The Internet as crystal ball: future Business Intelligence

Business intelligence software is evolving from providing a rear mirror view of the world to a focus on real time - by hooking into real time data sources and real time user interaction. Now researchers at Chalmers want to move further ahead. They believe the future focus of business intelligence will be all about looking outside corporations and generating data and analytics for decision making based on the world, not just historical enterprise data.
David Sands, Peter Damaschke, Devdatt Dubhashi, Andrei Sabelfeld and Gerardo Schneider at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering have received a 25 MSEK grant from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, to support the research program “Data-Driven Secure Business Intelligence”.
Today the Internet is a veritable mirror of the real world and a fantastic source of dynamic real time information about events as they unfold around the world. Via social networks like Facebook and twitter, blogs and rss feeds it has become an integral part of our lives. This massive store of information can be harvested for valuable nuggets of insight that can be used to provide decision support tools for industry and public authorities and help improve business practices and address important societal needs. This is the vision that drives Recorded Future and its CTO Staffan Truvé, who is leading the industrial consortium that will be closely and directly engaged from the start of the project.
While this massive data source offers many opportunities, it is accompanied by tremendous challenges which will be addressed by a multipronged approach using different concepts, methods and technologies from Computer Science and affiliated disciplines.
‒ We’re cutting through traditional disciplinary boundaries to combine the best of several different areas of strength in our department ‒ algorithms, security, formal methods and software engineering. We hope also to initiate work in important emerging areas like large scale parallel and cloud computing which are important for this project, says Devdatt Dubhashi.
The goal of the project is to develop scalable system architectures, algorithms, development methods and working demonstrators for temporal analysis of the large data sets harvested from open sources (web, social media, etc.) as well as corporate databases (customer data, business intelligence data) to enable new forms of collaborative innovation.  In addition to handling very large data sets, these analysis services must have mechanisms for ensuring personal integrity for individuals as well as security for customers.
Planned applications include competitive business intelligence, continuous product development, predictive analytics and many other areas of great importance to Swedish industry, both as providers and users of these services. The project will run for five years.

Published: Fri 15 Jun 2012.