What is Operational Intelligence?
Operational Intelligence is a category of real-time dynamic, business analytics that delivers visibility and insight into data, streaming events and business operations. Operational intelligence solutions run queries against streaming data feeds and event data to deliver real-time analytic results. Operational Intelligence provides executives and their organizations the ability to make decisions and immediately act on these analytic insights, through manual or automated actions.
Learn more on Wikipedia
Learn more about terminology associated with Operational Intelligence in our complete online glossary:
Action - The ability to respond in a meaningful way to positively impact business, processes, and customers.
Activity Stream – XML-based event flows (i.e., Data in motion) that can be easily combined with more traditional flows of enterprise information to provide context and insight for enterprise data (within Operational Intelligence).
BAM – Introduced in the 1990’s, Business Activity Monitoring is the approach that many business managers use to monitor business activities in order to optimize business processes. However, BAM is too limited; it provides only one of the many enabling capabilities needed in today’s businesses, and it does not enable process optimization efforts to reduce costs.
Behavior-based Analytics - Behavior-based analytics looks beyond identity (“who” the person is) to detect patterns of behavior that factor in “what” a person is doing, “when” a person is doing it, and in which context. For example, signature-based security solutions would not detect break-ins where identify theft enables intruders to impersonate authorized parties for the purpose of stealing information. However, a behavior-based analytics solution would detect changes in the pattern of behavior, raise flags, and send alerts and/or trigger actions.
BPM – Companies use Business Process Management to evaluate, redesign, and optimize new and existing business processes. The promise has been tools that enable IT and business users to develop and deploy processes jointly. Traditionally, business users have modeled the new business processes, and then turned them over to IT for implementation, testing, and deployment.
BPMS – With a BPM Suite, both business and IT are allowed to use the same tools to model and execute business processes, thus being able to more easily share information. Business processes, service orchestrations, and workflows can all be created in a single modeling BPMS environment. This unified environment supports the continuous development of models from analysis and design to production and maintenance. This environment is based on BPMN and eliminates the need to translate models written by the business analysts into those executed by IT.
Business Support Systems (BSS) - The components that a telephone operator or telco uses to run its business operations towards customer. BSS and OSS platforms are linked in the need to support various end-to-end services. Each area has its own data and service responsibilities.
CEP – Complex-Event Processing is a key OI technology that allows an individual to request an inquiry or analysis once, and then have it continuously evaluated over time against one or many streams of events in a highly efficient manner. For example, perhaps a user may want to know the average wait time of customers broken out by region, product requests, and customer type. The underlying data arrives as a series of events in a continuous event stream and computations must be performed on the real-time events in order to calculate the average wait times. CEP is a powerful technology for analyzing multiple events over a specific period of time, detecting complex patterns and making correlations. From an Event-Driven Architecture perspective, CEP can be regarded as the key technology for processing in real-time the potentially high volumes of low-level events and transforming these low-level events into higher-level, aggregated and composite business events for visualization and automated response.
Cloud – Cloud computing is a natural evolution of the widespread adoption of virtualization and service-oriented architecture for computation, software, and data access that does not require end-user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system that delivers the services. Details are abstracted from end-users, who no longer have need for expertise in the technology infrastructure. Cloud computing is a new supplement, consumption, and delivery model for software services based on Internet protocols, and it typically involves provisioning of dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources. It is a byproduct and consequence of the ease-of-access to remote computing sites provided by the Internet. This frequently takes the form of web-based tools or applications that users can access and use through a web browser as if it was a program installed locally on their own computer.
Connectors – Allow for communication with external applications, including legacy systems, transport layers, databases, packaged applications (e.g., ERP, CRM, etc.) and connectors to custom applications. Connectors are usually implemented using API’s. Connectors also enable unrestricted sharing of data and business processes among any data source or connected application in the enterprise, respectively.
Continuous Monitoring – Monitoring at a frequency and sufficiency such that the data exchange requires little to no human involvement and is not interrupted. Organizations need a situational awareness model that includes threat modeling, monitoring, analysis, and response. Continuous monitoring improves operational efficiency.
