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Decision Intelligence vs. Business Intelligence

All data-driven organizations need robust business intelligence tools to help them transition from running business on intuition, to running it with intelligence. The challenge for many is knowing where to start. With data streaming in from a seemingly endless array of systems and applications, using it to improve business outcomes is a skill that is notoriously difficult to master. We know because our clients tell us on a regular basis.

The rise of data analytics and business intelligence has created the illusion that you are now able to understand and visualize every aspect of your business and this will somehow allow you to operate in a better way. The reality is much different.  First generation data warehouses and BI tools were typically about analyzing historical data (data in rows and columns) and understanding what happened in the past (descriptive, diagnostic analytics).

Second generation systems, typically known as data lakes, are about creating a single large data ecosystem that effectively extends the capabilities of first generation systems by allowing all kinds of data, such as documents, to be available in one place. Data lakes have typically been over-promised, but for many organizations, have under-delivered.

Increasingly essential in today’s fast-moving business environment is the ability to see over the horizon and around corners to understand the impact of today’s decisions on all of the desired outcomes. This is where next-generation business intelligence tools come into play ―using faster (real-time) and more modern cloud data platforms to solve problems based around a specific domain.

It’s a capability we refer to as Decision Intelligence. Unlike self-service business intelligence, Decision Intelligence is focused on injecting the right information into the problem at the right time, or more accurately, at “critical moments of truth”.

At Kin + Carta, our approach to Decision Intelligence is on determining how you are going to use data and accompanying technology to make better decisions. Or more precisely, what are the problems you are actually looking to solve? Nothing actually happens unless we actually make a decision. By connecting design thinking with modern data platforms we create digital products that help turn information into better, faster and fewer decisions at any scale.

But let’s be clear: even by sharpening our focus with a more informed approach, there is still no magic wand to better insights. A robust process must be put in place to ensure that the right data can be translated into meaningful context to solve problems, optimize decisions and achieve the required outcomes. This is as much a people and process issue as it is a technology one. Many questions still need to be asked, such as:

  • Who is involved? What information will they need?
  • What format does it take and how can this be seamlessly injected into their daily workflow? What data is required?
  • What level of maturity needs to be achieved in order to get that data at sufficient quality?
  • How will success be measured using KPI’s?

Our experts at Kin + Carta are taking a deep dive into today’s data challenges and highlighting many of the new capabilities available in next-generation business intelligence tools and systems. These newfound insights will be soon published in a Whitepaper on our website.