Imagine the following scenario: A CPG-industry marketing executive turns to her computer and asks, “Aila, who is my best-performing customer versus last year QTD? Can you isolate the factors driving this improved result?” The computer responds, “The XYZ Company is your best performing customer. The key factors driving this performance are improved shelf availability; small off-promotion price increases; and the roll-out of new, locally developed, demographic-based product sets.”
Meet Aila®, from Enterra Solutions®, pioneers of the Enterra Enterprise Cognitive System™. It’s a cognitive computing platform that combines artificial intelligence and advanced mathematics to reason and solve problems in a way similar to people. A quantum leap beyond traditional analytics and business intelligence software, Aila becomes a vigilant, persistent “cognitive presence” within your organization’s internal and external data systems.
Traditional enterprise software and business intelligence tools have clearly defined uses: manage this, record that, compare this, describe that. Aila, however, is something entirely new and different. It’s the world’s first Enterprise Cognitive System. By harnessing artificial intelligence and advanced mathematics, Aila can analyze data, draw inferences and generate insights on-demand.
According to Boston Consulting Group (BCG) analysts Ralf Dreischmeier, Karalee Close, and Philippe Trichet, changes caused by digitalization in the business world are only going to continue. They predict, “As entire industries are disrupted by bold digital entrants and business models, more and more companies are at risk of extinction. Music, retailing, media, and travel are far along on this path, but we are also seeing similar patterns in more traditional industries, such as banking, agriculture, energy, health care, industrial goods, and manufacturing.” A digital enterprise is an organization that leverages digital technology as a competitive advantage in its internal and external operations. Deloitte puts it this way:
“Maintaining a competitive edge means building a Digital Enterprise that’s capable of taking full advantage of social, mobile, web, cloud and analytic technologies. … It requires integration of people, processes, and capabilities to deliver an omni-channel experience.”
Aila is not just another IT system. It will become one of your most valued resources. Once deployed in your organization, Aila is on call 24/7 to answer spontaneous and routine questions with actionable insights. You don’t have to master the intricacies of modeling data or constructing queries. Just ask questions like these:
- Please analyze my sales quarter-to-date and year-to-date. What brands and packages are ahead of plan nationally?
- Please analyze my distribution requirements plan for the next 14 days. Are any of my major customers’ service-level objectives at risk? If so, what options do I have?
- Please analyze my marketing expenditures quarter-to-date. Calculate a market-segment ROI based on actual sales data. Based on our plan, are there opportunities to shift expenditures next quarter within market segments to improve our results?
Where analytics end, Aila begins. Aila isn’t merely advanced analytics. It’s a revolutionary new approach to data. Traditional business analytics applications can’t stand up to the high-volume, multivariate world of Big Data. They require that the queries be “dumbed down” — depriving your organization of potentially valuable insights. Traditional systems further lack the human-like flexibility to make subtle decisions when processing doesn’t go as planned. They can’t make “judgment calls.”
Aila takes a very different tack. It uses logic to sort out the complex interactions among many variables, identifying and generating insights from those that are most relevant. In this way, Aila can handle queries far beyond the grasp of other systems and their statistical models.
And further, unlike traditional analytics, Aila taps into knowledge bases (sometimes called ontologies) — vast storehouses of foundational information and domain knowledge about the world and about your business. With Aila, queries that until now required teams of quantitative experts and data programmers — and multiple iterations — can be answered almost instantly. It breaks through the barriers imposed by statistics to provide insights beyond the reach of other systems. And it does this quickly, on-demand. Once deployed, Aila is always on the job and ready to tackle any assignment. It’s as simple as talking to your best business experts, and your queries are answered in plain language, too.
Those answers can come in the form of recommendations, and Aila (unlike “black-box” approaches) can show you the reasoning behind them. Once those recommendations are acted upon, Aila feeds results back into the system to apply to future queries. Put another way, Aila learns. And that learning is accessible to anyone who needs it, across the organization. The following figure depicts the engines and knowledge bases Aila uses to analyze the appropriate data for your company (click to enlarge).
Aila is a fully configurable platform, but we also have pre-configured solutions ready to go for a variety of industries. Our multi-disciplinary Cognitive Enterprise Group will help you understand and apply the possibilities of cognitive computing within your enterprise. Our “crawl-walk-run” approach accelerates your adoption of the platform. This serves to limit our risk and drive ROI. Aila is a revolutionary cognitive computing solution built for the digital enterprise. We can help you get started, because the future belongs to those who get there first.
 Ralf Dreischmeier, Karalee Close, and Philippe Trichet, “The Digital Imperative,” bcg.perspectives, 2 March 2015.