5 Data Lessons We Can All Learn From ‘Star Wars’
One of the essential lessons to be learned from “Star Wars” is that:
If you are trying to establish and maintain a ruthless Galactic Empire, you can greatly benefit from better data aggregation and analysis.
A prime landscape for exploring today’s big data issues can be found across the “Star Wars” universe.
Yes, “Star Wars”, the classic space opera full of mystical intrigue and epic power struggles. Yet, at the center of the movie, data plays a critical role. So, with the release of the latest installment in the “Star Wars” franchise, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” (don’t worry no spoilers), let’s examine some of the data issues that “Star Wars” highlights and how AI analytics can help.
(Overwhelming amounts of) Data Surrounds Us
“It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” While Obi-Wan Kenobi first introduced Luke Skywalker (and most of the rest of us) to the concept of The Force in “Star Wars: A New Hope”, maybe, you immediately imagined yourself as Force-sensitive and tried performing Jedi mind tricks. Yet, the Force, like data, isn’t a laughing matter.
Data holds insights to some of the greatest business opportunities, but many analysts are overwhelmed by the sheer size of their data repository. Big data has now been positioned as the hero so save big business: predicting the future, revealing insights, and adding new life into business models.
What if every piece of information you receive was not only relevant, but timely. How much data could you possibly process every day? Data analysts expend massive amounts of energy to try and keep up with all this information, leaving little time or energy to actually move the needle for their organizations. Faced with an overwhelming amount of data to analyze, organizations should be strategic and focused in their approach. With modern analytics and AI tools, you can overcome the complexity of your business data, unlocking new and critical business insights. Don’t be overwhelmed into inaction, choose the right AI-powered analytical tools for your business to gain critical insights.
The Dark Side of Data Quality
“I find your lack of faith disturbing.” Joking aside, this quote can actually be quite useful. It is important to maintain faith in your data or your business will suffer.
While organizations are increasingly focusing on data-driven decision-making to guide their businesses, a majority of business leaders lack confidence in the insights generated from data and analytics. In spite of major investments in data analytics, research suggests most decision makers don’t trust the insights that their data is supposed to reveal.
One of the most pervasive forms of data-related paralysis is data distrust, which occurs when individuals question the quality of their data and refuse to rely on it for decision-making.
While it’s healthy to question one’s data, it can be debilitating when you completely lose faith in the quality of your data and resign to “flying blind.” In these cases, decisions and actions are still being made—just without the assurances and benefits that quality data can provide. Once data distrust takes hold at an organization, it can significantly undermine all analytics efforts and remain a barrier until it is adequately addressed.
With the abundance of data flowing into organizations these days, the challenge is how to ensure that data is meaningful—informed actions lead to higher revenues, lower costs, increased productivity, greater customer loyalty and so on. Companies need to ensure their people can adequately trust, consume and analyze their data.
Gain Insights from Multiple Systems
When R2-D2 plugs into a machine, he reads some data and then made something happen – whether stopping the trash compactor on the Death Star, opening Endor’s shield generator doors, or getting through Cloud City. Clearly he was getting insight from various sources of machine data and making a decision to take an action.
Accurate and real-time anomaly detection, coupled with the ability to correlate related anomalies across multiple data sources, is ushering in a new era for business intelligence. Data-driven organizations won’t be surprised by unexpected business incidents anymore. The anomalies in data which point to opportunities can now be found. Really, if you monitor everything, you can detect anything, especially events you didn’t know you had to look for. This is the underlying and real power of AI analytics. You can gain insights from multiple systems and services with Anodot’s business connectors and pre-set integrations, uncovering hidden insights in vast troves of business data, identifying outliers in key performance indicators, correlating across multiple sources (such as business processes, applications, systems, networks, and anything in between), and providing valuable real-time insights.
In the Cloud (City)
“I saw – I saw a city in the clouds,” said Luke Skywalker in his vision of Han, Leia and Chewie being tortured in Cloud City, in The Empire Strikes Back.
Similarly, businesses rely on a different kind of ‘city in the clouds’. Cloud services can go down without warning.
Outages are inevitable, even in the cloud. in February 2017, Amazon, the giant cloud platform, suffered massive downtime. The outage took out a sizable chunk of the internet as well. Trello and Quora were among the affected websites, along many other startups. Payment processor Stripe may have been a partial casualty. Software, from web apps to smartphone applications, that rely on this cloud-based platform quickly broke. By the time it was fully operational again, experts estimated that over $310 million was lost.
You need to be prepared as best you can. With Anodot, it is like you have a data scientist in the cloud. Any user can easily and automatically gain actionable business insights. Whether a celebrity endorsement or signs of premature equipment failure from a swarm of IoT sensor devices, Andot’s AI analytics solution is data agnostic and can find the insights hidden in your time series data. Anodot uses its patented artificial intelligence to uncover hidden insights in vast amounts of business data by identifying outliers in key performance indicators and correlating across multiple data sources. Anodot’s practical and innovative AI analytics solution can track highly complex data patterns with its unsupervised machine learning algorithms. You can extract not only actionable insights, but ultimately discover business incidents in your data and increase your revenue.
“An analysis of the plans provided by Princess Leia has demonstrated a weakness in the battle station,” as General Dodonna pointed out the subtle weakness in the Death Star in the climactic final act of “Star Wars”.
Anomalies aren’t categorically good or bad, they’re just deviations from the expected value for a metric at any given point in time. Would you rather find out instantly from yo ur own data metrics that something is amiss with your online sales or from angry (and now lost) customers on social media? When working with thousands or millions of metrics, real-time decision making requires online machine learning algorithms to analyze the significance of anomalies.
Real-time anomaly detection is always advantageous over delayed detection. What kind of anomaly of detection systems are able to provide this type of real-time notification? For only one or a few KPIs, a human monitoring a dashboard may work. This manual approach, however is not scalable to thousands or millions of metrics, while keeping real-time responsiveness. Beyond the mere number of metrics in many businesses, is the complexity of each individual metric: different metrics have different patterns (or no patterns at all) and different amounts of variability in the values of the sampled data. In addition, the metrics themselves are often changing, often exhibiting different patterns as the data exhibits a new “normal.”
A real-time, large-scale anomaly detection system is truly automated at each step in the process: detection, ranking, and grouping. By using the machine learning method (or blend of methods) best for each layer, Anodot’s AI Analytics automated approach can scale.
May the Force Be With You … Always
The ultimate lesson from all these examples is that it isn’t enough to use light sabers and the Force, starships and blasters (or an endless supply of Stormtroopers). Knowing how to use data is key.
While in the “Star Wars” universe, humans almost blindly rely technology, yet for our world we need consider technology that lowers the burden on data engineers – overwhelmed by time-intensive tasks like data mining, complex modelling, and performance tuning.
To unleash the power of the Force, er, I mean, data, businesses should seek out and adopt an easy-to-use, AI-powered analytics platform that can harness big data, enabling them to make faster and better business decisions.