Business Intelligence (BI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are already present in companies. They make it possible to provide twice as much Intelligence.
We already mentioned last year the arrival of Artificial Intelligence within the ERP. This technology coexists today with Business Intelligence. However, these two systems cover a concept and, above all, very different objectives.
Business Intelligence – An Analytical Solution For Management
To better understand this notion, which encompasses IT solutions, it is preferable to take the French term: decision-making computing. These tools and methods are intended to transmit relevant information to the company’s managers to support them in their decision-making.
It is important to note that BI is not itself endowed with decision-making and intelligence capabilities. It is only designed to provide decision-making tools, the most reliable and readable possible, to managers and executives of the company.
To this end, Business Intelligence solutions collect data regularly, periodically, from multiple sources. This first step is essential to guarantee the interest of the information that will be offered in fine.
This data is stored, for example, in a data warehouse. Then comes the phase of their exploitation in the most efficient and intelligible way possible. Hence the obligation to work on this data in depth by restructuring and sorting it to extract useful information.
This is the very essence of a Business Intelligence solution. This data will be presented in dashboards and regularly updated (possibly in real-time) for the company’s management. These activity reports are customizable according to users and their needs.
Furthermore, one of the characteristics of BI is to provide consolidated information in the form of the most diverse and intuitive graphs possible. This is why a Business Intelligence solution is often a very effective complement to other solutions, such as ERP, which it naturally reinforces.
Artificial Intelligence – An Extraordinary Capacity For Analysis
If its name is close to that of Business Intelligence can sometimes create misunderstandings, BI and AI have nothing to do. Indeed, Artificial Intelligence is not a solution you could find packaged with a publisher or integrated as an additional module in a more comprehensive solution.
Artificial Intelligence is instead a technology capable of bringing its efficiency to a multitude of solutions and processes. It is a question of providing IT solutions and all decision-making or thinking processes with cognitive capacities that may replace those of humans.
It is the result of work and reflections that are not recent since Turing laid its foundations in the 1950s. Data that can be processed. Artificial Intelligence is inconceivable without considerable and almost instantaneous computing power, without an extensive and relevant data supply.
This is why it is only beginning to find its market, which is generally driven by big names in IT who have the technical and financial means to design an introductory technological offer, now adaptable and interface with other business solutions. IBM’s Watson is the perfect example. Independent publishers will be able to graft themselves onto the extremely powerful infrastructures put in place by these giants.
Hence the idea that Business Intelligence and the ERPs equipped with it will benefit from this power to bring together in a single solution these two types of Intelligence: Business and Artificial.
So what is the relationship between these two bits of Intelligence? Is it possible to make them coexist for the best and take advantage of them to develop your business?
BI And AI – Two Bits of Intelligence, A Complementarity
There remains a simple question: will BI and AI not “double-up” with the Business Intelligence already present in the company, which provides the same information in another form? Let’s be clear: no, it won’t. There is indeed an essential difference that is relatively easy to understand.
BI is interested in the past (even if it can be very recent) and is content to provide a state of what exists. Artificial Intelligence, on the contrary, is focused on foresight: it tries to deduce trends from scattered and sometimes disparate data.
Moreover, Business Intelligence is based on exploiting a quantity of data, if possible large but coherent, chosen, ordered, sorted and qualified. The relevance of the dashboards is due to this prior scheduling and sorting of the data, which have been defined by a human brain and expert in the field of activity which is concerned.
For its part, the great strength of Artificial Intelligence, which is now available in “Machine Learning”, is, on the contrary, to be the ability to explore Big Data in a fair freeway by analyzing and exploiting all types of data, even those which have not been previously formatted and ordered. AI is, therefore, in theory, capable of making predictions from almost “raw” material (data) and finding correlations that have not yet been demonstrated.
In summary, BI and AI are complementary. Business Intelligence brings you the statements, reports, and dashboards you have requested and pre-configured, while AI answers questions you have not yet asked yourself.
Artificial Intelligence would be able at any time to send you an alert which could look like this: “Dear manager: have you noticed that by combining such elements and such data, it is possible to reach such a conclusion? No, you’re not dreaming. This is the stage towards which we are gradually and inexorably advancing.
One Plus One Equals Three, And it’s Still Intelligent.
You have understood: whether it is a question of using a solution dedicated to BI, or of strengthening your entire information system with Artificial Intelligence, or even using a transverse solution and structuring like the ERP, which will call on both, your company will quickly get used to bringing these two types of Intelligence together.
You will soon be able to rely on one side on an “earthly” solution, firmly rooted in reality and mapping existing territories: Business Intelligence. And on the other, futuristic but very present technology, exploring potential future: Artificial Intelligence.
It will be up to the publishers to provide you with the advantages of these two complementary bits of Intelligence, BI and AI. This, by doing themselves, is proof of great Intelligence in the way they will manage the integration of these energies within their IT solutions.
To go further on the subject, you can consult the article on the future of ERP.