(Data mining without Actionable Insights is a recipe for disaster.)

It is now fashionable to state that one is implementing Artificial Intelligence (AI) to grow the business. By itself, it is an OK statement to make but hides an erroneous assumption that AI will solve most of everyone’s data problems. AI’s intelligence is artificial, and it must be taught to be smart, by providing it the information and the lessons that will enable it to make sense of your business. 

AI is not a magic wand that will pull consumer insights out of thin air. It needs to work closely with Business Intelligence which is a bunch of meaningful data sets that tells us what we are doing with our business. 

AI will churn this information to tell us what we are doing well, where we are going wrong, and probably make sage recommendations on what we should be doing next. 

So do we need BI? 

Oh of course we do. Without BI, we would never understand the current state of our business.  We would not know if it was performing well or if it needed to be improved through some or the other intervention. 

BI offers simple to understand insights and this can help us drive well-informed business decisions as well as strategies. We should therefore spend sufficient time in understanding what our business objectives and goals are. We can then set up the BI framework to bring out the necessary metrics that we need to track – data that will make an impact on outcomes, not just feel-good bits of information. 

So do we need AI?

Oh yes, we do, when the data in itself is overwhelming for simple BI tools to handle or when the opportunities to interact with various customer cohorts is large enough to make it difficult to make tactical business decisions intuitively, Artificial Intelligence brings in the analytics layer that makes all the difference to winning a sale. 

BI and AI work together

When you have figured out “Who we are” and “What our goals are” you are in a position to put in place the BI backbone, to stay on top of your operational data. Layering AI on top of this backbone, will help you elevate your goals and provide better customer traction. In this context, especially in today’s world, there can be no BI without AI.