Is enterprise system of insight (ESI) a new concept for you? We’ll explore what an ESI does, the key focus areas, and the benefits it brings to large companies.

At the enterprise level, data analytics can present several challenges. One is the variety of data – both structured (databases, text files) and unstructured (social media, streaming) – that must be processed. Advances in Big Data technologies have made data processing faster and more efficient, but there are still certain techniques that must be used for everything to function optimally.

Another challenge for large-scale analytics is accessibility. Getting insights to various parts of an enterprise is difficult enough, but making information widely and quickly available across departments, functions, and even geographies is quite a different task!

To smooth these sticking points, analytics providers use a concept called ‘system of insight.’ Forrester had defined a system of insight as one that ‘discovers the insights that matter the most,’ ‘that help companies close the loop between data and action’, and ‘uncovers new, actionable knowledge that can be embedded into the software to engage, and continuously measures and learns from the results’. These systems include not just technology but people and processes as well.

In other words, an ESI is all about finding insights and making them accessible across the enterprise. But can’t we say the same thing for all AI-enhanced data analytics? How does an ESI fit into this process?

ESI At Work

Enterprise system of insight is used to support smart, agile decision making throughout the organization. It combines data from different sources (e.g. structured data from databases and file systems with CRM and social network data). This data lives in separate areas – in IT terms, the system of record and the system of engagement – and only reaches its full value when it’s combined, analyzed, and evaluated in the light of business rules. And if you guessed that the amalgamation, analysis, and evaluation happen in the system of insight, you’d be 100% correct.

In this day and age, few people need to be convinced about the value of data-driven decisions and processes, so we won’t belabor the point. Let’s move on to the key focus areas of ESI.

Key Focus Areas and Benefits

Essentially, an ESI does four things for large businesses:

  • Provide a single source of truth across the entire organization. This allows everyone to stay in sync, consume the same information, and respond to alerts and events as they occur.
  • When teamed with language-recognition capabilities, the ESI can supply answers to natural-language questions, greatly reducing the time spent finding relevant insights.
  • Using comprehensive data views, it can identify a broader set of actual business performance drivers and develop actionable, forward-looking recommendations.
  • An ESI facilitates multiple AI and machine learning activities, including business scenario simulations, predictive analytics, process automation, and more. The insights it delivers can make it easier to correct the course and adapt to changing business conditions.

Again, the desirability of these areas is self-evident. Automating the modeling process reduces the time and effort involved and speeds the availability of insights. Incorporating multiple data sources leads to a richer, more accurate picture of your customers, market, etc. Real-time information makes your company much more agile; you can alter course quickly if needed.

ESI also give you the ability to scale information across your organization – once you implement a service is one area, you can more easily expand to other categories and answer questions coming from other business functions.

And, of course, there’s the flexibility inherent in real-time information gathering and modeling. COVID-19 left many models unusable; they were geared for scenarios that were no longer accurate. But an ESI can serve as a platform for predictive modeling, business simulations, and scenario building, allowing you to develop models in tune with sudden changes.

Learn More about ESI

Now that you know the basics of ESI, you may want to dig deeper. There are plenty of resources and solution guides available online to do a deep dive into systems of insight. Or, if you prefer to discuss your options with an expert, you can contact our Technology team and evaluate how an ESI will help your analytics endeavors.


Authored by: Dr. Sudeep Haldar, SVP of Growth Analytics and AI Solutions at Absolutdata


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