Article | July 29, 2020
Headquartered in London, England, BP (NYSE: BP) is a multinational oil and gas company. Operating since 1909, the organization offers its customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, lubricants to keep engines moving, and the petrochemicals products.
Business intelligence has always been a key enabler for improving decision making processes in large enterprises from early days of spreadsheet software to building enterprise data warehouses for housing large sets of enterprise data and to more recent developments of mining those datasets to unearth hidden relationships. One underlying theme throughout this evolution has been the delegation of crucial task of finding out the remarkable relationships between various objects of interest to human beings.
What BI technology has been doing, in other words, is to make it possible (and often easy too) to find the needle in the proverbial haystack if you somehow know in which sectors of the barn it is likely to be. It is a validatory as opposed to a predictory technology.
When the amount of data is huge in terms of variety, amount, and dimensionality (a.k.a. Big Data) and/or the relationship between datasets are beyond first-order linear relationships amicable to human intuition, the above strategy of relying solely on humans to make essential thinking about the datasets and utilizing machines only for crucial but dumb data infrastructure tasks becomes totally inadequate. The remedy to the problem follows directly from our characterization of it: finding ways to utilize the machines beyond menial tasks and offloading some or most of cognitive work from humans to the machines.
Does this mean all the technology and associated practices developed over the decades in BI space are not useful anymore in Big Data age? Not at all. On the contrary, they are more useful than ever: whereas in the past humans were in the driving seat and controlling the demand for the use of the datasets acquired and curated diligently, we have now machines taking up that important role and hence unleashing manifold different ways of using the data and finding out obscure, non-intuitive relationships that allude humans. Moreover, machines can bring unprecedented speed and processing scalability to the game that would be either prohibitively expensive or outright impossible to do with human workforce.
Companies have to realize both the enormous potential of using new automated, predictive analytics technologies such as machine learning and how to successfully incorporate and utilize those advanced technologies into the data analysis and processing fabric of their existing infrastructure. It is this marrying of relatively old, stable technologies of data mining, data warehousing, enterprise data models, etc. with the new automated predictive technologies that has the huge potential to unleash the benefits so often being hyped by the vested interests of new tools and applications as the answer to all data analytical problems.
To see this in the context of predictive analytics, let's consider the machine learning(ML) technology. The easiest way to understand machine learning would be to look at the simplest ML algorithm: linear regression. ML technology will build on basic interpolation idea of the regression and extend it using sophisticated mathematical techniques that would not necessarily be obvious to the causal users. For example, some ML algorithms would extend linear regression approach to model non-linear (i.e. higher order) relationships between dependent and independent variables in the dataset via clever mathematical transformations (a.k.a kernel methods) that will express those non-linear relationship in a linear form and hence suitable to be run through a linear algorithm.
Be it a simple linear algorithm or its more sophisticated kernel methods variation, ML algorithms will not have any context on the data they process. This is both a strength and weakness at the same time. Strength because the same algorithms could process a variety of different kinds of data, allowing us to leverage all the work gone through the development of those algorithms in different business contexts, weakness because since the algorithms lack any contextual understanding of the data, perennial computer science truth of garbage in, garbage out manifests itself unceremoniously here : ML models have to be fed "right" kind of data to draw out correct insights that explain the inner relationships in the data being processed.
ML technology provides an impressive set of sophisticated data analysis and modelling algorithms that could find out very intricate relationships among the datasets they process. It provides not only very sophisticated, advanced data analysis and modeling methods but also the ability to use these methods in an automated, hence massively distributed and scalable ways. Its Achilles' heel however is its heavy dependence on the data it is being fed with. Best analytic methods would be useless, as far as drawing out useful insights from them are concerned, if they are applied on the wrong kind of data. More seriously, the use of advanced analytical technology could give a false sense of confidence to their users over the analysis results those methods produce, making the whole undertaking not just useless but actually dangerous.
We can address the fundamental weakness of ML technology by deploying its advanced, raw algorithmic processing capabilities in conjunction with the existing data analytics technology whereby contextual data relationships and key domain knowledge coming from existing BI estate (data mining efforts, data warehouses, enterprise data models, business rules, etc.) are used to feed ML analytics pipeline. This approach will combine superior algorithmic processing capabilities of the new ML technology with the enterprise knowledge accumulated through BI efforts and will allow companies build on their existing data analytics investments while transitioning to use incoming advanced technologies. This, I believe, is effectively a win-win situation and will be key to the success of any company involved in data analytics efforts.
