Thursday, February 15, 2007

Adaptive Buisiness Intelligence

Last night I participated in a presentation on Adaptive Business Intelligence organised by Telecommunication Society of Australia (TSA). As ACS and TSA are working closely now, we were also invited. It sounded like a more of an ACS subject than a TSA one though!

Presenter, Prof. Zbigniew Michalewicz of School of Computer Science , Adelaide University was an interesting person and he is like the icon in Adaptive BI. He said that the word 'Adaptive' is his creation in AI world, and is gaining popularity now and has been included into the curriculum by few universities and now is planning on many things to further popularise it in the next few years(eg: a conference about it). He runs a company by the name of SolveIT (, which develops ABI solutions for major companies.

Traditional AI/BI spoke about predicting and decision making, but he argues that it is no use if it can not be adaptive to situations, so his solutions has an additional layer for adaptivity. He has co-authored a book on Adaptive Business Intelligence.

Presentation was very good and hybrid in nature, I would call, covered theoretical basics using ppt slides but also did explain 3 practical examples by showing us the actual applications. These were systems he has done for companies like General Motors. Grahical representation of adaptivity was cool.

Something that really struck me was even though he was an academic, he understands business realities and priorities so well and is flexible towards them (He himself is a businessman now!). For example, even though optimisation is essential in AI, he is not very fussed about it like pure academics. Solutions do have an optimisation factor, but he does not try to near 100%.(100% is anyway difficult, so after achieving an acceptable level that deliveries significant profits/cost savings, putting lot of effort after that does not make a big difference in a business sense because improvement will be by decimal percents)

By the way, last week, I participated in another talk on "Business Value Analysis" which tried to analyse 'The creation or destruction of Value' through IT project investments. Anthony Cavallaro, a Project Manager at EDS did this presentation. This was organised by ACS Project Management SIG (Special Interest Group). PM SIG meets every month and discusses about something like this with the help of a facilitator. This presentation was fairly theoretical, provided with the tools for this analysis and tried to encourage further reading rather than provide in-depth information.

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