To Be or not to Bi … that is the Question!


Business Intelligence (BI) is the next evolutionary jump in our information age. We are in the information age and don’t have the information architecture to process all our information. We have come from mega to giga to tera to peta storage requirements over the last few years. We will soon be living in our own information Matrix with no Neo to save us. EIS (Executive Information Systems) were the seminal technologies of BI. Knowledge Discovery, Data Mining, DataVisualization, xOLAP, and Warehousing(&etl,eai,eii) are the fundamental building blocks for a solid Business Intelligence Framework. One of BI’s many promises is to give us the ability to decipher our information into a holistic view. Discerning knowledge from our “information overload” is the key to unlocking BI. This includes being able to communicate this discovered knowledge in an intuitive understandable view. The holy grail of BI is still unclear. BI has many meanings to many different people but the real meaning of BI is still evolving. We at DBmind believe that BI will be part of all Executive Management’s Dashboards combining advanced “knowledge” analytics in a viewable strategic framework. BI will be used to confirm and discover your company’s competitive edges while recognizing what your competitor’s competitive edge is.

Discovering the Competitive Edge

DBmind knows that BI’s middle name is ’Strategic’. Strategic analytics with a strategic decision making process is the heart and soul of BI. Advanced analytics requires extreme data quality. The inappropriate handling of outliers could skew your analysis and cause faulty decisions to be applied. The derivation of false rule inductions into your model will cause havoc with your decision making process. ETL/EAI data feed processes need advanced data quality procedures and a solid reconciliation mechanisms for extreme data quality. All forms of the BI data stores need feed processes which drive toward zero latency or near real time processing. ETL/EAI drip feed mechanisms will be necessary to employ for BI while being able to handle synchronous and asynchronous process flows. Many of the top 10 BI companies are also the top software vendors today. This shows the devotion of the IT industry towards BI. BI looks at novel ways to view the information. Spatial analysis or data visualization with rule based or decision tree interconnects will help understand the knowledge rather then the data. With the advent of PMML (Predictive Modeling Markup Language), silo type data mining tools will soon be able to share their Knowledge Marts. Knowledge Marts will evolve away from our crude form of Data Marts used today. Iterative model verification and analysis will become more of a science then an art. Computational Intelligence will take on hybrid AI approaches such as Rough & Fuzzy Sets or Neural Nets, & Genetic Algorithms. AI with it’s over hype in the last millennium will soon be the under hype to BI’s Knowledge Discovery and Predictive Engines. BI and Knowledge Management will merge in the not to distant future. BI will also need to handle our mainstream multi-media information for unstructured data. Unstructured blobs in databases will soon become tagged for pattern recognition capability. Automated Digital/Voice tagging by BI’s internal pattern recognition engines are needed now. For example, a tumor in CAT scan data will need to discovered and tagged by some form of medical markup language. A movie tagged properly could identify specific scenes and characters. Voice and VOIP tagging for terrorist activity will aid all countries Homeland Security efforts while adhering to privacy laws. Searching through multi-media is in its infancy.  Internet web crawlers with our search engines like Google and Yahoo will become much more valuable and colorful with multi-media tagging and search capability.

To sum up, to Be or not to Bi is "not" the question but it will be our future state of mind. Discovering your competitive edge or monitoring your competitive edge is one of the many benefits to be reaped by integrating BI. Moving from data analysis to knowledge analysis adds a philosophical mind set to BI processing. I will B and thus bring on new knowledge and questions which will add many new philosophical conundrums. In our new millennium, DBmind believes a new “philosophy of knowledge” will be born through BI while being continually re-spawned by AI.