How and Why You Should Use AI To Enhance Business Intelligence

By Xinbo Zhang  -  Apr 13,   2021



One challenge that businesses face with the large amounts of data they generate or collect, is the lack of the right analysis tools and expertise to quickly and accurately extract useful information. Manual analysis methods are not only expensive, slow, and cumbersome, but suffer from errors and the inability to identify potential opportunities. To overcome these challenges, organizations can use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and business intelligence tools. These technologies can quickly process large amounts of data, identify patterns, learn about trends, and provide actionable reports.   

In addition to the analysis, artificial intelligence has the potential to pull out actionable insights from complex data sets. The technology then delivers recommendations that engineers can interpret with ease. Further, the intelligent tools can analyze past data, learn the trends, and enable businesses to predict outcomes based on specific parameters. 


Where are AI-powered BI solutions applicable? 


The AI-enabled technologies have much potential in a wide range of industries including, manufacturing, finance, energy, retail, healthcare, etc. Through data processing and analysis, AI enhances business intelligence as well as decision-making processes. In particular, AI enables machines to perform complex reasoning, make intelligent decisions, and address various challenges. 



Data storytelling  


BI with AI and ML enables organizations to get their data's full value by providing more actionable insights. From identifying outliers to spotting trends in large volumes of data, the technology allows users to better understand the data and identify opportunities. Consequently, the AI-powered BI provides them with the right tool to bring clarity, shape future decisions, and enable the organization to use its data to make positive impacts. 


Automated machine learning models can reveal hidden patterns and relationships in datasets without the need for a data scientist. The analysis and smart discovery generate comprehensive data stories and visualizations that highlight important insights, trends, outliers as well as interactive what-if-simulations that help in predicting outcomes. 


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How AI improves data analysis 


Turning average users to data experts  

By deploying AI in BI solutions, businesses do not have to rely on data experts to analyze and interpret data. The tools empower even the average users to retrieve useful insights without having to wait for the experts. The AI-powered BI tools democratize the data by allowing the users to easily interpret the information and get actionable answers by themselves. 


Enables users to explore data quickly 

AI-powered BI tools enable business users to quickly analyze large amounts of data within a very short time. For example, the entire process of uploading, analyzing, and generating insights and presenting them in an easy-to-read and understand format takes a few minutes. Once a user uploads the data, the AI-powered BI solution will do the heavy lifting, automatically classify and tag columns, join the data that match and perform other tasks. 


Automatically clean prep data 

Today, data is coming from disparate sources and is more varied and complex. Before analyzing it, the AI-based BI solutions automatically do the data cleaning, organizing, structuring, and preparation. This reduces the time it takes to analyze the data and get actionable results.  


Preventing big data overload 


As the amount of big data increases, businesses are overwhelmed and at times unable to make use of all the information. The inability to thoroughly analyze all the information results in missed opportunities that could be hidden within the large amounts of big data.  


However, businesses can overcome this by deploying AI-powered BI tools that enable them to break down the large amounts of data into smaller and manageable sizes that they can analyze and gain useful insights. 

Reducing the skills gap 


Most businesses do not have staff with adequate data analytic skills. Generally, the world has a shortage of analysts that can help a business to make better data-driven decisions. Deploying the rights AI-based BI software can help businesses to empower their average skilled data experts and enabling them to make timely and accurate decisions. 


Better real-time insights 


The analytics solutions enable businesses to manage growing data volumes from a wide range of sources. In practice, the tools digest massive amounts of the data to provide actionable insights. With a lot of data coming from different sources, the BI dashboards alone may not provide much actionable information. However, AI-powered BI solutions make it easier to analyze all the data logically and provide relevant and customized insights that businesses can use to make better decisions.  


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Investing in AI-powered BI tools 


The type of AI applications that a business deploys depends largely on the needs and the BI insights it wants to derive from the data. Typical solutions include mining social data, market campaign performance, optimizing logistics, saving costs, driving customer engagement, improving efficiency, and more. Generally, AI models are usually trained on specific types of data. As such, a solution for an oil and gas industry will differ from banking services or healthcare. With massive amounts of data, it is essential to determine what area to apply the AI-based BI tools. 


Once you identify the priorities, the next step would be to look for a provider who best matches your business requirements. Usually, businesses have the option to deploy the AI-powered BI tools on-premise, cloud, or hybrid platforms. However, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and associated components require higher computing resources, which can be expensive to host on-premise, especially for small businesses. The cloud is generally a better idea for many companies due to its flexibility and cost-effective scaling of resources such as processing power, storage, and memory.  


To customize the solution and get good value from the investment, a good strategy when implementing the AI-based BI solution is to start small and scale as the staff gains experience and learns about the tools. Such an approach also provides an opportunity to review the outcomes of the solution as well as optimize current and future components for a better ROI.  



Businesses can use AI and ML to learn about data, identify patterns, and make predictions or forecasts based on various inputs or conditions. Besides big data, the AI supports other applications such as adding intelligence to self-service systems. 


The AI-powered business intelligence solutions have the potential to transform the data a business collects, into simple, powerful, and actionable reports. From optimizing workflows to making predictions, AI-powered BI tools provide companies with a wide range of optimization opportunities. 




Xinbo Zhang

Xinbo is a digital marketer who is passionate about data, SEO, and inbound marketing.