The breadth of analytics has certainly increased in recent years. So, too, has the pool of people who dip their toe into creating analytics of one sort or the other. The trends toward democratization of data and self-service analytical capabilities are powerful and both have driven a lot of value for organizations in recent years. At the same time, it is possible to go too far.

Read More »

Yes, Artificial Intelligence Is Analytics

By Bill Franks, Sep 14, 2017

There seems to be some confusion as to exactly what artificial intelligence (AI) is, and how the discipline of AI should be categorized. Is AI a form of analytics or is it a totally new discipline that is distinct from analytics? I firmly believe that AI is more closely related to predictive analytics and data science than to any other discipline. One might even argue that AI is the next generation of predictive analytics. Additionally, AI is often utilized in situations where it is necessary to operationalize the analytics process. So, in that sense, AI is also often pushing the envelope of prescriptive, operationalized analytics. It would be a mistake to say that AI is not a form of analytics.

Read More »

O’Reilly AI Conference NYC 2017: Developments in Artificial Intelligence

By Bill Franks, David Alles, Aug 16, 2017

Available to Research & Advisory Network Clients Only

As we reported in Strata Hadoop World 2017 – Big Data and Analytics Developments from the Heart of Silicon Valley, O’Reilly’s Strata Conference already has a heavy focus on machine learning and AI. What makes O’Reilly AI unique, versus Strata, is its exclusive focus on AI and the inclusion of more cutting-edge AI research topics that have huge potential, but are further from commercialization. The objective for this report is to summarize the common themes and key trends emphasized at O’Reilly AI into an easy-to-read guide that can serve as both a general reference and a resource for planning AI initiatives. With this in mind, the report is organized into seven sections.

Read More »

The analysis of Internet of Things (IoT) data is quickly becoming a mainstream activity. For this blog, I’m going to focus on a few unique challenges that you’ll most likely encounter as you move to take IoT data into the AoT realm.

Read More »

Learnings from O’Reilly AI Conference

By David Alles, Bill Franks, Jul 25, 2017

Available to Research & Advisory Network Clients Only

From theoretical use to real-world implementations, Artificial Intelligence is taking a more prominent place in analytics. Last month, IIA’s VP, David Alles, and CAO, Bill Franks attended the O’Reilly AI Conference, and returned with an array of emerging best practices and insights.

Read More »

5 Things New Analytics Leaders Should Do to Succeed

By Bill Franks, Thomas H. Davenport, Jul 19, 2017

Available to Research & Advisory Network Clients Only

There is a fair amount of management research suggesting that the first 90 days or so are the most important time of a leader’s tenure. It’s when you establish your reputation and it determines what people start to think about you in your role. It’s often hard to change those first impressions. Therefore, IIA held a webinar to discuss this very important period for senior analytics leaders like a Chief Analytics Officer, Chief Data Officer, VP of analytics, or similar senior role. This paper captures the key elements of the discussion between Bill Franks and Tom Davenport, which focused on five essential things new analytics leaders should do to set themselves up for success.

Read More »

Artificial intelligence has quickly become one of the hottest topics in analytics. For all the power and promise, however, the opacity of AI models threatens to limit AI’s impact in the short term. The difficulty of explaining how an AI process gets to an answer has been a topic of much discussion. In fact, it came up in several talks in June at the O’Reilly Artificial Intelligence Conference in New York. There are a couple of angles from which the lack of explainability matters, some where it doesn’t matter, and also some work being done to address the issue.

Read More »

Five Big Data Analytics Pitfalls to Be Aware of (And Avoid!)

By Bill Franks, Jun 28, 2017

Available to Research & Advisory Network Clients Only

Many people think that in the age of big data, we always have more than enough information to build robust analytics for almost every situation. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. In fact, there are situations where even massive amounts of data still don’t enable basic predictions to be made with confidence. In many cases, there isn’t much that can be done other than to recognize the facts and stick to basic analytics instead of getting fancy. However, it is critical to recognize the situation before expending a lot of effort in a wasteful attempt to get predictive analytics to work in a situation where success isn’t in the cards. This challenge of big data that can’t be used to predict seems like an impossible paradox at first, but, as you’ll see, it is not.

Read More »

Deep Learning: Einstein or Savant?

By Bill Franks, Jun 08, 2017

Artificial intelligence is one of the hottest topics in analytics today. Currently the most popular member of the AI family, deep learning is solving some very difficult problems very well. Best known for image recognition, it is now being applied to a wide range of other problems. Given the success of the approach, it is easy to forgive people for thinking that deep learning is incredibly intelligent. However, once you dig into deep learning, you’ll find that as opposed to being a generally brilliant algorithm akin to Albert Einstein, it is much more akin to a savant like the famous movie character from Rain Man.

Read More »

Any new leader in any field will have to face several challenges in the first few months on the job if he or she is to succeed. On May 11, IIA hosted a webinar where co-founder Tom Davenport and I discussed some of the challenges analytics leaders face and what they can do to ensure success. While the action steps apply broadly, we focused on how they apply specifically within the realm of analytics. This blog explores the key themes at a high level.

Read More »