Artificial intelligence (AI) has become ubiquitous across industries; its reach and the value it drives are remarkable. In the realm of business intelligence (BI) and analytics, AI has been a powerful, behind-the-scenes force for a long time, assisting data analysts in extracting insights from structured and unstructured data sources, automating data preparation, generating insights, and creating visualizations.
With the advent of generative AI, many industries have been incorporating it into their products, and the BI and analytics domain is no exception. By integrating generative AI into BI, business users can interact with AI using natural language to generate visualizations and extract insights.
The ever-increasing volume of data generated daily by modern business tools makes traditional data analysis methods insufficient. BI tools are now leveraging AI to continue supporting businesses in data analysis, insight extraction, and decision-making.
So how exactly is AI used in data analytics?
By combining advanced analytics techniques with AI, businesses can extract meaningful insights even from large and complex datasets. Without AI, this would either be impossible or could take days using traditional analytical models.
Let's delve into some specific applications of AI in different stages of data analytics, particularly in the case of Zoho Analytics, which offers AI capabilities through Zia, Zoho's intelligent assistant.
Ask Zia (Generative AI & NLQ)
Traditionally, business executives have relied on technical experts to interpret data, which created a disconnect between the decision-makers and the data. To bridge this gap and democratize access to data, generative AI and natural language querying play a crucial role.
With Ask Zia, business users can simply ask questions related to data in plain natural language, and Zia will retrieve answers in the form of reports and widgets.
- Supports English and Spanish
- Comes pre-trained for business apps
- Can be trained to understand the language and semantics of your organization
Zia Insights (AI & NLG)
When business users encounter visualizations, they often spend considerable time analyzing them to derive insights. Zia Insights simplifies this process by providing detailed insights at the click of a button. By using AI and natural language generation (NLG), Zia Insights presents insights in easy-to-consume narratives, saves time, and ensures that no insights are overlooked during manual analysis.
- Access contextualized insights instantly
- Receive insights in the form of easily understandable narratives
- Quickly access insights and actions and enhance decision-making efficiency
Zoho Analytics also offers a seamless integration with OpenAI, to simplify data analysis for business users as well as technical people. Below are the processes where you can leverage it to get insights faster:
SQL query creation
Finding external datasets
To learn how the OpenAI integration works and how to set up the integration for your account, click here.
If you're interested in learning how businesses can gain a competitive edge by leveraging generative AI alongside BI, you can watch our webinar.
In addition to these capabilities, there's one crucial area where AI can significantly enhance data analysis: forecasting trends.
Predictive analytics with AI
While analyzing past and present data provides valuable insights into business performance, to truly stay ahead and achieve faster growth, forecasting future outcomes becomes essential. This is where AI can play a crucial role in improving the accuracy and efficiency of the forecasting process.
AI-powered forecasting models can learn from historical data and identify patterns, resulting in more precise forecasts. These accurate predictions enable businesses to make better decisions and plan for the future with confidence.
Let's see an example:
Suppose you have sales and advertising spending data for a year, and you want to forecast your sales for the next few months. Zia, with its AI capabilities, can provide you with predicted sales for the upcoming months based on this historical data.
But it doesn't end there.
What if you see reduced sales in forecasted projections? You can decide to increase your advertising spend by 10% or 20% for the upcoming months, but do you know how that will impact your sales? With Zoho Analytics, you can conduct what-if analysis for your forecasted data.
This cause-and-effect model allows you to simulate variables easily, such as the ad budget, and instantly see the projected impact on sales. By simply dragging the ad budget slider, you can observe the sales you'll potentially achieve under different advertising budget scenarios. Below is a sample report:
As you can see, when the additional ad spending is at 0%, that is, maintaining the same ad budget results in a decline in sales for the upcoming four months. If you aim to achieve increased sales, you must raise the ad budget by at least 3% of your current sales, in addition to the existing ad budget you're already spending.
This report offers you the ability to not only forecast your sales for the upcoming months but also simulate various scenarios. You can experiment by increasing your advertising budget and observe how it impacts your forecasted sales.
AI-driven predictive analytics empowers businesses to forecast future trends with greater precision and enables smarter decision-making and proactive planning for growth.
With Zia's capabilities in Zoho Analytics, businesses can visualize data in seconds, get to insights even faster, and perform what-if analysis effortlessly.
Move to the next stage in data analytics with Zoho Analytics
With generative AI in BI tools and the implementation of AI-powered forecasting models, businesses can stay ahead of the competition and achieve faster growth. Embracing AI alongside BI equips businesses with the tools and capabilities necessary to thrive in this modern data-driven landscape. As technology continues to evolve, the synergy between AI and data analytics promises to reshape industries and open new avenues for success.
It's time for you to unlock the full potential of your data. In addition to generative AI and predictive analytics capabilities, a powerful business intelligence software like Zoho Analytics supports integration with 250+ data sources, and offers 75+ visualization types and pre-generated reports for business apps.
Sign up with Zoho Analytics for a free 15-day trial and simplify data analytics for your business.