Decision intelligence: The new BI

Business intelligence (BI) platforms are evolving. By adding artificial intelligence and machine learning, companies are transforming data dashboards and business analytics into more comprehensive decision support platforms. This movement toward “decision intelligence” sees its sophisticated mix of tools increasingly embedded into enterprise workflows, when and where decision-makers need them most.

“Decision intelligence is the ability of the enterprise to process large amounts of data to make decisions,” says Nicole France, analyst at Constellation Research. “It’s the same thing that business intelligence was going to do, but accessible throughout the enterprise.”

Some of the most visible examples of decision intelligence in action are recommendation engines, which use analytics to predict which products consumers would find most appropriate, or which movies they should watch next. Tools such as these provide context and pertinent options to help people make better decisions, France says, adding that the dashboards and analytics of traditional BI tools are still valuable, but decision intelligence is more accessible and relevant.

“For people on the front lines, context matters,” she says. “And there’s a degree of complexity that’s difficult to get right. The goal is to present things in a clear, easy to understand way, so people can understand some complex analysis, and make a decision quickly.”

The case for decision intelligence