We have reached a point where Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been added to almost every digital platform. Phones, watches, and even washing machines are using AI to work faster, smarter, and more efficiently. What used to be limited to large, expensive computer systems now fits in our pockets and gets your clothes clean using less detergent. With AI tools becoming common place for consumer products, what does it mean for your business intelligence tools and how can you leverage it to propel your organization forward?

There are a range of AI tools that have become commercially available in recent years. Many of which are easily attainable for non-technical users.


What AI tools can I use right now?

Popular business intelligence tools such as Power BI and Tableau have been actively developing AI features to expand their functionality for the past few years. Some of these features can be implemented by simply dropping a widget onto a dashboard and others require some configuration. Both platforms have a feature that allows a user to ask a data question in plain text and data is dynamically displayed based on the question asked. For example, a user could ask “what were the total sales by state?”

Power BI’s Q&A Widget uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to interpret the question, find the data, and select a visual type that is appropriate. This AI tool is ideal for the users who want to explore the data beyond what is on the dashboard, but don’t have the technical expertise to dive into the data on their own. This drastically reduces the time and effort needed to analyze the data and make an informed decision.

Similarly, Power BI deploys AI in the Smart Narrative’s feature to produce quick text summaries of visuals. These dynamically update as data is refreshed and advanced users can customize the selected metrics to surface the most relevant information for decisions makers.


AI tools continue to unlock potential in business intelligence

While current AI features rely on reports and visuals to be pre-built, future AI improvements aim to be involved earlier in the process by assisting in the initial development of the report. This could be as simple as entering a business question or selecting what data you want to see and the algorithm will present data. “Show me year over year sales with a focus on product type” could automatically pull data from your sources and output multiple visuals. These types of AI improvements will enable non-technical users to ask business questions, analyze the data, and make informed decisions without needing to involve technical stakeholders.

Current and future AI advances are incredibly exciting and promise to change how we utilize data in ways previously unimagined. Data tools are constantly releasing new features that make advanced techniques standard and unlock new potential opportunities for organizations to innovate. To maximize this potential, it is critical to keep in mind the importance of having well managed and governed data, so these AI tools can work appropriately. Without clean data, these features are at best limited and at worst will provide inaccurate outputs.  AI can be the goal, but it will deliver no competitive advantage without a solid foundation.


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Our team has experience that covers all of the top BI platforms with projects in dozens of industries. Whether you’re ready to start deploying these advanced features or starting to focus on business intelligence, AMEND is here to support and accelerate your goals.