data and (3) gather/acquire new data, more and more, and quicker and quicker.

When it comes to data consumption, companies can turn themselves to a myriad of sources, internal or external, public or private, freely available or payable. This has existed for a while but the movement is now accelerating steadily.

Companies and state bodies are also eager to export/expose data, again for a fee or for free. And again, this is accelerating firmly, which makes the situation of last month an obsolete picture: it requires a global and constant outlook. For example, in Belgium, the Banque Carrefour is providing basic data about all existing companies. This kind of information is heavily used in Quitus for example, our Enterprise suite targeted at small and very small companies and independents. France has announced the same sort of initiative for 2017, which is threatening the monopolistic situation of Sirene. World is changing.

And last but not least, everybody is keen gathering new data, more and more, about anything (or should I say everything?). There also, there is a clear acceleration.

These 3 vectors (consume, expose and gather) are all three submitted to the new technologies that come around and make this all possible. Companies that want to take advantage of the new paradigm in Business Intelligence must keep up with a dozen new technologies to let indeed data spit valuable information. It must do that to cross-compare data, extract information and represent this information better than it did it in the past … swiftly when not in real-time. The emphasis is thus on extraction and representation and the technologies that permit just that, sometimes requestioning what we thought were stable knowledge (e.g. data normalization and the NoSQL movement).

To be able to take that train, organizations will have to close the gap between Business and IT, often requestioning the inner sense of what their real Business is. In our opinion, many companies haven't clearly understood that they have become IT companies. Such is the case of the Insurance and Banking sectors that are shaking on their very basis.

Closing the gap beteween IT and Business, related to Business Intelligence, requires to build a "data value chain" or "data continuum" that will be capable to examine the external as well as internal contexts. Data analysis can equally be about market, customers, competitors, employees, processes, etc. Lato Sensu Management believes that Business Intelligence will invest all these fields rapidly.

Speed and dispatch are paramount in that game. Information extracted from data must flow rapidly to the right people, which is no sibylline change. This calls for agile and flexiblle organizations, something that already proved to be extremely difficult for few mastodons. Data will have to land in the baskets of the ones who have a need for it. That is the case for example when companies tend to establish direct feedback loops with the customers/end- users, feedback loops that feed product teams backlogs for example.

Gather more and more data is also a challenge of its own. The cloud is THE solution but embracing the cloud has not been a pervasive movement yet in most (very) large organizations, apart a few experiments that are conducted in labs. Even with this rather pessimistic view, Lato Sensu believes that more and more companies will embrace the cloud context to discover that it has become a very secured and highly scalable place, a place that offers tons of intelligent tools to work on data: cloud vendors offer a clumb of very intelligent solutions, ranging from statistical utilities to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. A quick view on the Microsoft services, or Google APIs, or Amazon services gives you an idea of what is possible nowadays with (very) limited investment. These services, which are offered almost for free offer unsurpassed possibilities such as Machine Learning and Intelligent Analysis with very sophisticated models. Yet Lato Sensu Management is also investing its time in its own set of solutions, sometimes very basic (such as Naive Baeysian Networks) but also extremely effective in doing their job easily.

And all this is even without taking a deep breath to examine what IoT has to offer: intelligent sensors, real-time communication, data exchange between machines that will consume and expose data at their sole discretion. The list of possibilities is limitless: intelligent boilers, intelligent gas meters, smart electricity meters, …

The years ahead are definitely the ones of Business Intelligence and Data Value Chains! That is what we believe.

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