Harnessing the Power of Business Intelligence Augmentation for Competitive Advantage

In an era of digital transformation, organizations are continuously seeking ways to leverage data into actionable insights that drive business success. To do so, they employ Analytics and Business Intelligence (ABI), which Gartner defines as “an umbrella term that includes the applications, infrastructure and tools, and best practices that enable access to and analysis of information to improve and optimize decisions and performance.”

Fierce competition in a challenging economic environment has created something of an AI “arms race,” with rival companies trying to outdo one another by employing AI to augment their human expertise. Generative and predictive AI are increasingly in demand, across a wide range of use cases. Evalueserve is at the forefront of this new frontier in competitive, automated business analytics.

Business Intelligence (BI) has been an essential tool in this endeavor, but as technology continues to evolve, so does the landscape of BI. The latest development in this field is Business Intelligence Augmentation (BIA), an advanced form of BI that promises to revolutionize decision-making processes by blending human and machine expertise.

In this article, we will explore the concept of BIA, its evolution, and its impact on businesses, integrating insights we’ve gleaned through our work in this developing field.

What is Business Intelligence Augmentation?

Business Intelligence Augmentation is an evolved form of BI that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to augment human intelligence, automate insights generation, and streamline the decision-making process. BIA addresses the problem of analyzing millions of data points, while incorporating domain-specific expertise, to filter out what’s unimportant and derive authentic insight.

BIA doesn’t simply corral, analyze, and report on data at scale. When correctly trained, prompted and targeted by Evalueserve’s domain experts, it achieves a laser-focused analysis of a given market, sector, or trend, providing highly accurate and actionable information in a fraction of the time it would take whole teams of data scientists to achieve.

Key to how BIA works is the concept of “augmentation.” There’s no need to construct doomsday scenarios in which BIA systems will replace human analysts. As Microsoft, who have developed their own proprietary BIA systems, point out, “augmented analytics doesn’t replace but rather augments human intelligence, intuition, and curiosity”.

Human domain expertise and intuition is still key to the process. The difference that BIA makes is allowing data analysis to become more predictive and prescriptive, rather than simply presenting patterns and trends.

The ability to offer action-orientated insights enhances businesses’ ability to anticipate market trends and make proactive decisions.

The Evolution of Business Intelligence to Business Intelligence Augmentation

BI has evolved significantly since the term was first coined (in 1865 by writer Richard Millar Devens in his “Cyclopaedia of Commercial and Business Anecdotes”). Whereas intelligence gathering was once a laborious process requiring whole teams of data scientists, assisted by technology, it is now a significantly automated process.

However, as any user of Generative AI knows, poor prompting and targeting produces poor results. Or more colloquially, garbage in, garbage out.

However, even when trained on the best datasets, and prompted to produce useful information, BI had its limitations. It still made the process of decision-making, based upon observable patterns, largely a matter of guesswork or intuition. Once automation joined forces with truly intelligent, predictive AI, this limitation disappeared, and the era of Business Intelligence Augmentation began.

By integrating AI and machine learning, BIA transforms data analysis from a primarily reactive process to a proactive one. It automates many of the labor-intensive aspects of BI, augmenting human knowhow with machine intelligence to deliver faster, more accurate insights.

The key components of any BIA system include:

  • Machine Learning: the ability for a system to learn by recognizing patterns and correlations in large datasets.
  •   Automation: once prompted, the ability to run its own program through to completion, including processes formerly achieved by human analysts.
  • Natural Language Processing: the ability to decode and understand human-generated text and speech, and to recreate it convincingly.

These AI abilities work alongside human domain knowledge and data science to create reports, dashboards, and summaries that provide fully evidenced, convincing recommendations. It’s then up to the executives receiving these reports to decide how to respond.

The Impact of Business Intelligence Augmentation on Decision-Making

Previously, Business Intelligence couldn’t authentically predict risk and make assessments of future outcomes. This meant that its products were informative and helpful, but did not provide recommendations, which left the hard work of decision-making entirely in the hands of executives.

Business Intelligence Augmentation significantly impacts the decision-making process by providing real-time, context-sensitive insights. Augmented analytics, a core component of BIA, can highlight trends, identify anomalies, and predict future outcomes. These outcomes can be ranked according to likelihood, offering a probabilistic assessment of what the future might hold.

This predictive capability allows businesses to anticipate market changes and adjust their strategies proactively, leading to a competitive advantage. Although never 100% foolproof, because outlier events like wars, pandemics and natural disasters cannot easily be predicted, this evolution in BI is causing a sea-change in how large corporations operate.

