Dr. Sudha Ram Forms INSITE: A New Business Intelligence Center

June 26, 2011

News

INSITE will develop techniques, algorithms, and technologies to extract actionable insights from "Big Data" including structured and unstructured sources such as blogs, tweets, and other sources.


Business intelligence (BI) and Analytics is a broad category of applications and technologies for gathering, storing, analyzing, and providing access to data to help enterprise users make better business decisions.

BI applications include the activities of decision support systems, query and reporting, online analytical processing (OLAP), statistical analysis, forecasting, and data mining.  Two major forces driving the interest and growth in BI are an explosion in the amount and variety of data being generated on the internet and the emergence of social media technologies.

Data is becoming strategically critical to enterprises of every size and type.  It is also being generated in unprecedented volumes. Fueled by new web technologies, companies such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN are routinely generating upwards of 20 Petabytes of data each day (approximately 6 billion digital photos or 20 million four-drawer filing cabinets filled with text.)  

In today's world it is not enough for companies to track their sales, marketing, financial, and other internally generated data. They need to combine their internal data with external sources of data such as blogs and reviews about their products, Twitter and Facebook comments, as well as YouTube videos and data from wiki based discussion forums, to develop insights for improving performance and remaining competitive.  

The challenge is to deal with a nonstop flood of data being generated at an increasing rate. To understand the impacts of these new technologies and to harness their power effectively, corporations need new and innovative techniques to harvest, manage, and analyze the vast amounts of data they generate in real-time and provide insights into these new social phenomena. 

Sudha's new BI center, titled INSITE, will develop techniques, algorithms, and technologies to extract actionable insights from "Big Data" including structured and unstructured sources such as blogs, tweets, and other sources. 

INSITE’s research will focus on

  • Identifying and anticipating interesting and emerging phenomena related to social media,
  • Continuously collecting and creating datasets from multiple online sites related to these phenomena, and
  • Developing techniques to mine through these datasets

The Center will  

  • Provide interesting, accurate, and actionable insights
  • Provide live or real-time business intelligence

In particular, INSITE will develop quantitative techniques combining statistical, data mining, and network analysis algorithms for predictive analytics within actionable time windows. Examples of these include customer intelligence gleaned from social media interactions, environmental sensing, smart meters, and smart appliances.

Interested in finding out how your company can be a part of this new exciting center? Contact Sudha Ram at  ram@eller.arizona.edu or 520.621.4113 for details.