COP – A Common Operating Picture is used across business environments to better manage risk and achieve situational awareness. For OI solutions, a COP allows users to precisely describe requirements or state questions, thus being able to precisely find services and answers, answer any question, and integrate and interoperate.
Elastic Scalability - The cloud is elastic, meaning that resource allocation can get bigger or smaller depending on demand. Elasticity enables scalability, which means that the cloud can scale upward for peak demand and downward for lighter demand. Scalability also means that an application can scale when adding users and when application requirements change.
ESP – Event Stream Processing is a set of technologies designed to assist the construction of event-driven information systems. ESP technologies include EDA and CEP. ESP deals with the task of processing multiple streams of event data with the goal of identifying the meaningful events within those streams, employing techniques such as detection of complex patterns of many events, event correlation and abstraction, event hierarchies, and relationships between events.
ELT – Different from ETL, Extract, Load, and Transform is a data manipulation process, wherein data is extracted, loaded into the database, and transformed where it sits in the database, prior to use.
ETL – Extract, Transform, Load is a process in database usage and especially in data warehousing that involves: (1.) Extracting data from outside sources, (2.) Transforming it to fit operational needs (which can include quality levels), and (3.) Loading it into the end target (database or data warehouse).
EPN - An Event Processing Network allows complex Event Analytics and Event Patterns to be modeled as a multi-stage flow diagram, allowing event processing to be decomposed into simpler event processing steps. The resulting analytics and complex events can be flowed into Feeds for further dissemination. Distinct EPNs can be interconnected via Feeds.
Insight - The ability to analyze and draw conclusions from multiple real-time and historical data sources as the information changes.
Intelligent Business Operations (IBO) - A style of work in which real-time analytic and decision management technologies are integrated into the transaction-executing and bookkeeping operational activities and systems that run the business. Relevant advanced technologies for IBO include business activity monitoring (BAM) platforms, event-processing platforms, rule engines, constraint-based optimization (CBO) tools, simulation tools, social technologies (to enable greater collaboration and participant interactions) and interactive and graphical business dashboards.
Java – A widely used platform for server programming in the Java programming language. The Java platform differs from the Java Standard Edition Platform in that it adds libraries, which provide functionality to deploy fault-tolerant, distributed, multi-tier Java software, based largely on modular components running on an application server.
JDBC – The Java DataBase Connectivity is an API for the Java programming language that defines how a client may access a database. It provides methods for querying and updating data in a database. JDBC is oriented towards relational databases.
JMS – The Java Message Service is an API for sending messages between two or more clients. JMS is a messaging standard that allows application components to create, send, receive, and read messages. It allows the communication between different components of a distributed application to be loosely coupled, reliable, and asynchronous.
JMX – Java Management Extensions is a Java technology that supplies tools for managing and monitoring applications, system objects, devices (e. g., Printers), and service oriented networks. Managing and monitoring applications can be designed and developed via the Java Dynamic Management Kit.
Operational Support Systems (OSS) - Computer systems used by telecommunications service providers. The term OSS most frequently describes "network systems" dealing with the telecom network itself, supporting processes such as maintaining network inventory, provisioning services, configuring network components, and managing faults. The complementary term Business Support Systems or BSS is a newer term and typically refers to "business systems" dealing with customers, supporting processes such as taking orders, processing bills, and collecting payments. The two systems together are often abbreviated BSS/OSS or simply B/OSS.
Pattern-Based Strategy (PBS) - Pattern-Based Strategy is a framework to recognize, model and act upon trends in an organization and in the marketplace. Introduce by Gartner, Inc. in 2009, PBS enables organizations to be more pro-active in their responses to events.
XQuery – XQuery is the standard query language for XML data and documents and is analogous to the SQL language for relational queries. The XQuery language is rich enough to support navigation within an XML input document, the combining of data from multiple XML inputs, and the generation of new XML structures from one or more XML inputs.
