Craving Intelligence vs. Analytics

 Craving Intelligence vs. Analytics

Michael L. Mathews, CIO, Oral Roberts


I had the pleasure of speaking at one of the U.K.’s leading strategic learning forums on the transformative needs of education in the U.S. and abroad. The title of my message was profoundly simple, yet got the attention of any CIO or technologist desiring to stay gainfully employed over the long haul. The message was called ‘A Place Called Intelligence-in-the-Cloud; ‘The death of analytics as we know them.’
Data analytics have been the mystical promise by tech companies for the past 15-years. During this 15-year span of time, the reality has set-in that we are an intelligent society driven by a thirst for knowledge and intelligence at the consumer level. Most C-level executives no longer believe a promise of receiving intelligence or knowledge only after they purchase and install yet one more analytic tool.
There is great news for the leaders who are desperate for instantaneous intelligence. The wearable, mobile, and cloud wave(s) have paved a clearer pathway to this intelligence, vs. a winding road of implementations, big data, and more analytics. The evidence is becoming clearer that wearable technologies, mobile technologies, and design technologies will soon allow consumers and students to merge technologies together. The emergence of technologies will allow most savvy consumers and students to find and design their own way to success. Most importantly, access to these designs, technologies are already proven to be stored in cloud-based services, which individual consumers can now purchase. It is critical to note that data analytics will always be needed, but they will no longer be the eye-candy or a promise that c-levels will focus their attention toward. Consumer wearable and smart devices with built in intelligence accessed via the cloud service will cause this shift to happen; and happen quickly.
Below are four considerations to validate and test the reality that we can bypass analytics to obtain streamlined Intelligence.

Consideration #1 - Personal and synchronized intelligence is available to everyone

The reality that wearable technology allows personal intelligence to be integrated with synchronized intelligence via the Internet of Things (IoT) is truly amazing. Mobile and smart devices can now leverage this intelligence instantaneously with consumers and students via personalized cloud services. This emergence of intelligence illuminates the reality that life, interests, work, and education and learning will accelerate all human experience. It also means the taste and desire for pure intelligence to make better lives for individual consumers or students will be paramount over someone selling analytics, which only give a promise for a better life. The IoT will really become the IoM (Internet of Me).

Consideration #2 - The transformation from BYOD to WYOC brings intelligence everywhere

BYOD, (Bring-Your-Own-Device) was a strategy that helped sell more consumer parts and devices while helping to usher in the era of analytics to understand the buying trends of device users. Consumers are currently multiplying their personal cloud services such as iCloud and iTunes, to bring their own ‘cloud services’ to work, school, and play. As the strategy changes to ‘Bring-Your-Own-Cloud’ the consumer will be capable of producing almost every experience they need to do life, education, and work, and - from any location. This era of intelligence and design is a new era whereby technology and applications become fluid, and flows like water into the nooks and crannies of life. The technologies that once were considered the fabric of our modern society, will now morph into the liquid-cosmos or fluidity of life. The fluidity will change ‘Bring-Your-Own-Cloud’ to ‘Wear-Your-Own-Cloud.’ Imagine being a company trying to make a living selling analytics on devices, having to quickly change to understand the flow of ‘fluidity or water.’

Consideration #3 - The Death of Analytics as we know them - A lesson from the supercomputer industry

The new era with cloud computing no longer will focus on the analytics on devices or network connections by themselves. The need for analytics and big data will remain, but consumer technology will become the technology that every corporation focuses on. The consumer technology will transform the attention that corporations give to their ERP systems, data analytics, business intelligence, workstations, and networks. Keep in mind, these will all be needed; but they will no longer be the eye-candy sold to savvy C-level executives who ultimately knows the consumer will rule and dictate the industry shift.
I worked for Supercomputer Manufacturer, Cray Research from 1985 to 1996. It was an unbelievable time in the history of quantum computing, seismic computing, big data, and analytics that far surpassed the analytics and big data that is being talked about today. The issue was that not everyone could afford the multi-million dollar supercomputer. The problem extended even further when the corporate marketplace wanted analytics and big data, but could not buy a Cray supercomputer. The market place changed, and it changed quickly. Ironically, the supercomputer market is still very strong from financial standpoint, and Cray Research is still alive and well (under a different owner). However, it is not the ‘eye-candy’ and ‘must-have’ or even ‘must-need’ technology that it once was. Technology advanced into the hands of hundreds of companies who could produce smaller, faster, and more corporate computing systems that allowed a new kind of eye-candy. It wasn’t until 15-years ago when data analytics caught up with the smaller systems and now everyone is packaging various flavors of data analytics and business intelligence. Unfortunately, just as supercomputers moved to the backroom and were no longer sexy, so will data analytics and big data, as the power of the supercomputer is now in the wearable and mobile technology consumer space.
A few short years ago (2012) I shared a video on the two computing miracles I will witness in my lifetime. One of them happened back in 1996 when the supercomputer moved to the less sexy backroom of society. In this video I also predict the same quickly ‘move-to-the-back’ room of ERP and SIS systems, while students begin to wear and carry the same capability in their hands. The video can be here, and was recorded at the 2012 Global IMS Learning Consortium in Toronto. The time for the second miracle has arrived.

Consideration #4 - Why will consumers get to the “Place Called Intelligence” first

The consumers’ (hierarchy of technology needs) are driving the development to the right level of intelligence. These needs include: 1). Does it make me look or feel ‘Cool’, 2). Does it improve my life, work, play, or education possibilities, and 3). Is it affordable? Consumers don’t want analytics, they desire intelligence.


The current era whereby consumer products come with intelligence, are available 24x7x365, are fun to experiment with, sexy to wear, will ignite consumer creativity. As a CIO, I no longer debate if companies, consumers, or technologists have it right; rather I see my own mission to have shifted toward a more intelligent state. My new mission based on the advancement and blending of consumer technologies is ‘Help people thrive and survive in a digital society.’ Just as our former (non digital) civilization advanced quickly into a more intelligent state through innovation, so will the digital society. Let’s learn to live, play, work, and be educated in the digital society.

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