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The Power of Generative AI: Driving Innovation in Data Analytics

Introduction

In the modern landscape of business, organizations must constantly seek ways to harness technological advancements to stay ahead of the curve. Generative AI is a major realm that has seen explosive growth in recent years. 

According to Gartner, more than 80% of enterprises will use Generative AI APIs, models, or applications by 2026, up from less than 5% in 2023. Generative AI has introduced a paradigm shift in data analytics and its applications. With just a few words of prompt, you can get answers in the form of text, image, audio, or any form desired. 

This is achieved through understanding and replicating the underlying data structure rather than predictions done by traditional AI models. With deep learning techniques, Generative AI also finds applications across numerous industries and has witnessed rapid growth in just one year. 

Through this blog, we will dive deeper into the principles and models of Generative AI and its applications in data analytics. We will also explore challenges and opportunities in adopting the technology and future path that lie ahead for Gen AI.

What is Generative AI technology? 

Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence that utilizes learning to generate new types of content including images, text, video, or music. GenAI trains on large datasets and learns patterns and structures within the data to mimic the characteristics of the original dataset.

The great hype over GenAI is mostly driven by the simplicity of user interfaces– you can create high-quality text and images using natural language in seconds. It also differentiates itself from traditional models in its underlying principle. 

Traditional machine-learning models primarily focused on classifications or making predictions based on data. Generative AI produces new content that closely resembles the data it was trained on. This means you can use generative AI to enhance creativity, ensure better data synthesis, and improve productivity. 

Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs)

It is to be noted that this technology is not brand new. Gen AI was introduced in the 60s within chatbots. But it was in 2014 that generative AI could evolve to a stage that resembled how it is now. Introduced by Ian Goodfellow and his colleagues, Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) is one of the most prominent techniques in Gen AI. 

The concept of GANs–a type of machine learning algorithm–involves framing a problem as a supervised learning problem with two sub-models: a generator model and a discriminator model. 

The generator model is trained to generate new data samples, while the discriminator is used to classify examples as real or fake based on the domain. Through this iterative training process, the generator learns to produce more plausible samples, and the discriminator improves its ability to identify real and fake data. 

Variational Autoencoders (VAEs)

Variational Autoencoder (VAE) is another popular technique of generative modeling. Proposed by Diederik P. Kingma and Max Welling at Google & Qualcomm in 2013, VAE uses encoder-decoder architecture, differentiating itself from traditional autoencoders.

The encoder transforms raw data into a probability distribution with a lower-dimensional latent space, and the decoder network reconstructs it back into the original data space. This is especially useful for generating realistic human faces or data for training AI. 

Transformer Architecture (Deep learning)

There exist numerous other generative AI models such as recurrent neural networks (RNNs), diffusion model/ foundational model, and transformer architectures.

Transformer architecture, introduced by researchers at Google, has been used to develop LLMs that power Google BERT, OpenAI’s ChatGPT, and Google AlphaFold. 

Generative AI for Data Analytics 

Much like every other industry, Generative AI has profoundly disrupted the data analytics industry. It plays a crucial and multifaceted role in the analysis and visualization of data. From data cleaning and data processing to visualization, generative AI has opened up new opportunities to extract insights from large and complex datasets. 

Let’s take a look at some of the key roles Generative AI explores in the realm of data analytics:

Improved data preprocessing and augmentation

Data preprocessing is a process of converting raw data into consumable form for further analysis. This involves numerous steps such as data cleaning, transformation, reduction, and normalization, making it a complex process.

Collecting data from different sources can result in inconsistencies in accuracy and quality. GenAI can use augmented data preparation abilities to weed out errors and transform data.

Generating data for training models 

Generative AI can produce synthetic data that closely represents the underlying dataset. This can be used in cases where data is limited or has privacy restrictions. The synthetic data created can be used to train ML models without letting go of sensitive data. 

This preserves data privacy and helps enterprises to utilize large datasets for training purposes, resulting in robust models.

Automate analytics tasks

Many of the tasks involved in business intelligence and data analytics can be repetitive. Automated scripts will get it done, but coding is a time-consuming process. With Generative AI, you can automate the process. 

For example, chatbots can create personalized automation scripts for data extraction. It can also filter out relevant data based on the given parameters when collecting data.

Enhanced data visualization 

Data visualization is a crucial step in the data analytics process. Creating interactive charts, graphs, and dashboards ensures better collaboration with stakeholders and improved decision-making. 

Generative AI can create visually appealing data insights and images to convey complex information in a simple and engaging manner. Integrating GenAI can also provide recommendations to improve visualizations and user experience.

Key Applications of Generative AI in Data Analytics

Here are some of the key applications of generative AI:

  1. Predictive Analytics

Generative AI enables organizations to analyze large datasets, identify trends and patterns, and make accurate predictions. For example, a business can predict customer churn rate or stock prices to have valuable insights and predict future trends. 

  1. Fraud Detection

Generative AI can produce data representing normal behavior to compare with real-world data and identify anomalies and fraud. This can help businesses mitigate risks and protect against fraudulent activities across industries like finance, healthcare, and retail.

  1. Natural language processing (NLP)

The field of NLP has witnessed significant disruption by generative AI. Generative models can understand and generate human-like text, resulting in numerous applications. For example, feedback chatbots, content generation, and translation. 

