Don't let the words scare you off!

New words and terms are all around us, and it's natural to become confused and unsure.We've made a list with short explanations of the most common - and important - words that you'll come across on your digital journey.



Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence demonstrated by machines, as opposed to the natural intelligence displayed by animals including humans. AI research has been defined as the field of study of intelligent agents, which refers to any system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of achieving its goals. Wikipedia


An application programming interface is a connection between computers or between computer programs. It is a type of software interface, offering a service to other pieces of software. Wikipedia

Actionable Analytics

Actionable analytics help increase efficiency and improve accuracy and dependability. So much so, that companies can rely on the software for general decision making.


A project-management methodology (or movement), initiated within in software development industry, that encourages short-term projects, constant re-evaluation, and adaption. An area worthwhile assessing for possible usage beyond software development. Transparency throughout the delivery team and a to a large extent autonomy is two important pillars of agile. Agile also allows for failing and re-do. Agile enable for rapid product delivery of business requirements / new functionality in an incremental style.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented Reality is the digital overlay (sound, video or graphic elements) that mix VR and real world, expanding the physical side. Typical example is the head up display in a car, it projects driver information like speed, speed limits and navigation guidance projected for the driver on the front window and visible from his/her seat when behind the steering wheel. In an industrial environment, the user can get information about an object, machine, warehousing etc etc in the glass when wearing protective glasses.


The technique of making an apparatus, a process, or a system operate automatically.


An autonomous system (AS) is a collection of connected Internet Protocol (IP) routing prefixes under the control of one or more network operators on behalf of a single administrative entity or domain, that presents a common and clearly defined routing policy to the Internet. Wikipedia

Big Data

Generic term, referring to the growth in the volumes of structured and unstructured data, the speed at which it is created and collected, and the scope of how many data points are covered. Big data often comes from multiple sources, in multiple formats.

Business Intelligence (BI)

Systematically approach to analyse the business, often by virtualisation of business data. Typically involves data from core busines systems like ERP systems, CRM systems and HR systems. Get insight for historical, current and future performance (predictions).

Citizen development

Application development by business users, in ecosystems provided by corporate IT. Often low code, drag and drop style programming tools. Important enabler for corporate digitalisation scale.

Cloud & Cloud Computing

Shared computing services delivered from a common data centre location that are scalable, flexible, secure and with high availability over the globe. Pay per consumption / use. Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure etc. are offering a large and varied kind of services for the business needs to outsource server capacity and maintenance work.


In computing, data as a service, or DaaS, is a term used to describe cloud-based software tools used for working with data, such as managing data in a data warehouse or analyzing data with business intelligence. It is enabled by software as a service (SaaS). Like all "as a service" (aaS) technology, DaaS builds on the concept that its data product can be provided to the user on demand, regardless of geographic or organizational separation between provider and consumer. Wikipedia

Data driven

As a data driven organisation you manage, innovate, improve and operate by using intelligence in your data to take the optimal decision at any level. This rather than by human intuition or personal experience.

Data engineer

The data engineers collect relevant data. They move and transform this data into “pipelines” for the Data Science team. They could use programming languages such as Java, Scala, C++ or Python depending on their task.

Data lake

  • Data Platform is landing zone for data transfer from       source system
  • Data stored in its original form. In general, this means potentially infinite storage capacity for any file format
  • Tools for processing & transforming (to normalise) the stored data
  • Usually, a tool hosted in the Cloud

Data management

Includes data governance and is the process that should secure that business-critical data is handled in a structured and quality assured way. Data owners and data stewards are roles in data management.

Data mining

Are the analyses and examining process of large amounts of data to find patterns and use these patterns to get a better insight in the collected data – big data. Tools like “Artificial Intelligence (AI)” and “Machine Learning (ML)” are used to crunch the data and extract the desired patterns from the data.

Data platform

A standardised computer platform that gathers data from different system sources and normalise / harmonise the data for the presentation layer. This layer could be a BI tool such as Power BI or Tableau, it can also be a new application consuming those data. Regardless, the user will be capable of compare and analyse data at the same level, date/time, meaning – you can compare apples with apples. The goal is to get access to trustworthy data of high quality. Modern data platform capabilities are usually built and provided from the Cloud.

