Sidewalk: BI 2.0

Recently I attended a seminar on Information Management organised by IDC India. It was a half day event and most of the speakers gave fundamental and theoretical gyan on the need for Information Management tools such as Business Intelligence. There was one exception though. Sanjay Deshmukh of Business Objects – now acquired by SAP – made an interesting presentation. Theme of his presentation was BI 2.0.

What is BI 2.0?

BI 2.0 is nothing but next generation of BI system. Sanjay identified 5 major characteristics in his presentation:

1. Intelligence out of Unstructured Data

BI systems generally provide tools to extract intelligence out of structured data gathered through enterprise applications stored in RDBMS. However, a lot of information and knowledge resides in unstructured data such as documents and emails. BI 2.0 will provide tools, which allow organisations to extract intelligence out of unstructured data. For example, from a pool of emails from customers, inferences can be drawn whether the customers of the company are happy or unhappy.

2. Anywhere Anytime access

BI 2.0 will be mobile enabled i.e. users can access BI systems through their mobile devices. This would be extremely useful for monitoring mission critical processes and also for managing exceptions.

3. Google Effect

BI 2.0 will provide access to reports through search facility rather than conventional menu based access. Such search facility will not only provide all the relevant reports available in the repository but also based on the interpretation of the desired search, will generate and provide the report dynamically.

4. Visualisation

BI 2.0 systems will significantly improve the presentation of the reports.

5. Web Services

BI systems will web service enable the tools and functionality so that BI capability and reports can be integrated with any third party applications hosted within and beyond the boundaries of the organization.

While not all BI 2.0 capabilities surprised me, Intelligence out of Unstructured Data and Google Effect did impress me. However, it would be interesting how these functionalities evolve especially the intelligence out of Unstructured Data. The illustration of extracting customer satisfaction level from emails seemed too simplistic. Typically, decision makers would not only like to know whether customers are happy but also why are they happy or unhappy so that corrective action can be taken. Also, typically unstructured data constitutes more than 80% of organisation data. So, the challenge would be to identify significant data that is useful for analysis and extracting intelligence.

Has your organisation started BI 2.0 journey? If yes, would you like to share your experience?

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