By Sam Somashekar, Senior Product Management / Marketing / Strategy Consultant
Actionable insight is what propels a business. Operational Intelligence (OI) allows you to gain this insight from both historical data, typically used by Business Intelligence solutions, as well as real-time data feeds. With this combination businesses can immediately take action on decisions and change next-step outcomes within current business transactions. Big Data has opened the doors for industries beyond financial services and assembly lines to now take advantage of Operational Intelligence.
OI offers visibility into high-velocity and high-volume streaming data sources, current events, and ongoing business processes by uniting several advanced technologies into one platform. There are endless possibilities for the types of data that can be analyzed with an OI solution. It can even be added to existing systems and work with data from anywhere, including sources such as Hadoop, Teradata, SAP, social media such as Twitter or Facebook, and internal applications and systems. OI analyzes structured and unstructured data using a high-performance complex-event processing (CEP) engine and creates alerts or rules using business process management (BPM) capabilities. The continuous results can be viewed in live dashboards and easily shared across the organization using role-based access control.
The more common use cases for OI include the following:
- Customer Care / Customer Experience Management: See a complete end-to-end view of critical customer service processes across multiple systems to take corrective action before customer experience is compromised
- Brand Management: Visibility into negative perceptions that arise from anywhere online, and the ability to correct those perceptions to prevent brand erosion
- Supply Chain / Logistics Management: Intelligent management of freight and logistics movement as a result of live streaming weather information
At the heart of OI solutions is an in-memory computing platform that can continuously return sub-second query results. When seconds matter to a business, OI can be used to run queries and return analysis before the data hits the disk. OI can also be used to get more out of the data warehouse by offloading the workload. OI can return query results and reports to the data warehouse in addition to the raw data, which can vastly reduce batch processing and data warehouse workloads.
The key to success with OI solutions comes down to three things:
- Usability / Self-Service: The results of OI solutions need to be in the hands of business users and users “in the trenches” who must make the next-step decisions in order to optimize processes. They need to be able to easily and intuitively consume the results and see the outcomes of their decisions. It’s important to understand who the users of OI will be and what they will need to be successful. This can include a publish/subscribe model, tailored user interface designs, and training to help users feel comfortable.
- The Right Questions: Define the framework for the questions that you want to continuously monitor. Understand if the answers to those questions, and the actions that result from them, will “move the needle.” How much will that cost; what is the ROI?
- The Right Data Sources: In the world of Big Data, many traditional and dynamic data sources with ever-growing information are available. It’s important to choose the right ones that support the questions you want to ask and have answered. It may be wise to start with externally-available information (e.g. social media), before approaching IT and asking to connect with traditional databases and machine data.
OI combines next-generation, real-time BI and BPM capabilities into a complete intelligence platform to help organizations make smarter decisions with up-to-the-second information in time to maximize impact. Contact Chateaux to see how we can help your organization get started with your OI initiative!