Article | June 18, 2021
Data is an important asset. Data leads to innovation and organizations tend to compete for leading these innovations on a global scale. Today, every business requires data and insights to stay relevant in the market. Big Data has a huge impact on the way organizations conduct their businesses. Big Data is used in different enterprises like travel, healthcare, manufacturing, governments, and more. If they need to determine their audience, understand what clients want, forecast the needs of the customers and the clients, AI and big data analysis is vital to every decision-making scenario. When companies process the collected data accurately, they get the desired results, which leads them to their desired goals.
The term Big Data has been around since the 1990s. By the time we could fully comprehend it, Big Data had already amassed a huge amount of stored data. If this data is analyzed properly, it would reveal valuable industry insights into the industry to which the data belonged.
IT professionals and computer scientists realized that going through all of the data and analyzing it for the purpose was too big of a task for humans to undertake. When artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm came into the picture, it accomplished analyzing the accumulated data and deriving insights. The use of AI in Big Data is fundamental to get desired results for organizations.
According to Northeastern University, the amount of data in the world was 4.4 zettabytes in 2013. By of 2020, the data rose to 44 zettabytes.
When there is this amount of data produced globally, this information is invaluable to the enterprises and now can leverage AI algorithms to process it. Because of this, the companies can understand and influence customer behavior. By 2018, over 50% of countries had adopted Big Data.
Let us understand what Big Data, convergence of big data and AI, and impact of AI on big data analytics.
Understanding Big Data
In simple words, Big Data is a term that comprises every tool and process that helps people use and manage vast sets of data. According to Gartner, Big Data is a “high-volume and/or high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing to enable enhanced insight, decision-making, and process automation.”
The concept of Big Data was created to capture trends, preferences, and user behavior in one place called the data lake. Big Data in enterprises can help them analyze and configure their customers’ motivations and come up with new ideas for the creation of new offerings. Big Data studies different methods of extracting, analyzing, or dealing with data sets that are too complicated for traditional data processing systems. To analyze a large amount of data requires a system designed to stretch its extraction and analysis capability.
Data is everywhere. This stockpile of data can give us insights and business analytics to the industry belonging to the data set. Therefore, the AI algorithms are written to benefit from large and complex data.
Importance of Big Data
Data is an integral part of understanding customer demographics and their motivations.
When customers interact with technology in active or passive manner, these actions create a new set of data. What contributes to this data creation is what they carry with them every day - their smartphones. Their cameras, credit cards, purchased products all contribute to their growing data profile. A correctly done analysis can tell a lot about their behavior patterns, personality, and events in the customer’s life. Companies can use this information to rethink their strategies, improve on their product, and create targeted marketing campaigns, which would ultimately lead them to their target customer.
Industry experts, for years and years, have discussed Big Data and its impact on businesses. Only in recent years, however, has it become possible to calculate that impact. Algorithms and software can now analyze large datasets quickly and efficiently.The forty-four zettabyte of data will only quadruple in the coming years. This collection and analysis of the data will help companies get the AI insights that will aid them in generating profits and be future-ready.
Organizations have been using Big Data for a long time. Here’s how those organizations are using Big Data to drive success:
Answering customer questions
Using big data and analytics, companies can learn the following things:
• What do customers want?
• Where are they missing out on?
• Who are their best and loyal customers?
• Why people choose different products?
Every day, as organizations gather more information, they can get more insights into sales and marketing. Once they get this data, they can optimize their campaigns to suit the customer’s needs. Learning from their online habits and with correct analysis, companies can send personalized promotional emails. These emails may prompt this target audience to convert into full-time customers.
Making confident decisions
As companies grow, they all need to make complex decisions. With in-depth analysis of marketplace knowledge, industry, and customers, Big Data can help you make confident choices. Big Data gives you a complete overview of everything you need to know. With the help of this, you can launch your marketing campaign or launch a new product in the market, or make a focused decision to generate the highest ROI. Once you add machine learning and AI to the mix, your Big Data collections can form a neural network to help your AI suggest useful company changes.
Optimizing and Understanding Business Processes
Cloud computing and machine learning help you to stay ahead by identifying opportunities in your company’s practices. Big Data analytics can tell you if your email strategy is working even when your social media marketing isn’t gaining you any following. You can also check which parts of your company culture have the right impact and result in the desired turnover. The existing evidence can help you make quick decisions and ensure you spend more of your budget on things that help your business grow.
