April 1, 2011 – Business intelligence programs and search that operates like the futuristic computers of Hollywood blockbusters? It’s not that far out of reach, according to a new vendor-backed report.

The differences between business intelligence and artificial intelligence are blurring, according to the report, “Can Watson Change Business Intelligence?” from Manthan Systems, a BI and analytics provider. Referencing IBM’s deep analytics computing system, Watson, flaunted recently on TV quiz show “Jeopardy!,” the Manthan report cites advances in technological innovation and emerging user behavior as the main forces driving BI and AI cohesion.

In six months of research and interactions with retail and CRM analysts, the report indicates BI will move toward a model based on human question-and-answer templates. Ajith Nayar, author of the report and associate director at Manthan Systems, said that the end goal – which could mostly be in place within the next three years – is BI functionality that operates like the future-seeing computer The Oracle from the technological science-fiction thriller, “The Matrix.”

“BI design has to allow for this iterative process,” says Nayar. “Static sales reports, or for that matter what we traditionally call reporting, is passé. Tomorrow’s BI systems will have the ability to engage with the user until he has reached a conclusion or a point of action.”

This form of iterative artificial intelligence includes the rise of unstructured data, or “big data,” as a BI tool, language interpretation of content, and virtualization and mobile capabilities that can bring BI to any location with Web access, the report states.

Nayar admits that availability of these applications is limited and harnessed primarily by top-tier organizations. However, the report outlines quick maturation and possibilities for industry-specific iterative BI solutions.


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