Cognitive 101: Cognitive Computing, Dating, and Decision Making

Many summers ago, I met with my client and CIO of a popular dating site in Los Angeles. After sharing that the site had mismatched me and that I had not found true love, we discussed data, analytics, and business intelligence (BI) best practices. As my client shared, the goal for him was to help maximize user experience and produce successful matches.

Not too long after, my team and I worked on a best practices data hardware, analytics software, and services solution that would help with the dating site’s goals and challenges. We closed on the deal. ’Til today, I stand by my team’s solution and yet knowing what I know now, I wish Cognitive Computing was an option then.

Briefly, Cognitive Computing is the idea of technology that can think and interact with humans, as humans do. Cognitive Computing technology has the ability to intake a changing landscape of structured and unstructured data, process it, and derive information to make decisions on complex challenges and goals.

Early and traditional BI technology solutions are limited to reports and front-end dashboards — limiting the amount of intelligence a businesswoman can gather from it. BI is great to leverage existing data (sometimes restricted to its ability to intake different types of data) to organize it and put it in a nice report. Early and traditional BI does not truly interpret the data and create cognitive insight needed to make and execute on best decisions.

The limits of BI come about due to the growing complexity of data; Big Data’s volume, variety, velocity, and veracity makes it a big beast to handle.

No matter, the business world today needs (and demands) that technology help shorten the decision making process — if not in real-time, in near-time, on-demand, and in-line.

To help with speed and the effectiveness of data analysis, businesses and technology companies are working tirelessly to streamline and automate repetitive processes and decision loops. At the same time, companies are calling for the production and consumption of more (and complex) data. This further complicates matters in an already complex data environment.

Can you imagine what would happen if technology could automate decision-making: acquire and process data; learn, and effectively provide you with best recommendations? That’s Cognitive Computing and it’s here in its nascent form today.

In due time, Cognitive Computing will address the gaps of BI and Big Data, among many others. Cognitive Computing will derive context, perspective, and provide you with “best options available.” Decision making will become more of a quicker and intelligent proposition.

Also, dating sites will prove to be more effective and efficient in the process of helping you find true love.

“Cognitive 101” is an introductory series on the world of Cognitive Computing and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Written by Lolita Taub and written for C-suite and Line-of-Business seeking to address business challenges and goals using the smartest tech.

Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on September 18, 2016.

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