Convergence of Big Data and AI
Big Data and Artificial Intelligence have a synergistic relationship. Data powers AI. The constantly evolving data sets or Big Data makes it possible for machine learning applications to learn and acquire new skills. This is what they were built to do. Big Data’s role in AI is supplying algorithms with all the essential information for developing and improving features, pattern recognition capabilities.
AI and machine learning use data that has been cleansed of duplicate and unnecessary data. This clean and high-quality big data is then utilized to create and train intelligent AI algorithms, neural networks, and predictive models.
AI applications rarely stop working and learning. Once the “initial training” is done (initial training is preparing already collected data), they adjust their work as and when the data changes. This makes it necessary for data to be constantly collected.
When it comes to businesses using this technology, AI helps them use Big Data for analytics by making advanced tools accessible and obtainable to help users gain insights that would otherwise have been hidden in the huge amount of data. Once firms and businesses gain a hold on using AI and Big Data, they can provide decision-makers with a clear understanding of factors that affect their businesses.
Impact of AI on Big Data Analytics
AI supports users in the Big Data cycle, including aggregation, storage, and retrieval of diverse data types from different data sources. This includes data management, context management, decision management, action management, and risk management.
Big Data can help alert problems and help find new solutions and get ideas about any new prospects. With the amount of information stream that comes in, it can be difficult to determine what is important and what isn’t. This is where AI and machine learning come in. It can help identify unusual patterns in the processes, help in the analysis, and suggest further steps to be taken.
It can also learn how users interact with analytics and learn subtle differences in meanings or context-specific nuances to understand numeric data sources. AI can also caution users about anomalies, unforeseen data patterns, monitoring events, and threats from system logs or social networking data.
Application of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence
After establishing how AI and Big Data work together, let us look at how some applications are benefitting from their synergy:
Banking and financial sectors
The banking and financial sectors apply these to monitor financial marketing activities. These institutions also use AI to keep an eye on any illegal trading activities. Trading data analytics are obtained for high-frequency trading, and decision making based on trading, risk analysis, and predictive analysis. It is also used for fraud warning and detection, archival and analysis of audit trails, reporting enterprise credit, customer data transformation, etc.
AI has simplified health data prescriptions and health analysis, thus benefitting healthcare providers from the large data pool. Hospitals are using millions of collected data that allow doctors to use evidence-based medicine. Chronic diseases can be tracked faster by AI.
Manufacturing and supply chain
AI and Big Data in manufacturing, production management, supply chain management and analysis, and customer satisfaction techniques are flawless. The quality of products is thus much better with higher energy efficiency, reliable increase in levels, and profit increase.
Governments worldwide use AI applications like facial recognition, vehicle recognition for traffic management, population demographics, financial classifications, energy explorations, environmental conservation, criminal investigations, and more.
Other sectors that use AI are mainly retail, entertainment, education, and more.
According to Gartner’s predictions, artificial intelligence will replace one in five workers by 2022. Firms and businesses can no longer afford to avoid using artificial intelligence and Big Data in their day-to-day. Investments in AI and Big Data analysis will be beneficial for everyone. Data sets will increase in the future, and with it, its application and investment will grow over time. Human relevance will continue to decrease as time goes by.
AI enables machine learning to be the future of the development of business technologies. It will automate data analysis and find new insights that were previously impossible to imagine by processing data manually. With machine learning, AI, and Big Data, we can redraw the way we approach everything else.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does big data affect artificial intelligence?
Big Data and AI customize business processes and make better-suited decisions for individual needs and expectations. This improves its efficiency of processes and decisions. Data has the potential to give insights into a variety of predicted behaviors and incidents.
Is AI or big data better?
AI becomes better as it is fed more and more information. This information is gathered from Big Data which helps companies understand their customers better. On the other hand, Big Data is useless if there is no AI to analyze it. Humans are not capable of analyzing the data on a large scale.
Is AI used in big data?
When the gathered Big Data is to be analyzed, AI steps in to do the job. Big Data makes use of AI.
What is the future of AI in big data?
AI’s ability to work so well with data analytics is the primary reason why AI and Big Data now seem inseparable. AI machine learning and deep learning are learning from every data input and using those inputs to generate new rules for future business analytics.
