DELTA BARTH develops intelligent database
Databases are the central information storage of each ERP-software. But there is much more within... How databases do not only depict facts, but are able to change the knowledge management of companies with artificial intelligence this question is answered at the moment by the DELTA BARTH during a new research project.
Transparent and essential analyses of business processes – this is a central requirement of their ERP-system for the most users. Whether turnover figures, production processes or construction plans – the databases of an ERP-software picture systemically the daily working processes of a company in a form of rational data and with it a technical and financial value for the companies. The access to the saved information takes place via fixed defined key words. The turnovers of the last year, the average duration of a certain process step or also the time plan of a concrete project can be requested via these keys. „As long as you know what you want to search databases reflect all these information – but they do not deliver any information about whose meaning or support the user to individualise a search request“, Frank Otto, manager of the project at DELTA BARTH, explains. The research project starts exactly here.
Database requests register exclusively fixed define parameters until now and can only be programmed directly by the ERP-provider according to the high complexity. The results from the research project shall change this: „DELECO® users shall design their analyses themselves in the future“, Otto explains further. „Our users shall arrange the parameters of the requests individually and navigate the database intuitively instead of rigid, preset reports.“
Artificial intelligence: From information to knowledge storage
This is possible by the development of an ontology-supported system. „Ontology describes an interactive view to information. Data are reflected exactly the way how the user sees them – not the way how a programmer pretend the user how to read them“, Otto explains. The idea of the new database bases on the semantic networking of information. If information of a database are not just read as clear data, but interpreted and networked by its sense then the information storage database becomes a knowledge storage.
Herewith the attributes of the database tables are occupied with meanings and semantic rules. So databases become semantic networks which combine the clear information with contents. „Semantic networks base on associations with regard to contents and are similar to the human mode to process information – which increases the user friendliness extremely when using such databases,“ Otto adds.
One example: The analysis of a project has the result that a production order is in arrears. Now the user can ask targeted for the reasons of this delay. Is an employee not present due to illness? Is a machine defect? Had another order been preferred? The user is not connected to predefined reports when creating his requests, but follows the requirements of the concrete situation. The knowledge process improves by the visualisation of information in semantic networks furthermore which supports the intuitive navigation within the data world: An ontology-supported database is even able to save relations between the data and to connect new contact points between information self-learning. The technology can realise connections within the data with the help of the semantic rules and is characterised by artificial intelligence with it. Such procedures of the ontology and the artificial intelligence had only been developped and tested in the scope of universities so far. A real innovation will be expected with the implementation within the software DELECO®.
The research project – figures and facts
The research project „Development of a framework and of interactive elements to realise an ontology-supported system for the analysis of big data“ takes place from February 2013 until December 2014. The DELTA BARTH Systemhaus GmbH executes the project within the ‚Zentralen Innovationsprogramms Mittelstand (ZIM)‘ of the Federal Ministry for economy and technology.