The Transformative Power of Operational Intelligence

By Tom Palmieri, Director, Operational Intelligence and Service Management, Melillo Consulting

Being able to predict the next big trend and real-time business insights is the hallmark of a tech-savvy business: Every business owner wants to be prepared for the “next big thing.” Today, software can analyze data to determine not only who current customers are and what they want, but also how inform businesses how those shoppers want to spend their money. Software can also help detect security breaches as well as help prevent ones in the future. Operational intelligence can help provide those insights, by identifying emerging business patterns and detecting critical anomalies.

Operational Intelligence offers organizations critical real-time insight into what is actually going on in the business, so questions about key business metrics as well as exceptions can be immediately addressed. That includes manufacturing software that can help you see patterns of behavior, detect what is out of sorts with the norm and bring it to your attention quickly. Operational intelligence (OI) provides a way for companies to move from simply collecting information to having that  data actually drive their predictive analytics.

All businesses that rely on computing systems, on cloud services, have critical applications, use mobile devices, or have automated machinery, should use OI. In other words, everyone.

Three Ways Operational Intelligence Can Help Businesses

The only way to make informed decisions or take decisive actions is to be armed with operational visibility and insights. Organizations that implement OI are more aware of their current business situation, and how that will impact their future. OI can help businesses:

  1. Detect fraud. Behavioral analytics studies all actions on a network in real time to highlight abnormalities that may indicate fraud. It can also detect zero-day vulnerabilities and advanced persistent threats.
  2. Optimize marketing. Predictive analytics learns from customers’ prior buying habits to determine future ones, as well as to identify cross-sell opportunities. Such models help businesses foster loyalty, particularly among the most profitable customers.
  3. Reduce meaningless alerts. IT encounters hundreds (or more) meaningless alerts daily, having to pull disparate reports to see information in one place. That takes time away from other, high-value tasks that are central to the business. Alert fatigue is real. OI can reduce meaningless alerts and provide clarity about ones that are relevant by offering context.

OI does more than simply investigate what just happened, it can provide predictive analytics, that can help solve problems and identify new opportunities. While OI is similar to business intelligence (BI ), BI focuses on analyzing what happened in the past and supporting decisions you might make in the future.  Operational intelligence however is about measuring the operations of your business in real time It's simply a matter of how you want to drive your car. You can look out the back window at what's behind you or straight ahead through the windshield, what's coming toward you.

(NEXT: Where to Start with Operational Intelligence)

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