From Business Intelligence to Augmented Analytics: What and Why

Augmented Analytics is the Next Generation of BI Tools for Business Users

As business intelligence solutions and BI Tools evolve into Augmented Analytics, business users can achieve valuable insight and take appropriate action to optimize resources and enable continuous improvement. As Gartner has predicted, the market is responding to business needs by transforming business intelligence tools into sophisticated advanced analytics that are easy-to-use. These augmented analytics solutions support the needs of the average business user, improve productivity and collaboration, and assure data democracy and data literacy across the organization.

In order to understand the importance of this transformation, let’s look at the what, and why of business intelligence solutions vs. the new world of augmented analytics.

What is Business Intelligence? Business intelligence is a field of knowledge comprised of strategies and technologies used by businesses to analyze business information and make decisions to solve problems, identify opportunities and plan for the future. Business intelligence solutions provide historical and current views of operations and, in the recent past, the use of these tools moved from IT and analyst only environment with tools designed for use by business users with average analytical and technical skills. These self-serve BI tools created a data democracy transformation, supporting business users with reports, clear visualization tools and dashboards to allow for monitoring and alerts, all without the assistance of IT.

In 2019, the world-renowned technology research firm, Gartner, predicted the necessary evolution of business intelligence solutions and the emergence of augmented analytics. Gartner predicted that these tools would be necessary to support the new culture of collaboration, and business user transformation from requesting reports and analytics to a Citizen Data Scientist role that would put them front and center in the day-to-day use of data to make fact-based decisions and move the company forward.

Augmented analytics solutions use machine learning, natural language processing (NLP) and system recommendations and guidance to allow business users to leverage sophisticated analytics and techniques in an easy-to-use environment for self-serve data preparation, smart data visualization and predictive analytics. Users can share insights and reports and easily collaborate. As Augmented Analytics evolves, the role of the Citizen Data Scientist will grow, allowing business users more and better access to analytics and enabling Data Scientists to focus on projects that require 100% accuracy for strategic initiatives.

The 2019 Gartner prediction stated that, ‘…by 2020, citizen data scientists will surpass data scientists in the amount of advanced analysis they produce, largely due to the automation of data science tasks.’ And, that prediction has proven true!

So, what exactly does it mean to become a Citizen Data Scientist?  Citizen Data Scientists are business users who are generally power users of existing software and who have a need for data in their day-to-day position within the business. They are also typically curious about new tools and taking on new roles to advance their careers and their knowledge. With the advent of augmented analytics tools, these users are leveraging their professional skills and knowledge and using data analytics to ask questions, and gain insight into trends and patterns.

With augmented analytics, business users can apply analytics to real business use cases to understand changes in customer buying behavior, the need for resources and training, how and when to change pricing on a product, new product ideas, and many other issues, questions and opportunities within the organization.

Whether you are already using business intelligence tools and you want to get more from your users and your solution with augmented analytics, or your business wishes to start an augmented analytics and Citizen Data Scientist initiative from scratch, you can enjoy real value and benefits. Improve your data literacy, data democratization, productivity, collaboration and decision-making by taking this step.

In summary, the journey from business intelligence tools to augmented analytics need not be complicated or daunting and it will provide improved collaboration, data literacy and data democracy. Every organization needs business intelligence to monitor, manage and make decisions. Augmented Analytics solutions provide the tools to do just that, and then some, and users will find it easy to adopt so your business can operate at a higher level and a much more refined knowledge of customers, finances, results, processes, products and competition.

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