In the dawn of the data age — about 60 years ago — a reporter coined a term that still echoes through the halls of business: Garbage in, garbage out (or GIGO).
This idea essentially means separating good data from bad. It is part of a distinct process called business intelligence (BI) to manage a digital tidal wave and transform billions of bytes of information generated daily into accurate, relevant insights that support decision-making. And the evolution of BI is only just beginning.
Fast-emerging technologies like machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) disrupt BI. Algorithms drill into increasingly large and complex data sets to yield predictive analytics and deeper insights in near-real-time and present them via self-service dynamic dashboards and interactive visualizations.
The integration “redefined how organizations analyze data, extract insights, and make strategic decisions” by closing “the gap between raw data and actionable insights, forming the bedrock of data-driven strategies,” according to Ascenwork Technologies.
Luckily, graduates of the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Business Analytics program are equipped with the business intelligence skills to succeed in organizational, ethical decision-making.
What Benefits Accrue From the Evolving Business Decision Techniques?
BI “revolutionizes the way we make decisions,” notes Domo, which lists five ways companies use BI to turn data into competitive advantage. Among them include:
- Avoid costly mistakes by focusing on high-return investments and resource allocation
- Increase efficiency by automating routine, repetitive tasks
- Gain deeper, more accurate insights into market trends and optimize internal operations to meet them
“As data has become the new currency, those who can make sense of it have a distinct advantage over those who can’t,” it continues.
How Are Companies Using Artificial Intelligence-Powered Insights to Drive Business Intelligence?
“BI tools are undergoing massive disruption,” IBM declares, as companies leverage natural language processing and other powerful AI technologies. The AI/BI integration, for instance, accelerates time-consuming processes such as mining large, complex data sets to extract trends, patterns and anomalies.
Those insights enable decision makers to optimize production schedules and supply chain operations to meet changing market demands faster than competitors. Moreover, automation creates more time for BI analysts to focus on forward-looking, dynamic strategy development.
“Investing in an AI-powered BI tool should be a no-brainer if you’re looking to find insights in your data to make better business decisions,” IBM advises.
How Are Companies Overcoming Barriers to Cultivating a Data-Driven Culture?
While executive-level decision-makers, which Forbes calls “the first mile,” are buying into the value of AI-driven business intelligence, “we’ve not solved the last mile problems” at the management and staff levels. “That’s where we believe there’s a massive opportunity, not only to get adoption … but also to really move the needle on the impact of BI and AI in many organizations,” Forbes notes.
Taking advantage of those opportunities depends on filling a talent gap for data-savvy business professionals. One estimate said businesses could not fill 250,000 data-centric positions in 2020. Given this, employers place a premium on candidates for leadership roles with hybrid skills that include business management, organizational behavior and strategy development combined with expertise in database management, data mining and statistical analytics.
UIS’ Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Business Analytics online program prepares graduates for data-centric management positions through its accredited curriculum. Through courses like Data Mining for Business Analytics, students gain core business studies to focus on topics such as:
- Management of database systems to understand, among other learning outcomes, advanced development technologies such as data-enabled AI.
- Data mining for business analytics by exploring and transforming digital information into visualizations that support business intelligence
Careers in BI “… should provide great employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the United States will need 120,400 business analysts,” CareerExplorer predicts. Graduates of an advanced business school emphasizing business analytics are prepared with the in-demand skills employers in this space seek.
Learn more about the UIS MBA with a concentration in Business Analytics online program.