Evalueserve’s clients are strategizing with BIA already. Like the pharmaceutical giant reducing errors by 40% with forecast modeling. Or providing evidence for strategic decision-making in a major Saudi bank. Or a tech giant doubling the speed of their new product sales process with research automation and accelerated data gathering. Or a medical device company identifying a brand new market for one of its products, and shaping marketing strategy accordingly.

BIA’s future is limited only by the human imagination. BIA could be used by healthcare providers to identify cohorts of patients likely to suffer from specific conditions, then offer screening or preventative services. It might suggest product line innovations, based on consumer sentiment analysis. It may even provide political candidates with insights into the likely success of their campaign strategies, compared to rivals.

Although the decisions taken based on BIA generated reports will always be human ones, they will be better evidenced and better informed.

Advantages of Implementing a Business Intelligence Augmentation Strategy

Business Intelligence Augmentation can yield numerous benefits, from automating competitive monitoring to boosting profitability.

Evalueserve has designed its BIA solutions to emphasize better decision-making, to increase operational efficiency, and to improve strategic alignment. However, the benefits of BIA can be found at all stages of the data gathering process.

We have created a BIA resource, the Analytics Virtual Assistant, to help businesses navigate the increasing complexity and volume of data. By automating data collection, cleaning, and analysis, BIA reduces the risk of human error and frees up time for business analysts to focus on more strategic tasks.

There are even tools to automate real-time competitor monitoring and produce alerts and reports on new product lines, launches, capital investments, hires, and patent applications.

Like a chess grandmaster, with BIA you’ll never miss a move your opponent makes, as you think several moves ahead.

Key Components of an Effective Business Intelligence Augmentation Solution

An effective Business Intelligence Augmentation solution should incorporate all five phases of data analytics:

These include:

  •  Descriptive Analytics: Describing what happened, based on past data.
  • Diagnostic Analytics: Analyzing why a particular trend or outlier event occurred.
  • Predictive Analytics: Predicting probable outcomes based on existing patterns.
  • Prescriptive Analytics: Suggesting potential courses of action, ranked by the probable outcome.
  • Streaming Analytics: Continuous, detailed, monitoring of the competitive landscape.

These are the five components that Evalueserve has identified as essential to the modern BI armory. These five elements break down into many automated and algorithmic stages, so we’ve created a suite of domain-specific tools to further speed up our BI processes.

We’ve integrated all five analytic approaches into the solutions on our AIRA platform, providing one accessible toolkit.


Best Practices for Implementing Business Intelligence Augmentation

Implementing Business Intelligence Augmentation effectively can be a complex task, but certain practices can help businesses ensure an effective transition to this new method of intelligence gathering.

First, it’s crucial to ensure high-quality data. The accuracy and usefulness of BIA insights depend on the quality of the data input. Regular data cleaning and verification processes are essential. Fortunately, here, automation can help, assisted by human data specialists.

Second, training and education are critical. As BIA involves advanced technologies such as AI and machine learning, staff members should receive appropriate training to understand and effectively use the new tools. This training should include both the limitations and advantages of BIA.

Third, organizations must align BIA initiatives with overall business strategy. BIA is not just another tool; it’s a strategic asset that can drive significant business improvement. The choice of BIA processes should follow overall business strategy, generally, although it can, in time, inform changes of strategic direction too.

Finally, businesses should consider partnering with a company like Evalueserve, with extensive experience in the development and implementation of BI and BIA. With over 20 years in the business, Evalueserve has fought and won all the early technological battles, meaning our clients no longer have to.

Evalueserve’s expertise guide businesses through the implementation process and helps them maximize the value of their BIA assets and investments.

Final Thoughts on Business Intelligence Augmentation

For businesses to succeed in the 21st century, they must utilize the impressive power of generative and predictive AI, coupled with a focus on better data generation and analysis.

Business Intelligence Augmentation is the new science of doing just that. As we embrace an era of AI-enhanced business insight generation, Evalueserve is leading the way with more sophisticated BIA tools and systems than ever before.

Implementing a BIA solution can seem daunting, but with the right practices and support, businesses can successfully incorporate BIA into their decision-making processes, and achieve ever-greater success.

BIA has the potential to deliver remarkable business benefits, if well-handled. With the support of experienced partners like Evalueserve, businesses can navigate this exciting new journey effectively and confidently.


Cody Viars-Whisinnand
Cody Whisinnand

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