RDS (Rapid Deployment Solutions) - SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions combine preconfigured software, best practices, and fixed-scope implementation services at a premium price. Installed quickly, benefits from crucial software functionality can be seen within weeks. SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions help: (1.) Provide a complete solution with faster time to value, (2.) Benefit from a predictable, lower cost implementation, (3.) Simplify the process of purchasing and implementing solutions and services, (4.) Address specific business needs, and (5.) Allow functional flexibility to accommodate future growth.
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) - An RSS feed is a data publication format used to make updates available across the world wide web. RSS feeds use XML to deliver information in a standard file format that can be read by email clients and web browsers alike.
SEM (Security Event Management) - SEM is the act of aggregating and analyzing events and log files generated by computer systems to detect electronic intrusions and other potential threats.
Service Assurance - Service assurance, for telco’s and utilities, is the application of policies and processes by a service provider to ensure that services offered meet a predefined service quality level for an optimal subscriber experience. The practice of service assurance enables service providers to identify faults and resolve these issues in a timely manner so as to minimize service downtime. The practice also includes policies and processes to proactively pinpoint, diagnose, and resolve service quality degradations or device malfunctions before subscribers are impacted.
SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) - SIEM refers to a set of products and solutions capable of delivering both SIM and SEM (see above and below). SIEM solutions monitor and analyze, in real-time, the different data feeds and alerts generated by internet computer systems and network applications.
SIM (Security Information Management) - SIM is the real-time monitoring and analysis of computer generated information to detect malicious behavior on the part of individuals and computers, immediate enabling action to be taken in response to malicious behavior. By definition, SIM is different than SEM in that the focus is on computer generated information. In practice, the SIM and SEM solutions are one in the same. Referred to as SIEM solutions, both require real-time operational intelligence to take action against electronic threats.
Situational Awareness - Situational Awareness requires instant, accurate and complete visibility into all of the variables and relationships in an environment as they evolve such that insight can be gained, decisions can be made and immediate action can be taken, if required.
Service Level Agreement (SLA) - A Service Level Agreement is a contract to deliver products and/or services according to an agreed upon standard. The SLA defines the minimum acceptable level of performance. Operational Intelligence solutions are used to monitor and act upon potential risks to compliance with a service level agreement.
SOA – The IT paradigm supporting the transition from the acquisition of monolithic, client/server systems to the acquisition of capabilities expressed as services is called Service-Oriented Architecture. Most large enterprises attempting this transformation encounter significant difficulties. The return on investment that was promised has not materialized. At least two fundamental issues must be addressed in the deployment of SOA: (1.) The business mission and the IT mission must be aligned and (2.) Once the services are agreed upon by the stakeholders using the formal semantics of the domain, services can be discovered in a way that aligns precisely with the business requirements.
Threat Management – Provides improved threat management and incident response capabilities, including real-time event management, correlation, incident response workflow, and support for real-time network and security device event analysis.
Visibility - The ability to see and access information from a wide variety of sources using a rich and interactive interface.
Web Services - Web Services enable network computer applications and systems to interoperate by sharing information as standard XML representations.
WS-I - WS-I is an industry standards body dedicated to the promotion and assurance of Web Services Interoperability.
W3C – The World Wide Web Consortium is the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web. W3C also engages in education and outreach, develops software, and serves as an open forum for discussion about the Web. W3C Standards (over Internet protocol suite) include: XML, XML Events, and XQuery, to name a few.
XML (Extensible Markup Language) - XML is an open standard for the sharing of data, by computer applications, as formatted documents over the internet. XML enables diverse computer systems to interoperate. XML is primary format used for the generation and publication of real-time data feeds.
XQuery - XQuery is a computer programming language used to identify and extract information from XML-based documents and databases.
XSLT (Extensible Style sheet Language Transformations) - is a programming language used to convert XML document formats into different XML document formats or other document formats such as PDF or HTML. XSLT enables information to be represented in the format that will yield the greatest level of insight to an analyst.
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