Innovative Intelligence: Infusing Artificial Intelligence with Business Intelligence

March 16, 2022
Rick Miller
Product Director

More and more companies across industries are using, investing in or planning to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) to help them make better decisions, improve business processes and increase the speed and accuracy of their strategic decision-making. According to the latest Deltek Clarity Government Contracting Industry Report, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Data Science are the most important technology trends, for both large and small organizations.

While businesses can leverage AI in many different ways, one of the key focuses has been on how it impacts Business Intelligence (BI). Think about all the time spent creating BI content, like Detail and Summary Reports, Dashboards, Visualizations, and Pivot Tables. Then, consider the time spent analyzing that data, asking more questions, and creating new BI content. By the time you finish that process, there is not enough time left to take action on what you have learned─ it’s probably time to refresh the data and start the process over again!

Companies can achieve a higher level of BI maturity by proving more access to data across the organization. Giving the business users the tools to be their own data scientist eliminates the bottleneck of waiting for the few power users to disseminate the data to the business users. To accomplish this, the tools need to be simpler to use, and the data needs to be accessible and understandable.

What if there was a way to get to the point of taking action faster and not having to sift through mountains of data to get your answers? This is what makes AI such a game-changing technology ─ the fact that it can perform similar tasks as human beings, but faster, and with fewer mistakes.

Getting Personal With Your Data

Many of us use virtual assistants in the form of Amazon Echo or Google Home in our everyday lives and enjoy being able to interact with a Siri or Alexa through virtual conversations enabled by natural language processing (NLP). NLP is a form of AI that extracts meaning from human language to make decisions based on the information and makes it easier to interact with your data.

Similar voice-enabled commands are also making it easier to interact with data in our business lives. By typing or speaking directly into the BI interface, and asking questions about your data like “Show me revenue by department, by month, for 2021 and 2022.” As a result, the BI tool produces a visualization or better yet, several suggested visualizations, which you can include in a dashboard or presentation.

Another way to leverage this technology is by selecting sets of data and allowing natural language generation to create insights. This innovative AI functionality can point out hidden issues in your data, spotting problems quicker so you can take action immediately. The process is relatively simple, the AI is scanning the data as a human would, but also more methodically and can review large volumes of data in a short time. In addition, with machine learning, AI should be better each time by learning how you use the information generated.

Making Better Informed Decisions

Data exploration is another way to make more informed decisions to understand how your business performs while providing cause and effect information. For example, an HR department could use data exploration to find a correlation of employee turnover within a specific region, certain job level, or particular skills. Navigating the data and gathering insights can help you quickly make data-informed decisions to manage your business better.

For years we’ve all heard about Big Data and how businesses can leverage large volumes of data for analysis by BI tools. However, the new thinking focuses on small and wide data sets. So, rather than using a big narrow data set, like a list of labor transactions, a more meaningful analysis can be achieved when performed on summarized data ─ with fewer rows and more columns dedicated to attributes related to the data.

Think about a listing of project performance. If you summarize the data and add columns of project attributes, you can perform much deeper analysis and understand what drivers are contributing to the outcomes. These attributes can be the department responsible for the project, the project manager, customer, industry sector, any other significant user-defined field you might have. Thinking carefully about how your data is structured can greatly improve the results.

Innovative Intelligence

When it comes to innovation, Deltek is committed to making our industry-leading solutions easier to use with greater business efficiency and productivity. A great example of this is Deltek Costpoint, where we infuse artificial intelligence with business intelligence, known as Smart AI. In this latest release, Costpoint 8.1, users can now find a combination of pre-built data sets, data modules, and dashboards. This pre-built content leverages the AI capabilities in Costpoint Business Intelligence (based on IBM’s Watson AI) to help users to create and interpret BI content. Costpoint BI leverages NLP, machine learning, and deep analytical capabilities to explore data to help government contractors power their project success.

With the launch of Smart AI Deltek Costpoint utilizes artificial intelligence in two areas, first as an AI Assistant, where you can ask questions of your data to generate visualizations. And second, through Data Exploration, a flexible work area where business users can discover and analyze data in a data set or dashboard visualization, uncovering hidden relationships and patterns that turn analysis into action.

With this release, Deltek is excited to unveil everything Smart AI has to offer as this innovative solution will revolutionize how government contractors interact with their data.  

Learn More About Deltek Costpoint

Deltek is proud to provide government contractors the solutions they need to power their business now and into the future. To learn more about how Costpoint can power your project success, visit the Costpoint Product Blog and discover what purposeful innovation can mean to your business.


About the Author

As Product Director, Rick Miller is responsible for the business intelligence functionality found in Deltek Costpoint, the industry’s leading solution for government contractors. Rick has over 30 years of project-based experience, including 24 years at Deltek. Connect with Rick on LinkedIn.