16 August 2022
This is the second article in a three-part series about Qlik Active Intelligence (QAI), exploring how this new approach can modernise your data analytics. Below, we will cover the evolution of business intelligence (BI) and how QAI aligns with agile innovation.
The need for real-time insights is essential. The faster that an organisation can respond to trends in its data, the greater its chance of getting ahead of the competition.
QAI is a new and dynamic way of managing data pipelines and workflows. Instead of relying on past information and passive analytics to uncover insights, QAI incorporates process automation to uncover data insights in the now.
Using this new approach to analytics, business leaders can easily surpass the limitations of traditional BI – triggering immediate actions and incorporating an intelligent analytics data pipeline for dynamic responsiveness throughout the organisation.
The original idea of BI can be traced back to the 1800s, however, the BI of today – a computerised system – was conceived in the 1950s. It was developed to help organisations draw insights from their data and improve their business over competitors.
Like most technology, it has evolved over the years as our ways of conducting business have changed. What started off as papers in a filing cabinet, changed into punchcards fed to room-sized computers, then compacted to be used on modern desktops, and finally packed into systems around the world that are accessible through the internet. This final move gave us Big Data – a byproduct of social media – information oceans so large that it can no longer be processed through traditional means.
TechTarget defines Business Intelligence (BI) as “a technology-driven process for analyzing data and delivering actionable information that helps executives, managers and workers make informed business decisions.” And as the volume of data increases – an estimated 463 exabytes of daily exchange by 2025 – businesses are becoming more overwhelmed with the vast quantities of information to process. In the near future, it will be impossible for passive analytical systems to dissect these colossal volumes at the pace businesses need insights.
The evolution of BI has gone through three main iterations or waves. During the first wave, businesses relied heavily on data scientists who had to sift through complex data stacks to generate analysis reports. This system was a leap forward for decision-making but was slow to act as information was manually gathered and sorted through.
With the second wave, enterprises were able to utilise new and easier-to-use analytics tools. This iteration also saw the introduction of Power Users (or business analysts). They had the savvy to analyse data without the need for a data scientist, though their roles were still not ideal for timely insights.
And now we come to the third wave of BI. All of the technical know-how and data analysis are transformed into simplified data dashboards, powered by technology stacks that are significantly easier to use. This has also led to fewer data silos, which have bolstered broader user insights.
Even with all of these changes over the years, the evolution of BI has not yet come to an end.
The data journey for passive BI is straightforward: the user requests the data, the data ships as massive amounts of information all at once, and that is the end of the request. It’s a pipeline that is linear and closed. And it leaves the users with a mountain of information to dissect.
But passive BI is holding companies back with its slow-to-action processes. In our competitive global market, you need to confidently move forward with active, real-time information to inform your decisions. QAI helps you close the gap between data and action.
Speaking with Forbes, chief product officer at Qlik, James Fisher, said:
“Active Intelligence is really about moving away from passive BI to a state where you are using real-time information in a continuous flow.”
While passive BI was aimed at supporting human users who can be slow to act, QAI feeds directly into systems to pick up on new trends, and patterns of fraud, or determine the perfect patient care in the medical field, in near real-time.
Qlik’s continual innovation enables businesses to gain instant insights, and embrace a modern approach to data.
Combining Qlik Sense with Vizlib Library, all users have a simple, effective way to visualise these findings. For example, with Flow Chart, it’s easier to see the visualisation of the process and flow of data between different dimensions, allowing users to clearly visualise and identify bottlenecks and drop-offs in the data. And Grid Chart enables users to visualise data in either a grid chart or heatmap format with a second measure to drill through your data and display the most critical insights.
Another powerful combo that can help streamline your analytics is Qlik and Vizlib Collaboration. Almost every organisation uses a chat program for company-wide communication, whether it is Slack, Microsoft Teams, or something similar. But what if you could bring your team and data together in Qlik Sense? Vizlib Teamwork is all about collective collaboration, allowing anyone to kick off discussions right in their data dashboards for faster collaborative insight discovery.
Data is a powerful tool that can initiate innovation, support collaboration and help businesses make the right decisions fast – powered by a forward-thinking approach like Qlik Active Intelligence.
Vizlib’s feature-rich data visualisation products will help you get started on your data storytelling journey.
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