In the ever-changing economic landscape, business intelligence is an integral part of an organisation’s ‘scalable success’. When employees make critical decisions for a company, it must be backed by real-time data to reduce missteps and increase the probability of future success.

To clearly define business outcomes, organisations are increasingly looking at integrating business intelligence (BI) and data analytics in their workflows. In the recent IDC data strategy survey, 52% of software companies and 50%of finance companies confirmed the use of BI to identify new revenue streams. This strategy is key to growing the business.

Closer to home, the UK business intelligence market is projected to reach a CAGR of 9.2% during the forecast period between 2021-2026 according to Mordor Intelligence.

Unpacking the Evolution of BI Into the Cloud

BI uses software and services to transform data into insights for an organisation. BI comes in ‘generations’, with each generation progressively improving as a new generation emerges.

Generation 1 focused on the on-premise server, IT generated reports and static data being transferred.

Meanwhile, Generation 2 focuses on empowering the business with self-service, interacting with dashboards and serving the insights needed. Gen 2 BI also focuses on making data more consumable, easy to use, and accessible by putting the power into the hands of the business.

However, Gen 2 has scaling issues, and dashboards are not accepted as predicted. Stakeholders across organisations find these particular dashboards hard to interpret, creating resistance in incorporating dashboards within workflows.

Gen 3 of Business Intelligence and the New ‘Age of Action’

Data analytics has evolved, and we are currently entering “Gen 3” of BI and analytics. Gen 3 BI ushers in the “Age of Action”, with a new, agile way of using AI and analytics for every decision. Commentators expect this generation to revolutionise how we drive business innovation.

In the Age of Action, insights arising from analytics and AI are no longer a luxury, but a necessity for being competitive in the market. Whether it be to hire new staff, developing customer insights or analysing internal processes and workflows; all can be improved with AI.

This is where Gen 3 comes in. Gen 3 focuses on the cloud and AI-driven analytics to deliver data at a point of need. It allows users to be physically remote, have more data at their fingertips, and have personalised data and real-time insights with contextual understanding.

Gen 3 addresses how humans interact and absorb analytics and real-time insights. For example, a marketer might be alerted to real-time advertising or campaign performance by an AI-driven platform for immediate action, which changes based on the marketer’s personalised workflow. This will be the same with BI; the most applicable data to the situation will be shown to a user first.

Cloud, BI and Unlocking Fresh Business Opportunities

Organisations who take advantage of Gen 3 BI are able to improve efficiencies, identify risks and turn data into real-time actionable insights. Here are three recent examples of how BI is having a positive impact on businesses.

Learning Pool

Global online training provider, Learning Pool, recently embedded Sisense BI tools to combine the power of its leading AI-driven analytics cloud platform with the world’s most-widely installed Learning Record Store (LRS), Learning Locker. With more than a billion data points under management, Learning Pool customers use Learning Locker to help manage their learning records.

Learning Pool is getting ready to launch a new addition to the Learning Pool suite, aptly named “Insights”. This new addition will incorporate Sisense’s AI capabilities for personalisation and automatic intelligence, helping transform data into real insights.

Insights will create AI-powered, expertly designed dashboards built specifically for learning data analysis.

By presenting accessible, adaptable and actionable visualisations that are grouped together as meaningful dashboards, Insights provides Learning Pool clients with actionable insights about the past, present and potential future performance of their learning ecosystem and their users.

Open Banking

UK-based Open Banking Reporting (OBR), a data-driven risk management fintech, teamed up with Sisense and data science company Profusion to launch a new platform, OpenRep, that helps lenders provide greater support to SMEs.

Eddie Curran, CEO of OBR, said: “OpenRep uses advanced analytics and robotic automation to deliver real-time automated monitoring, pro-active alerts and actionable insights to users. This enables Lenders and SMEs to address business risks earlier in the cycle thereby reducing costs and developing stronger business relationships.

“With Sisense, we have been able to develop an early-warning system that can help SME owners and Lenders identify risks and opportunities with not just the most up-to-date data, but the tools and technology to turn it into actionable insights.”

Air Canada

Using the Sisense Fusion Platform, Air Canada was able to build powerful proofs of concept to improve safety across the airline. By pushing actionable data to their stakeholders (frontline employees and executives), Air Canada enabled these stakeholders to focus and immediately act upon important insights about their day-to-day activities.

Air Canada is Canada’s largest international and domestic airline, serving more than 50 million passengers every year. Air Canada was able to develop new innovations like delivering crucial and personalised data to their employees and frontline workers. Results from testing proved that there was not a one-size-fits-all approach in sharing data and insights with employees.

Shaul Shalev, safety analytics & innovation manager at Air Canada, said: “The extensibility that the Sisense Fusion Platform offers is the major differentiator from all the other big players who have BI tools. We would not have been able to develop the game-changing analytics innovation we have today without having this platform to build on.“

“The simplicity of being able to take a complex database and transfer that into a more nimble and better-managed data model so we could experiment and develop infused analytics were paramount.”

The Future of BI in the Cloud – What’s Next?

The future of BI and the cloud is exceptionally exciting. There are many facets of BI which organisations can benefit from in the near future. From personalised graphs, a new generation of analytics using AI to code-less customisation and extensibility options. The possibilities of BI are endless. It’s no wonder many forward-thinking organisations are seeing BI as key to their operations moving forward.

About Sisense

Sisense goes beyond traditional business intelligence by providing organisations with the ability to infuse analytics everywhere, embedded in both customer and employee applications and workflows. Sisense customers are breaking through the barriers of analytics adoption by going beyond the dashboard with Sisense Fusion – the highly customizable, AI-driven analytics cloud platform, that infuses intelligence at the right place and the right time, every time. More than 2,000 global companies such as GitLab, UiPath, Tinder, Nasdaq, GE, Rolls Royce and Philips Healthcare rely on Sisense to innovate, disrupt markets and drive meaningful change in the world. Ranked as the No. 1 Business Intelligence company in terms of customer success, Sisense has also been named one of the Forbes’ Cloud 100, The World’s Best Cloud Companies, five years in a row. Visit us at and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

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