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July 14, 2016

Amazon Echo, IoT Bulb Enlisted for Data Engagement

Presumably under the category of “bright ideas,” a business intelligence specialist is leveraging artificial intelligence and what it calls an “IoT light bulb” as a way to increase analytics engagement and adoption through an “emotional connection to data insights using all senses.”

Along with the Internet of Things lamp that serves as a kind of traffic light for gauging user engagement and business performance, analytics vendor Sisense also this week launched a beta test of a voice-activated Amazon Echo that allows users to query its Alexa digital assistant about specific business data.

New York-based Sisense claims its Business Intelligence Virtually Everywhere initiative has, at least in the case of one beta tester, increased consumption of business intelligence by as much as 500 percent. In a testimonial, supply chain manager CTSI-Global said it tied the IoT bulb to the roll out of a new software system. Below a certain login threshold, the bulb was red.

Eliciting an emotional response similar to a stoplight, a company executive noted, “People did not like seeing red.” The result, he asserted, was an immediate rise in daily logins that were reflected in a green light signifying that a company metric had been met.

The business intelligence traffic light along with the Echo-based query platform are intended to forge emotional connections to data, or what Sisense CEO Amir Orad described as overcoming “traditional limitations posed by 2-D screens, by giving business users the ability to have simple conversations about their data, and visual insights into business performance” and key performance indicators, or PKI. “This simplicity is essential to translating machine insight into human action,” Orad added in a statement.

The Sisense integration with Amazon Echo seeks to leverage to natural language capabilities that promise to “humanize” data consumption. The vendor is betting that adoption of data analytics will grow if business intelligence is moved off of flat screens and incorporated into AI systems like Echo and Alexa where users can ask questions and get answers in real time.

“The ease of conversation drives increased engagement with data and opens access to [business intelligence] insights,” the company argues.

Meanwhile, the intelligent light bulb can be used as a way to track business performance metrics like customer wait times. For example, Sisense explained that an amber light would represent progress toward a specific business metric or the status of PKIs.

Sisense is seeking more beta testers here for its Business Intelligence Virtually Everywhere initiative. Besides CTSI-Global, other early testers include Act-On Software and Skullcandy (NASDAQ: SKUL).

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