July 22, 2013
As a result of the big data phenomenon, data volumes and the
diversity of new data sources are exploding around us. Yet,
most organizations are missing the analytic opportunities of big
data because they are still focused on gleaning insights from
structured data via traditional tools for business intelligence (BI)
and data warehousing (DW). A brave new world of insight awaits
organizations, and the path to it is through the exponentially
growing volumes of unstructured and semi-structured data,
especially from new sources such as machines, sensors, logs, and
social media. One of the challenges is that traditional BI/DW tools
were not designed for these new data sources and data types.
BI/DW tools are certainly not going away, but there’s a need to
complement them with new technologies for the new sources of big
data, and operational intelligence supports this growing need.
Operational intelligence (OI) is an emerging class of analytics
that provides visibility into business processes, events, and
operations as they are happening. The practice of OI is enabled by
special technologies that can handle machine data, sensor data,
event streams, and other forms of streaming data and big data.
OI solutions can also correlate and analyze data collected from
multiple sources in various latencies (from batch to real time)
to reveal actionable information. Organizations can act on the
information by immediately sending an alert to the appropriate
manager, updating a management dashboard, offering an incentive
to a churning customer, adjusting machinery, or preventing fraud.
The point of operational intelligence is to gain insight into new data
sources so that business opportunities, organizational threats,
and performance issues are detected and addressed as soon
as possible, thereby enabling reactions that leverage or correct
a given situation. Real-world implementations of operational
intelligence monitor and analyze business activities to give a wide
range of users the real-time visibility they need to see a problem or
opportunity, make a fully informed and fast decision, and then act
This TDWI Checklist Report drills into the many technologies and
capabilities needed to make operational intelligence possible for a
technology team and successful for a business.