  1. Image Recognition

Generative AI finds applications in image synthesis and recognition systems. This can help generate realistic images, enhance low-resolution images, and produce creative works.

Challenges and Limitations of Generative AI 

Generative AI has displayed great capabilities for the present and possibilities for the future. Its adoption can revolutionize the way we work. But this is not without challenges and roadblocks. 

As businesses are increasingly adopting the technology more than ever, here are some considerations to keep in mind:

Ethical considerations 

Organizations must ensure that the generation of data is in compliance with ethical standards and regulations. Deepfake, AI-generated images and videos, is a major concern today. New regulations and frameworks must be in place to mitigate ethical risks.

Biases in generative AI models 

Generative AI, like other ML models, is susceptible to biases in the training data. Biased input results in disparities and accuracy issues in output data. 

To avoid this issue, organizations must carefully curate training datasets, detect biases, and implement measures to produce fair outcomes.

Data privacy and security 

Data privacy and security are major concerns for highly regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services. Businesses must implement measures to protect data from misuse, unauthorized access, and security breaches. 

Interpretability and Explainability

Generative AI models powered by neural networks train with large datasets to generate data, and understanding how this works can be challenging.

Organizations should ensure factors such as explainability and interpretability to explain outputs and build trust in use. 

Best Practices for Generative AI 

High-quality data

Organizations must ensure high-quality and diverse data is used for training generative AI models. You can use first-party data or third-party data from reputable sources. Organizations should also clean and prep data to remove any erroneous data and improve data analytics. 

Using AI-integrated tools

Numerous tools, mainly ChatGPT, have integrated generative AI capabilities to automate and streamline their data analytics efforts. 

Here are some of the popular data analytics tools that combine generative AI:

Power BI: One of the most popular data visualization tools, Power BI provides access to AI insights with Copilot. You can analyze data and create reports by describing it in simple, plain language. Further, Microsoft Fabric is a unified analytics platform that uses AI to automate processes and improve output.  

TableauGPT: Powered by Einstein GPT, Tableau GPT integrates automation in every part of analytics – from data preparation to data governance. Tableau Pulse is a Tableau-GPT-enabled solution to uncover actionable insights from data. 

Jupyter AI: Jupyter Notebook has integrated generative AI capabilities to help users generate codes and debug errors. Users can also complete codes using the coding assistant, shortening the time and improving productivity.

Notion AI: ChatGPT technology is infused to generate summaries, write documents, and extract key points from notes for users.

Transparency:

Organizations must ensure data transparency and explainability to comply with legal requirements and user privacy. You should also put in place measures to mitigate risks and biases in generative AI models.

Privacy impact 

Protecting sensitive information and personal data is crucial when implementing gen AI. Organizations should assess potential risks to user privacy and take steps to mitigate them throughout the data analytics process, including data collection, storage, and sharing.

Data security measures

Data security is another critical aspect of best practices when considering an ethical approach to gen AI adoption. Gen AI systems should be protected from security threats and monitored for unauthorized access. Data encryption and regular protocol updates are also some measures to curb threats. 

Real-world Use Cases of Generative AI 

Medical imaging 

Healthcare organizations have limited access to medical imaging data for training ML models due to data privacy concerns. Generative AI tools can be used to generate synthetic data that represents real-world data. This helps train robust diagnostic models to improve patient outcomes and clinical decision-making.

Product recommendations

Retails can analyze customer data to generate personalized recommendations for users. Generative AI models can be trained on users’ browsing habits and purchase history data to provide suggestions tailored to their needs. This helps in improving customer satisfaction and conversion rates.

Customer experience

Integrating chatbots powered by gen AI can help generate human-like text responses in real time. The chatbots can understand user input and generate relevant responses, ensuring customer engagement and experience.

Fraud detection

Generative AI models can be trained using synthetic data that represents fraudulent activities and risk scenarios to minimize false positives and improve fraud detection algorithms. This helps enhance risk management practices and strengthen organizational security measures.

Geospatial analytics

With gen AI power, geospatial analytics can extract structured data from high-res imagery to understand property size, construction, and condition. This can be used by insurers to assess property risk, reduce expenses, and better manage claims.

Conclusion

Like any other industry, generative AI has brought in a paradigm shift for the data analytics industry. Businesses are harnessing GenAI tools to stay ahead of the curve and enhance outcomes, resulting in exponential growth in recent years. 

Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence that trains on large datasets to generate new types of content including images, text, video, or music.

The great hype over GenAI is mostly driven by the simplicity of user interfaces– you can create high-quality text and images using natural language in seconds. The ability to generate data differentiates itself from traditional models that focus on classifications and predictions. 

Numerous generative AI models exist, among which some prominent techniques are Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), Variational Autoencoders (VAEs), and Transformer architecture. ChatGPT, Google BERT, and other technologies use transformer architecture to develop large language models (LLMs) to generate content.

In data analytics, generative AI finds applications across predictive analytics, fraud detection, data preparation, and visualization. However, adoption is not without challenges. There are concerns over ethical risks, biases, data privacy and security, and explainability. 

The future of data analytics holds immense potential with generative AI. Advancements in architectures, multi-modal approaches, and ethical AI practices can expand the possibilities of generative AI. 


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