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Executive Insights

A Real-Time World Demands Real-Time, Continuous Intelligence

By Sam Mahalingam | Chief Technology Officer | August 6, 2020

It’s a real-time world. To get decisions right, we don’t just need to know what’s happened, but what’s happening now. We also need instant access to that deep insight: what exactly is the data telling us, and what should we do about it.
Increasingly, the answers to these questions will come from continuous intelligence (CI). In an earlier blog post, I listed CI as one of the top technology trends to watch. But this isn’t simply crystal ball gazing… As soon as 2022, Gartner predicts that half of major new business systems will incorporate CI.

But what does CI actually entail? Essentially, it’s the process of using smart tools to transform data and support augmented decision making. To this end, CI combines both historical and real-time data. With the latter being fueled by remarkable growth in IoT deployments, CI will enable us to take full advantage of a world in which billions of devices, as well as people, are permanently connected to one another.

Just like the data sources, the smart tools leveraged by CI will be rich and varied, including augmented analytics, event stream processing, optimization, business rule management, and machine learning (ML). Moreover, in a real-time world, ‘set and forget’ is no longer an option. Markets change, behaviors evolve, events happen. Today’s predictor will not work forever. In fact, it might not even work tomorrow. In response, CI delivers tools that will learn on their own, continually adapting and improving.

The question of who CI will support is every bit as significant as how it works. CI is very much about empowering front-line decision makers. But using artificial intelligence (AI) and ML to circumvent the need for ‘expert’ human input does not just mean faster, more cost-efficient support. It also reduces the risk of unconscious bias and introduces the potential to identify patterns that are hidden from human sight.

To this end, CI will be embedded into existing workflows, enabling better decision making to become an integral part of day-to-day business process. For comparison, consider how mobile mapping apps operate. Leveraging real time data such as traffic flow, they provide us with continually updated information on the optimum route and our expected time of arrival. In an enterprise setting, it is not difficult to envisage how the same principles, powered by CI, will bring game-changing benefits to numerous applications. Predictive maintenance programs and intelligent scheduling of complex logistics operations are just two of the more obvious examples.

Here at Altair, we’re already heavily invested in real-time data analytics. Altair Panopticon™, for example, is established as an industry leader for supporting electronic trading operations in global banking and asset markets. Reflecting the growing importance throughout industry of real-time monitoring and analysis of high-volume, high-speed data streams, the latest version is also designed to support sectors as diverse as manufacturing, logistics, telecoms, oil and gas production, and energy distribution. You’ll find more details on Panopticon here. As for CI, watch this space and Altair.