Analytics gets Digitally Re-mastered: The shift from traditional BI to Digital Insights
Matt Potts
By Matt Potts


The rise of the Digital Enterprise

All companies use digital technology in some way shape or form, but the unprecedented change and evolution of digital technology presents significant opportunities for all businesses. Now more than ever, economic growth and technology are inextricably linked.

Technology will drive the creation of truly “digital enterprises”, which is a necessary and vital concept for all of types of enterprise in the new, digital, economy. Enterprises must become fully digital in order to drive: value, competitive advantage and operational excellence with the ability to reach new and existing customers and reduce costs.

The definition below best summarises the concept of a digital enterprise:

“A Digital Enterprise is an organisation that uses technology as a competitive advantage in its internal and external operations. A Digital Enterprise develops digital capabilities and integrates them across their entire organisation to transform themselves for the new Digital Economy.”

There are some critical benefits of becoming a truly digital enterprise:

Fuel Growth – be able to reach customers anywhere anytime, in existing, emerging or new markets. Reach out to customer through ever growing mobile and social channels.

Drive Innovation – offer new products and modes of business models and operations.

Reduce Costs – increase employee productivity (or enable full automation) through the introduction of technology to support all business processes.

Those companies that become fully digital, and become known as the “Digitari” of the corporate world, will be able to outperform their competition.

The shift from classic BI

If companies are to become fully digital then they must enhance the concepts of traditional (classic) BI and reporting methods. There are some key reasons why classic BI as we know it will continue to evolve in the digital enterprise:

• Classic BI is primarily based on historic data, which sits in silo between key customer and operational based processes. Businesses need a complete and integrated view of the entire enterprise to gain a full picture, including external market and network feeds. Businesses need access to real-time information for them to truly understand what’s happening in their business and markets. Traditional decision making is too slow.

• Classic BI is often rigid in its approach to changes, meaning its inflexible and difficult to quickly adapt to today’s changing business requirements. New reporting requirements take too long to deliver, meaning the impact and value of the requirement decreases (and normally that the user has developed an offline solution). Analytics needs to be agile, fluid and iterative: evolving all the time and never standing still.

• Access to analytics needs to be available anywhere on any device. Classic BI is usually restricted to desktop applications within the corporate network.

• Classic BI only allows analysis of what has happened, not what is going to happen and driving the next best action or offer is. Classic BI is to far decupled from the concept of predictive analysis. Predictive analysis is becoming critical, only knowing what has happened is no longer enough. Predictive analysis need to be ingrained as a standard BI activity, not an additional or separate one.

• Classic BI too often involves off system processes such as data enrichment and stitching (usually in Excel) which leads to time consuming manual processes, a proliferation of information between individuals and multiple versions of the truth.

Classic BI therefore must become digital re-mastered into the concept of Digital Insights and become fit for the Digital Enterprise in the digital era. Insights is a key theme of the Digital Enterprise with the need to enable:

• Anytime, anywhere to analytics, that drive improved business performance

• The ability to access a full and integrated view of the enterprise in real-time

• Capabilities to understand the next best action for any particular process or business situation, taking into consideration all inputs, outputs and variables possible (including live market conditions)

• The right information to be made available at the right time to the right people

• Fully automated production of analytic outputs with no manual intervention

In order to achieve this, companies will need both an agile digital insights platform and agile BI tools in order to meet the requirements mentioned above. This will be in conjunction with the digitalisation of customer management, transactional and mobile systems and processes which will be part of the overall digital strategy of the organisation.

Agile Data Platform - Organisations require a data platform that is capable of serving structured and unstructured data requirements flexibly. New requirements need to be developed quickly to ensure the value of data does not diminish and time to value is reduced. Big and full data sets need to be quickly loaded and made available alongside existing data sets that may be needed for enrichment and correlation.

Agile BI Tools - Businesses need an agile set of analytics tool to be able to quickly and easily access, visualise, analyse, distribute and act on information. Development needs to be performed by consumers in the business as well experts. A varied toolset is needed to enable the information to be displayed in the right format for the consumer

The AgilityWorks Digital Insights model aims to address the key analytical requirements of the Digital Enterprise:

• An agile, in-memory, data platform

• Predictive, real-time and event driven capabilities and insights

• The use of agile BI tools to flexibly visualise, interpret and analyse data

This ultimately leads to the ability to understand a 360° view of the business across all domains – leading to the next best action, all accessible on any device or real-time feeds back into core transactional and customer systems.

This is wrapped up in the concept of an agile, accelerated and iterative development approach that is open to service rapidly changing business requirements in reduced periods of time.


All companies will need to embrace the concept of becoming a Digital Enterprise through the use of technology to improve processes, offer new products and services and interact with its customers. Every process in the business must be underpinned by technology.

In order to ensure a digital business can truly understand itself it must be underpinned by Digital Insights – the ability to understand a full view of the organisation, cross process in real-time with the added value of live market feeds and predictive analytics to drive the next best action.

AgilityWorks – your digital partner

AgilityWorks is a true Digital Consultancy. We understand the value of digital and what it takes to become a truly digital enterprise. We recognise the need to move away from classic BI in that journey to becoming fully digital.

We can help your business through the digital transformation, starting from the strategy and roadmap definition through to execution and value realisation phases.

To understand how Digital Insights can help you become a truly digital business please connect with us.

Matt Potts
By Matt Potts

Matt Potts is Solution Principal for Business Insights, specialising in Business Intelligence and Analytics. Matt has worked in the BI domain for over 8 years, helping organisations turn their data into actionable business insights through the use of agile BI platforms and delivery models. He is involved with multiple clients across varying lines of business and industries, working with them to ensure they realise the value from their investment in BI technologies. Outside of work Matt enjoys running, cycling and watching a range of sports and is kept busy by DIY projects at home.

Follow us on Social

And get access to even more digital insights


Just want to talk, call us on:
+44 (0)844 5610930

Join us

Life doesn't wait and neither should you. If you want to join a bunch of people intent on changing the world, you've come to the right place.


Latest opportunities