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The New Paradigm of Fashion Business Intelligence (BI)

by Ganesh Subramanian

One of the things many executives do is open up their dashboards in the morning. they review key KPI’s, alerts. To get to this level of sophistication, it took thousands of IT hours to cleanse, prepare and develop tools that executives can use. They are slow to change, expensive and very static.  In this scenario data and information are passive, waiting for a tool or a human to use it. This type of tool is not enough and will be a dinosaur in the time to come.

The BI vendors throw functionalities but the real value for the organisation is in data management, augmentation, cleansing, ability to handle multiple data forms and derive value out of it.

The current state of BI is human seeking out information. The future paradigm is information-seeking users. The future can be learnt from our human biology. In biology, homeostasis is the state of steady internal physical and chemical conditions maintained by living systems. This dynamic state of equilibrium is the condition of optimal functioning for the organism and includes many variables, such as body temperature and fluid balance, being kept within certain pre-set limits (homeostatic range). All homeostatic control mechanisms have at least three interdependent components for the variable being regulated: a receptor, a control centre, and an effector. They work in tandem to maintain equilibrium.

Future will be Active bots, they are algorithms that will seek out trends, anomalies and patterns. They will integrate their findings into visual tools, alerting tools, control systems and possibly interrupt human behaviours with new information.

They will learn who the right consumer of this information is by following trends and patterns of use. BI vendors will compete to build the best bots that are programmable, flexible, and not super noisy.

The Need to Know Why and What Will Happen

Data and information are lifeless without use. This includes the various velocities of data: real-time streams and data at rest. Today a business intelligence tool is driven by a user, most visuals tell you ‘what’ happened but not ‘why’ something happened or ‘what could’ happen next. The need to know ‘why’ and ’what will happen’ next is what fed our need for ‘Data Science.’ The business intelligence tools of tomorrow will see a convergence of data science and business intelligence into a single set of tools that will be easy to use and seamless to its consumer or application programming interface (API).

Data science is a very difficult discipline, it requires super humans capable of understanding four things: domain knowledge, mathematics, software programming, and different advanced analytic techniques.

Connected Bots: Neural Network of Things

Today’s business intelligence is mostly monolithic. It lives outside of the working enterprise as a disconnected source of information detailing organizational performance. It works within human processes that hope to operationalize change in business activities in order to optimize revenues or decrease costs. Don’t get me wrong, these things are great. However, they are not enough. We need business intelligence to be connected to our world, particularly considering the amount of sensors and data that can flow in from discrete systems in the organisations.

In Summary,  The future is a vast configuration of active, almost aware, algorithms that are constantly looking for trends, outliers, and opportunities. Consider the business intelligence of the future to be almost sentient or human-like.

It is time to reflect and ask

1. Are you having the right vendor partners or internal skills which combine the combination of domain knowledge, mathematics, software programming, data pipeline skills (including augmentation not just using as is where is basis) and different advanced analytic techniques?

2. Are you still in the dashboard creation space?

It is time to make a shift in looking for the relevant skill sets inside and outside who will take you towards the future not backward. This is a process of transformation and may create some discomfort in adoption. This needs a transformation journey and the methodology of managing this might need a closer look. We elaborated the change management required in our earlier article “Foonshot: A radical way to realising your fashion moonshots”

We at Stylumia are building the next generation of fashion BI which architecturally an active bot which can manage information across the enterprise and even outside the enterprise and deliver actionable intelligence. We are constantly building the foundation and enable our customers to be future-ready.

If you are interested in transforming your Technology intensity, it is time to review your BI solution. Please reach out to us to make your brand future-proof and before it is too late.