"name": "Why does big data affect artificial intelligence?",
"text": "Big Data and AI customize business processes and make better-suited decisions for individual needs and expectations. This improves its efficiency of processes and decisions. Data has the potential to give insights into a variety of predicted behaviors and incidents."
"name": "Is AI or big data better?",
"text": "AI becomes better as it is fed more and more information. This information is gathered from Big Data which helps companies understand their customers better. On the other hand, Big Data is useless if there is no AI to analyze it. Humans are not capable of analyzing the data on a large scale."
"name": "Is AI used in big data?",
"text": "When the gathered Big Data is to be analyzed, AI steps in to do the job. Big Data makes use of AI."
"name": "What is the future of AI in big data?",
"text": "AI’s ability to work so well with data analytics is the primary reason why AI and Big Data now seem inseparable. AI machine learning and deep learning are learning from every data input and using those inputs to generate new rules for future business analytics."
Article | May 31, 2021
According to Google trends, predictive data analytics has gained a significant amount of popularity over the last few years. Many businesses have implemented predictive analytics applications to increase their business reach, gain new customers, forecast sales, and more.
Predictive Analytics is a type of data analytics technology that makes predictions with the help of data sets, statistical modeling, and machine learning. Predictive analytics uses historical data. This historical data is fed into a mathematical model that recognizes patterns and trends that are then applied to current data to forecast trends, practices, and behaviors from milliseconds to days and even years.
Based on the parameters supplied to them, organizations find patterns within that data to detect risks, opportunities, forecast conditions, and events that would occur at a particular time. At its heart, the use of predictive analytics answers a simple question, “What would happen based on my current data and what can be done to change the outcome.”
In the current times, businesses have multiple products offerings at their disposal to choose from vendors of big data predictive analytics in different industries. They can help these businesses leverage historical data discovering complex data correlation, recognizing patterns, and forecasting.
Organizations are turning to predictive analytics to increase their bottom line and gain advantages against their competition. Some of those reasons are listed below:
• With the growing amount and types of data, there is more interest in utilizing it to produce valuable insights
• Better computers
• An abundance of easy to use software
• Need of competitive differentiation due to tougher
As more and more easy-to-use software have been introduced, businesses no longer need statisticians and mathematicians for predictive analytics and forecasting.
Benefits of Predictive Analytics
Competitive edge over other businesses
The most common reason why multiple companies picked up predictive analytics was to gain an advantage over their competitors. Customer trends and buying patterns keep changing from time to time. The ones who can identify it first will go ahead in the game. Embracing predictive analytics is how you will stay ahead of your competition. Predictive analytics will aid in qualified lead generation and give you an insight into the present and potential customers.
Businesses opt for predictive analytics to predict customer behavior, preferences, and responses. Using this information, they attract their target audience and entice them into becoming loyal customers. Predictive analytics gives valuable information about your customers such as which of them are likely to lapse, how to retain them, whether you should market directly at them, etc. The more you know about them, the stronger your marketing will become. Your business will become the leader in predicting your customer’s exact needs.
Retaining existing customers is almost five times more difficult than acquiring new ones. The most successful company is the one that invests money in retaining those customers as much as acquiring new ones.
Predictive analytics helps in directing marketing strategies towards your existing customers and get them to return frequently. The analytics tool will make sure your marketing strategy caters to the diverse requirements of your customers.
Earlier marketing strategies revolved around the ‘one size fits all’ approach, but gone are those days. If you want to retain and acquire new customers, you have to create personalized marketing campaigns to attract customers.
Predictive analytics and data management help you to get new information about customer expectations, previous purchases, buying behaviors, and patterns. Using this data, you can create these personalized marketing strategies that will help keep up the engagement and acquire new customers.
Application of Predictive Analytics
Customer targeting divides the customer base into different demographic groups according to age, gender, interests, buying, and spending habits. It helps companies to create tailored marketing communications specifically to the customers who are likely to buy their products. Traditional techniques do not even come close to identifying potential customers as well as predictive analytics does.
The major constituents that create these customer groups are:
• Socio-demographic factors: age, gender, education, and marital status
• Engagement factors: recent interaction, frequency, spending habits, etc.
• Past campaign response: contact response, type, day, month, etc.
The customer-specific targeting for the company is highly advantageous. They can:
• Better communicate with the customers
• Save money on marketing
• Increase profits
Customer churn prevention
Customer churn prevention creates major hurdles in a company’s growth. Although it has been proven that retaining customers is cheaper than gaining new ones, it can become a problem. Detecting a client’s dissatisfaction is not an easy task as they can abruptly stop using your services without any warning.
