Power of Analytics: Beyond The Realm Of Imagination

Be it healthcare, financial fraud or even our day-to-day activities – analytics has the power to find solutions to most complex issues that the future is set to throw at us

A very bright light is shining today through the power of analytics. Years ago, decisions based on gut feelings and intuition were replaced with decisions based on data. Tedious hand calculations were replaced with reliable algorithms which were executed by machines. Food for thought: To discover the origin of analytics, machine learning, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI), we could go back a couple of decades and still find traces of these technologies.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have amplified the conversations about the role of algorithms in all sectors. But analytics has always been a differentiator between those who use it and those who do not, or those who use it strategically and those who use it only tactically in isolation. For decades, analytics and data management have followed advances in technology and specifically advances in computing. Analytics adapted to the availability and capacity of computing. As processes are executed faster and memory capacity and storage increases, it becomes easier to solve bigger problems with more and more complex analytics and not just textbook theories.

At the SAS Global Forum 2018, Oliver Schabenberger, COO & CTO, SAS said that he is a lifelong learner. He spent 25 years of his first 30 years in classrooms to eventually find out that what he had learned had largely become irrelevant for the decades that followed. “We believe that curiosity is at the heart of human progress. We can improve lives through analytics. We believe that we can transform a world of data into a world of intelligence through analytics. We believe that we can empower and inspire youth to do great things with data. That is why we exist, that is our quest,” he added.

Initially, technology was driving analytics but that relationship has now changed, it has reversed. Now, analytics drives technology and it has become a disruptive force in itself. The use of analytics is transforming other technologies. For instance, as preventing crime and creating safer drugs transforms lives, similarly, use of analytics protects wild life, optimises workflow, improves healthcare, reduces cost of manufacturing, ensures quality and so much more. Some pragmatic approaches for analytics adoption may do justice in various sectors such as:

Dealing With Financial Services Crimes
Criminal activities in financial services have a knack of making the headlines every now and then. Fighting against financial crime has always been the job of human intelligence. But data analytics and AI also entered the whole paradigm long ago to ease the whole process. Combating financial crimes with a combined approach using data, people, and technology is the way forward. Money laundering and other such crimes in financial institutions can be detected with artificial intelligence, network analysis and visualisations.  

Data quality and data lineage are critical to produce good and defendable results. They are, in fact, the best practices for financial institutions. Patrice Mathé, Compliance projects management at Société Générale suggests some pragmatics recommendations against financial crimes like “aggregating to a single customer view of risk, segmenting populations for anomaly detection, validating existing strategies and modernising investigative processes with continuous learning can optimise existing detection strategies, all through analytics and AI. Adoption of machine learning can help in alert scoring or client risk taking. Robotic process automation can automate alert triage while continuously learning from outcomes. Establishing a sandbox to run ‘AI’ pilots parallel and bringing in auditors and regulators along the journey.”

The Role Of Advanced Analytics In Life And Death Struggle
While there are 3 billion DNA code letters in each human cell and 32,000 billion cells in the body, there are a whopping 96,000 billion DNA code letters per person. These numbers are sufficient to explain how much advanced analytics can help in cancer research, whereas, routine diagnosis definitely is not a big deal for this technology.

Geert Kazemier, Cancer Center Amsterdam, says, “A basic cancer research environment suggests that 89 percent researchers name cancer specific proteins, cancer specific DNA mutation, and CT and MRI scan interpretation as the greatest challenges. The interpreter only scans and measures the data. But an in-depth scan has a lot of data and the outcomes can be improved with the use of advanced analytics on patients’ health data and history.” It helps to not only look at the cancer cell but also at the underlying data of that patient such as age, gender, protein, protein around the tumour, stage reaction and so on.

Analytics helps as outcomes vary between patients. It speeds up progression despite operation, timely information prevents surgery and chemotherapy through quantification of changes and combining other biological data, and computers also do better diameter and volume measurements.

Safety In Future Of Technology
The digital age technologies have already transformed our world, for better and for worse. But how exactly is technology shaping our world? How safe will be the impact of technology on livelihood, employment, health, environment, and crime in the near future? With the lightning speed of technological evolution, it is no wonder how many people are struggling to keep up.

A 2013 Oxford Martin School Study claimed that 47 per cent of jobs are in danger of being displaced by automation within just 20 years. We know for a fact that no government is prepared for the tsunami of social change that follows.

Schabenberger however, differs with the study. He says that AI and the era of automation it brings in will create many new jobs that we have never even thought of. The masters of edge computing, quantum machine learning analysts, cyber city analysts and AI assisted healthcare technicians, are after all, a result of such technological advancements. Virtual world will create environments for us to work, shop and relax. Personal memory curators will deploy virtual environments for seniors to inhabit that will remake past experiences to reduce the stress caused by memory loss. It could be a virtual time machine for our brain.

As mentioned by Jim Goodnight, CEO, SAS, it is estimated that there will be 55 billion connected devices by 2025. The estimate says that just next year, about 40 per cent of all IoT (Internet of Things) data needs to be acted upon on devices, equipment and machines because it will never even reach the cloud or data centres.

The technologies with which we are playing in this analytics economy have to be increasingly intelligent and automated. That is what we have to learn to grow for the future. We have to learn how to build and manage intelligent systems. We have to learn to control automated systems. And we have to grow to trust them. We also have to learn to continue learning all of that to thrive in the future as we do not know yet what the future of technology may keep in store for us.


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