Advisor spotlight: How AI is transforming business intelligence

May 23, 2023
Office Hours

AI is rapidly impacting nearly every industry and function, and most professionals have questions about how the technology will impact their corner of the working world.

In this series, we explore how AI is impacting specific functions, who the technology will benefit most, and how to best position yourself or your company to take advantage of it.

Office Hours recently spoke with Drew Goulart, GTM Lead at Zenlytic, about how large-language models are enabling the true potential of self-serve business intelligence.

P.S. - if you’d like to continue the conversation with Drew, you can book him on Office Hours.

We hope you enjoy!

How is generative AI transforming the field of business intelligence?

"Generative AI has already infused itself into business intelligence tools in multiple capacities. Some tools are using ‘predictive AI’ to analyze large datasets, identify patterns and predict outcomes. Others are using LLMs to increase the velocity of insights and make data more accessible to more people.

Whether it’s causal analytics, predictive analytics or self-serve exploration – generative AI is enabling more people to get more value from data."

Who will benefit most from these innovations?

"Non-technical business users. The people that are leading revenue, marketing, and operations teams who rely on data but don’t have the SQL/data skills to unlock the insights they need. Some people in the data community argue that business users need data teams to tell them what questions to ask, what metrics to analyze and how they should act on the data. That group of people might argue that the best way to empower business users is to build AI enabled solutions to empower data teams so that they can do more for their business users. 

The problem there is that data teams may lack the necessary business context to action data in the same way business leaders can. Business leaders are domain experts that intimately understand the nuances of their data and what’s worth measuring. That’s why others, like Zenlytic, believe the best way to benefit non-technical end users is to give them BI tools they can understand and use."

What are common concerns, reservations, or misconceptions you have observed when it comes to the adoption of emerging AI-based technologies?

"LLMs are predictive algorithms that have a tendency to hallucinate and make stuff up. When you are making million dollar decisions based on data, you need to be able to rely on that data completely.

LLMs are revolutionary. They just need the proper guardrails so that they can be trusted."

How is Zenlytic positioning itself for the future of AI?

"At Zenlytic, we are combining the power of LLMs with the accuracy of our semantic layer, to make data analytics fast, reliable and accessible to everybody. We use LLMs to comprehend complex data questions and we use our semantic layer to consistently define metrics, join tables and compile complex sql queries that are 100% accurate, always. We’ve built a fully featured BI tool that you can talk to."

What excites you most about the future of AI in the business intelligence space?

"Candidly, what excites me the most about AI in the business intelligence space is that it’s not just a shiny new toy. It solves a real problem that every company is struggling with.

Data teams waste up to 75% of their day answering ad hoc data questions from their business users. Business teams wait days to get answers to their data questions and often disregard using data to avoid the hassle.

Self-serve business intelligence enables data teams and business teams to focus their time where they are uniquely positioned to add value so their company can grow faster and smarter."

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