The missing piece in Data Revolution

Data Revolution - Natural Language BI

Data Revolution is yet to fulfill its potential. Yes, the world is drowning in data but extracting meaningful information out of it is still a challenge. There are three main reasons for this to happen: there isn’t an easy way to access and analyze data; the volume of data is increasing faster than we are able to analyze it and most of data is unstructured. However these obstacles to Data Revolution have a new solution available… at least for companies.

The story of a revolution

Data revolution starts with the recent explosion in the volume of digital data caused by companies going digital and Web 2.0, and the increasing need of having easy access to data.

With Web 2.0 we went from information consumers to content creators – blog, video, social media and now IoT have increased the volume of data exponentially to a point that it doubles its size every two years, according to an IDC report.

Most of this data is unstructured. According to Gartner about 80% of a company’s information assets is unstructured data: emails, logs, reports and all kind of files that start multiplying as they put paper aside.

As the volume of data got bigger and bigger it became obvious the kind of information, opportunities and knowledge that we could get from it.

Organizations use business intelligence tools to get insights out of data. Normally companies rely on their IT or data analyst to create reports that would give them the answers they need. But as the volume and speed with which we produce data increases so do the number of reports requests to IT departments.

An Aberdeen Group study states that when using traditional BI tools we wait an average of 6.1 days to get a report, this is not enough to keep up with the speed of today business.

So what is the solution?

Changing data access paradigm

This is the moment when non-technical users jump to the spotlight and data revolution starts gaining shape. Companies came to realize that democratizing access to data throughout organizations is the only way to keep up with the speed and volume of data.

Business users should be able to explore data by themselves and without the limits of standard pre-build dashboards and reports. Plus they know what to look for, they understand the business and they need information more than anyone.

These business users can see the potential and want to use the tools to unlock it, but there seems to be a gap between what users need and what BI tools are offering. A BI Scorecard study says the average rate of BI adoption is only 21%.

Natural Language the saving hero

To counter the statistics and help data revolution to succeed, BI vendors should mimic behaviors that are already familiar to the users, like using Google’s search box.

Give people a search box and they will instantly start typing or speaking queries to find information. There is no point in keeping data and metrics buried in 50 pages reports or unreadable dashboards.

Natural language processing or the ability of machines understanding everyday language and act upon it, would give users freedom to explore data by themselves with ad-hoc queries, allowing them to easily find the data that is relevant.

Plus Natural Language can find patterns in, or interpret, unstructured information. This will enable organizations to take customer experience personalization to the next level and exploit new opportunities of growth.

Natural Language BI is filling the final gap between users and data, fulfilling BI true potential and promoting a cultural shift within organizations. And that is what makes a true a revolution.

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