Last year, I was fortunate to spend much of my time working on Watson, the IBM system that took on the Jeopardy! challenge, answering questions posed in natural language in less than three seconds. Just today, I have been presenting to an international group on the science and technology behind Watson, and how it rivaled the greatest human contestants at providing a precise answer in near real-time.
Watson was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences for me, but it led me to spend this year focused on business analytics, and especially how large organizations are embedding business and operational analytics into their business processes on enterprise systems.
Over the years, historic trend analysis, forecasting and standardized reporting have all been (and still are) key contributors to value, using business intelligence tools in a data warehouse or data marts. But, today, knowing what happened and why it happened are no longer enough.
Organizations need to know what is happening in real-time, what is likely to happen next and, what actions should be taken to get optimal results. That’s why the smartest organizations today are applying analytics directly within business processes to transform insights into immediate action. They are embedding operational analytics at the point of the transaction, directly on critical operational data that’s held on their enterprise systems.
Some of these organizations are using business analytics for real-time fraud detection. As a financial transaction is in progress, for example, embedded analytics processes provide insights to whether there is a high probability of fraud before the transaction is approved.
Analytics are also transforming information available to mobile sales forces, giving them predictive insights to what their customers need and enabling them to increase client satisfaction and profitability. And, in health care a call center representative can use analytics to improve preventative care and life quality while keeping control of costs.
Enterprise systems are at the core of many of these business and operational analytics processes. Large organizations have always used enterprise systems to store their most valuable operational data and run their critical businesses processes. Not only do enterprise systems scale well, consolidating thousands of processes and workloads, but they also have set the gold standard for resiliency and security.
Those highest levels of resilience and security on enterprise systems are vital when building analytics into real-time processes that must always be available. Enterprise systems also make data accessible in new ways, linking data and processes across lines of business. This is accelerating the demand for actionable insights from thousands of users, not just data analysts and finance teams, and enterprise systems’ scalability is vital to handle the growth of analytics on operational systems.
Learn more about business and operational analytics from this video, which highlights some of our top data experts from IBM or read more on the Smarter Computing site.
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