As I lay out the process of a Predictive Analytics / Rule Integration (SCL) project, I found that one key concept to convey is that SCL comprises the outermost layer of a solid foundation of Business Intelligence. This layered approach sensibly and methodically processes a large amount of goo (raw data) into recognitions of all sorts; that is, beyond simple things like a recognition of an upward trend to recognitions of things more subjective such as “we’re doing OK”.
It also allows various technologies to do what it does best. For example, relational databases are best at accessing and persisting large amounts of tabular data. Business Intelligence is the science of integrating and aggregating raw data towards the goal of acheiving an all-encompassing view of an enterprise, or for creatures, of the surroundings. This is an important point as inference is process-intensive. That’s why thinking is so exhausting. Surely, SCL could hold and process all of the data and rules, but much of what needs to be done for recognition is best out-sourced to technologies that specializes in those tasks.
Figure 1 – SCL is the outermost layer of a solid foundation of Business Intelligence.
The four layers above also depict how the quest for insight from our data begins with an ocean of data which we integrate and aggregate into information using data warehouse and OLAP technologies. We then either manually slice and dice through the OLAP cubes hunting for information. Or as my article, “Why isn’t Predictive Analytics a Big Thing?” suggests, we then take those cubes and extract “observations” using data mining and predictive analytics technologies. Eventually though, there are so many pieces of “information” that we once again find ourselves wading through maybe not an ocean, but a lake of data. The inference layer that SCL provides takes that lake of observations and processes it into “recognitions”. I wrote more about this in my article, “Data to Information to Data to Information“.
I like that this slide shows a resemblance to the mammalian brain’s neocortex. Like SCL, it too is a thin layer that seems to enable our higher function than fish and reptiles and also wraps around the older parts of the brain. It also looks like the thin layer of atmosphere around the Earth …