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Operational Intelligence to Rule in a Data-Driven World

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Operational intelligence (OI), the successor to business intelligence (BI) enables industry professionals to reach quicker decisions with real-time data and insights at hand. In an exclusive conversation with CXOToday, Sanjiv Gupta, Chairman and CEO of OpsVeda, a US-based operational intelligence platform that is helping enterprises make informed business decisions by increasing their speed and agility to run their business, discusses why OI can help you define action plans for the future and is necessary for businesses in a pandemic-affected era.

What is operational intelligence and how does this differ from traditional business intelligence?

Operational intelligence is an approach that gives you real-time information about what’s happening in your business. Both business intelligence and operational intelligence help you make better decisions.. But the key difference is that when you use OI, you look at real-time data and make decisions based on it, unlike in BI, where you are looking at data from the recent past. BI is data-centric and depends on databases where various business data and metrics are stored. OI is like live streaming data enabling continuous intelligence such that when you look at real-time data, you will be able to make decisions when it matters the most versus the traditional intelligence which is typically on stale more telling the business users what has happened rather than telling the business users what is about to happen and how they can change business outcomes.

Why is operational intelligence gaining more traction in the marketplace today?

Companies are realizing that in order to succeed or even survive in the pandemic affected world, they have to be more nimble and more agile. Putting the customer experience first and truly understanding their needs is critical. Established organizations are moving forward at a breakneck speed. It is here that OI helps you get insights into your business – real time. You can understand how your business operates and how it responds to particular changes. It can help you define action plans for the future. Needless to say then, in a crisis like situation such as covid-19 there is a greater need for operational intelligence.

What are the main challenges CXOs are facing when implementing intelligent operations?

Setting up OI from scratch is a challenging task. Many companies are facing a lot of hurdles during development. Some others say, it is daunting and so they must embark on Complex AI initiatives. While CXOs are expected to deliver much more especially in the current scenario, if you take a step back you realize that the needs of business have not changed. Business still require less doing time and more thinking time, more agility, better outcome and so on. Also, whether its inventory crunch or shortage of staff, the challenge facing CXO is to be able to predict the needs of the customer – where and how it is needed and accordingly apply intelligence operations.

How technologies like AI and big data impact OI?

Integrating AI in operations can result in smarter, more aware, and more contextual business outcomes. It can discover hidden resources and threats, uncover patterns, filter the noise and support faster decision-making Again, big data and OI complement each other. It’s helping organizations understand their customers a lot better, even in ways that were impossible in the past.

How operational intelligence strategy is can fuel digital transformation?

In a dynamic and increasingly complex business environment, operational intelligence with its capabilities such as flexibility, agility, real-time monitoring and other advanced capability supports digital transformation. OI helps businesses improve on crucial components of their business such as data quality, employee satisfaction, operational efficiency, and customer satisfaction. These processes hold immense value and can help enterprises to come up with decisions in the most optimal manner.

What trends do you observe for operational intelligence over the next 2-3 years?

With Intelligent Operations at the heart of the enterprise, a company can become more flexible, agile, and responsive; generate value more quickly; and achieve sustainable competitive advantage. Ultimately, every business has these similar needs. With IO in place, more business users can be freed up to take more value added decision, more value added analysis, more value added process changes among others. Many companies still have IT systems that operate in silos. Going forward I see a greater consolidation of solutions coming in the market – that combines visibility and intelligent solutions, supported by big data and having more advanced capabilities. This will address broader needs of business users on an everyday basis.

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Sohini Bagchi
Sohini Bagchi is Editor at CXOToday, a published author and a storyteller. She can be reached at [email protected]