From Descriptive to Prescriptive: How Machine Learning Is Fostering a New Era of Analytics

Sam Osborn's picture
Sam
Osborn
Head of Content
April 04, 2017

Imagine going to your doctor with a problem. He gives you a thorough checkup, looks at the results, and tells you, “You have a bad case of [fill in the blank].” Then he pats you on the shoulder and says, “Good luck with that.”

It sounds ridiculous, but that’s what many organizations have been getting from their analytics and Business Intelligence platforms: a diagnosis with no prescription. Today, thanks to advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), a new era of BI — one that incorporates predictive, prescriptive, and cognitive computing as well as automation — is now possible.

In a recent article in BetaNews, GoodData Vice President of Product Bill Creekbaum explores the new BI capabilities that machine learning and AI have enabled:

Data is being analyzed faster and more accurately with these advanced analytics frameworks, and decisions are being automated with machine learning to decrease human error and increase the organization’s bottom line profit. Machine learning can detect new patterns and opportunities that humans cannot.

 

When organizations implement these advanced frameworks, analytics are no longer a matter of “what is happening?” but of “what will happen next … and what can we do about it?” By embedding analytics with AI capabilities at the point of work, they can deliver insights at the time and place where they can drive better business actions. And they can automate simple, routine decisions, allowing business users to focus on solving more complex problems.

Despite the tremendous advantages that AI-powered analytics offers, Creekbaum notes that adoption has been slow. According to a recent survey, only 28 percent of respondents reported having experience with machine learning, while 42 percent said their organizations lack the skills needed to support it.

How long can organizations continue to avoid integrating AI into their BI frameworks? Not long, according to Creekbaum:

Legacy BI platforms can no longer keep up as the world becomes more digital and automated. In order to remain competitive, businesses must be looking toward BI solutions with AI and machine learning capabilities. AI is the future for BI, and those that aren’t investing will lag behind the competition.

 

For more of Creekbaum’s insights, read the article on the BetaNews website.

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