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Business intelligence and artificial intelligence are a natural fit

Despite the current notion that business intelligence and artificial intelligence are separate disciplines, AI-powered BI is an idea that should get more attention. Over the past month, I spent time at conferences dedicated to both poles of the analytics spectrum: business intelligence and artificial intelligence. I came away wondering why they're so far apart. Both involve number crunching at their core. But while BI is primarily retrospective in nature, AI is all about the future. The statistical analysis behind BI is primarily about basic counts, in contrast with the ultra-sophisticated machine learning and deep learning algorithms that underpin AI. Because of these differences, and the fact that AI as a useful tool is relatively new while BI is yesterday's news, we treat the two disciplines as wholly separate. During my time at the O'Reilly AI Conference in New York in late June, I heard not a single mention of BI. Conversely, at Dresner Advisory Services LLC's Real Business Intelligence conference held on the campus of MIT in July, AI was primarily used as a counterpoint to BI in discussions of the latter's strong business value and high adoption.