Home > Articles > Business & Management

Overview of Computational Intelligence in Business Analytics: Concepts, Methods, and Tools for Big Data Applications

Les Sztandera introduces his book, Computational Intelligence in Business Analytics: Concepts, Methods, and Tools for Big Data Applications, which aims to help organizations gain a competitive edge in the marketplace through harnessing the power of computational intelligence approaches.
This chapter is from the book

1.1 Introduction

This book aims to help organizations gain a competitive edge in the marketplace through harnessing the power of computational intelligence approaches. Those approaches—fuzzy sets, artificial neural networks, and genetic algorithms—are at the core of every innovative business, from large corporations to small companies. Businesses that do not leverage computational intelligence will be quickly outperformed by those that do.

The chapters are designed to provide a foundation upon which one can differentiate one’s business through computational intelligence approaches. Thus, the book provides the reader with guidance on how to create acceptable models in a relatively short period of time, and how to arrive at the right innovative decisions before the competition does.

The primary purpose of this book is to facilitate education in the resurgent computational intelligence areas of artificial neural networks, fuzzy sets, and genetic algorithms. The book is written as a text for a course at the graduate or upper-division undergraduate level. It could also be used for short intensive courses of continuing and executive education or as a self-study. No previous knowledge of computational intelligence tools is required to understand the material in this text.

Whereas most (if not all) literature on the topic utilizes statistical software packages, this book urges managers to take advantage of computational intelligence for analysis, exploration, and knowledge generation. As a result, readers are provided with the needed guidance to understand, model, discover, and interpret new patterns and new knowledge from historical evidence and large data sets, and become adept at building powerful models for prediction and classification that do not rely on statistics.

A process based on the exploration of business data with an emphasis on statistical and/or computational intelligence analysis is called Business Analytics. It is used by innovative companies committed to data-driven decision making to gain insights that inform business decisions, and down the road it can be used to automate and optimize business processes. Data obtained through Business Analytics are treated as corporate assets (added value) and are leveraged to gain a competitive edge.

The outcome of Business Analytics depends on data quality (to avoid junk in, junk out), entrepreneurial business analysts who understand the analysis and the business itself, as well as an organizational commitment to data-driven decision making. It should be stressed that entrepreneurial and skillful business analysts are at the core of obtaining competitive advantage for the business. They should operate at every level of their organizations instead of being an elite group of data scientists reporting directly to the executive suite. Those business analysts make the discovered insights actionable, as they discover new knowledge and utilize predictive power of computational intelligence approaches.

Business Analytics itself is used for the following purposes:

  • To explore data to find new patterns and relationships (data mining)
  • To evaluate and test previous decisions (randomized controlled experiments, multivariate testing)
  • To explain why a certain outcome happened (statistical analysis, descriptive analysis)
  • To venture into the future (forecast) results (predictive modeling, predictive analytics)

Once the business goal(s) of the analysis is agreed upon, an analysis methodology is selected and data are acquired to support the analysis. Data acquisition often involves extraction from many sources and business systems, data cleaning, dimensionality reduction, feature evaluation, and subsequent integration into a single repository, such as a data mart or a larger data warehouse. Competitive intelligence utilizing intelligent software agents might be used to locate and extract some of the needed data. The analysis is typically performed against a smaller sample set of data to verify its applicability first, and then used on all historical evidence the business has accumulated.

Analytic tools range from spreadsheets with statistical functions to complex data mining and predictive modeling applications. As patterns and relationships in the data are discovered, new questions are asked, new queries are sent, and the analytic process iterates until the business goal is met. This could be optimized by additional technologies such as optimization and/or genetic algorithms.

Deployment of predictive models involves ranking data and information, evaluating their “novelty indexes,” and using the ranks to optimize real-time decisions within applications and business processes. One can also utilize Business Analytics at the tactical level of a business pyramid to tackle unforeseen events, and in many cases the decision making could be automated to support real-time inputs. It is its predictive power that makes computational intelligence insights actionable. The finding associated with an action that is deemed reliable, based upon past data, gives the decision maker a high degree of confidence.

Each chapter in this book is followed by a set of exercises, which are intended to enhance the understanding of the material presented in the chapter. The solutions to a selected subset of these exercises are provided in the instructor’s manual, which also contains further suggestions for use of the text under various circumstances. The exercises are of varying levels of difficulty. The following rating system is applied to approximately indicate the amount of effort required for solving the exercises:

  • [Level 1]—Problems at Level 1 are solvable within a day. They test the comprehension and mastery of fundamental concepts. If they relate to the use of software or writing computer code, the programming time is short.
  • [Level 2]—Solving problems at Level 2 can take days or weeks (e.g., proof of concept programming or implementation). The chapters provide all the information necessary for solving Level 1 and Level 2 problems.
  • [Level 3]—Problems at Level 3 are even harder, and their solutions can take several weeks or even months (e.g., semester-long projects). Many of these exercises are related to innovative avenues of current research.
  • [Level 4]—Problems at Level 4 concern open research questions and could be topics of graduate theses or dissertations. Solving Level 3 and Level 4 exercises typically requires doing further literature searches and/or conducting extensive experiments.

It is recommended that the reader do the Level 1 and Level 2 exercises, and tackle at least some of the problems at Levels 3 and 4. Carefully working through Level 1 and Level 2 problems will reward the reader with a thorough understanding of the material of the chapters, and solving Level 3 and Level 4 exercises could turn a reader into an innovator!

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020