Here, churn prevention comes into the picture. Churn prevention aims to predict who will end their relationship with the company, when, and why. The existing data sets can help develop predictive models so companies can be proactive to prevent the fallout.
Factors that can influence the churn are as follows:
• Customer variables
• Service use
• Competitor variables
Using these variables, companies can then take necessary steps to avoid the churn by offering customers personalized services or products.
Risk assessment and management processes in many companies are antiquated. Even though customer information is abundantly available for evaluation, it is still antiquated.
With advanced analytics, this data can be quickly and accurately analyzed while maintaining customer privacy and boundaries. Risk assessment thus allows companies to analyze problems with any business. Predictive analytics can approximate with certainty which operations are profitable and which are not.
Risk assessment analyzes the following data types:
• Socio-demographic factors
• Product details
• Customer behavior
• Risk metrics
Evaluating the previous history, seasonality, and market-affecting events make revenue predicting vital for a company’s planning and result in a company’s demand for a product or a service. This can be applied to short-term, medium-term, and long-term forecasting.
Predictive models help in anticipating a customer’s reaction to the factors that affect sales.
Following factors can be used in sales forecasting:
• Calendar data
• Weather data
• Company data
• Social data
• Demand data
Sales forecasting allows revenue prediction and optimal resource allocation.
Healthcare organizations have begun to use predictive analytics as this technology is helping them save money. They are using predictive analytics in several different ways. With the help of this technology, based on past trends they can now allocate facility resources, optimize staff schedules, identify patients at risk, adding intelligence to pharmaceutical and supply acquisition management.
Using predictive analytics in the health domain has also helped in preventing cases and risks of developing health complications like diabetes, asthma, and other life-threatening problems. The application of predictive analytics in health care can lead to making better clinical decisions for patients.
Predictive analytics is being used across different industries and is good way to advance your company’s growth and forecast future events to act accordingly. It has gained support from many different organizations at a global scale and will continue to grow rapidly.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is predictive analytics?
Predictive analytics uses historical data to predict future events. The historical data is used to build mathematical model that captures essential trends. That predictive model is based on current data that predicts what will happen next or suggest steps to take for optimal outcomes.
How to do predictive analytics?
• Define business objectives
• Collect relevant data available from resources
• Improve on collected data by data cleaning methods
• Choose a model or build your own to test data
• Evaluate and validate the predictive model to ensure
How does predictive analytics work for business?
Predictive analytics helps businesses attract, retain, and grow their profitable customers. It also helps them in improving their operations.
What tools are used for predictive analytics?
Some tools used for predictive analytics are:
• SAS Advanced Analytics
• Oracle DataScience
• IBM SPSS Statistics
• SAP Predictive Analytics
• Q Research
"name": "What is predictive analytics?",
"text": "Predictive analytics uses historical data to predict future events. The historical data is used to build a mathematical model that captures essential trends. That predictive model is based on current data that predicts what will happen next or suggest steps to take for optimal outcomes."
"name": "How to do predictive analytics?",
"text": "Define business objectives
Collect relevant data available from resources
Improve on collected data by data cleaning methods
Choose a model or build your own to test data
Evaluate and validate the predictive model to ensure "
"name": "How does predictive analytics work for business?",
"text": "Predictive analytics helps businesses attract, retain, and grow their profitable customers. It also helps them in improving their operations."
"name": "What tools are used for predictive analytics?",
"text": "Some tools used for predictive analytics are:
SAS Advanced Analytics
IBM SPSS Statistics
SAP Predictive Analytics
Article | March 31, 2020
DataOps helps reduce the time data scientists spend preparing data for use in applications. Such tasks consume roughly 80% of their time now.We’re still hopeful that the digital transformation will provide the insights businesses need from big data. As a data scientist, you’re probably aware of the growing pressure from companies to extract meaningful insights from data and find the stories needed for impact.No matter how in-demand data science is in the employment numbers, equal pressure is rising for data scientists to deliver business value and no wonder. We’re approaching the age where data science and AI draw a line in the sand for which companies remain competitive and which ones collapse.One answer to this pressure is the rise of DataOps. Let’s take a look at what it is and how it could provide a path for data scientists to give businesses what they’ve been after.