Data scientist

They analyse, test, aggregate, optimize the data and present it for the company. In more details they do analyses to assess data quality, determine the meaning of the data. They can use statistical tools to identify and analyse patterns and trends in the data. Some companies with advanced processes complete their teams with AI Engineering or Machine Learning Engineering capabilities.

Data warehouse

  • Cleaned data offered in an organized structure, in a SQL      database
  • Connects to the analytics / new app layer for data consumption


A standardised computer platform that gathers data from different system sources and normalise / harmonise the data for the presentation layer. This layer could be a BI tool such as Power BI or Tableau, it can also be a new application consuming those data. Regardless, the user will be capable of compare and analyse data at the same level, date/time, meaning – you can compare apples with apples. The goal is to get access to trustworthy data of high quality. Modern data platform capabilities are usually built and provided from the Cloud.


Software development process that helps streamline development and operations. It includes quality management to this ecosystem and co-existence, and has become a popular way of providing new applications and new functionality and bug-fixing for such in a rapid manner supporting the changing and growing business and market needs.

Diital twin

A virtual, computer-generated model / representation of a product, build, process or service. A digital twin enables for data analysis and monitoring. Mostly used for simulation, planning and testing of complex constructions.


A new technology, business model or something else that can be so successful that existing products, companies and services might be obsolete, and it changes the whole market. Example of disruptive companies are: Über, Airbnb, Netflix and Spotify. These organisations are all data driven and they work agile.


Enterprise Architecture is a discipline that defines, organise, standardise and document the entire architecture of a business. It covers the business, its digital, physical and organisational domains and combining them into one model for analytics and planning purposes. It describes the relations and interactions across those domains within processes, functions, applications, events data and technology.

Frontend / Backend

Front end is the part of a website, application or service that the end user is interacting with. User interface, navigation and data entry control is typical parts of the front end. The service in the “background” that makes this possible I defined as the backend. Typical elements are application code, databases and web servers – neither visible for the end-user.


Software development versioning control system, used for the coordination of programming work.


Software and hardware that allows human operators to monitor the state of a process under control, modify control settings to change the control objective, and manually override automatic control operations in the event of an emergency.


Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) are online services that provide high-level APIs used to dereference various low-level details of underlying network infrastructure like physical computing resources, location, data partitioning, scaling, security, backup etc. dereference. Wikipedia

Information management

Processes for managing, controlling and governing information. This can include user access control, information classification (open, internal, secret, classified), meta data for the information objects, compliance and document lifecycle/archiving. An Information Management Strategy should be the foundation for how and by whom this is handled in an organisation, as a vital input to data quality and data management.

Internet Of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical devices gathering and sharing data and information. IoT is containing numerous types of devices and “things” from machines in industrial production to digital temperature sensors in the home. 5G technology will be an important enabler for this.


Machine learning (ML) is the study of computer algorithms that can improve automatically through experience and by the use of data. It is seen as a part of artificial intelligence. Machine learning algorithms build a model based on sample data, known as training data, in order to make predictions or decisions without being explicitly programmed to do so. Wikipedia

Master data

  • Also called reference data, master data is any information that is considered to play a key role in the core operation of a business
  • May include data about clients and customers, employees, inventory, suppliers, analytics and more
  • Typically shared by multiple users and groups across an organization and stored on different systems

Meta Data

  • Data about data
  • Describes how and when and by whom a particular set of data was collected, and how the data is formatted
  • Essential for understanding information stored in data warehouses and has become increasingly important in XML-based Web applications


Enabler for regular software update since such services are loosely coupled and less pendant of each other. Will help businesses to increase their velocity and scale within software development. They are often perfect fit for supporting one or more simple workflows.

Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Is a version of a product with just enough features to be usable by early customers who can then provide feedback for future product development. Used in both soft- and hardware (solution) development.

No code / Low code

Software application development using modern programming tools where traditional programming language skills are not required. Such modern tools are more in the visual and drag and drop space when it comes to functionality and way of use.


OPCis the interoperability standard for the secure and reliable exchange of datain the industrial automation space and in other industries. It is platform independent and ensures the seamless flow of information among devices frommultiple vendors.


The OPC Unified Architecture (UA), is a platform independent service-oriented architecture that integrates all the functionality of the individual OPC Classic specifications into one extensible framework.


A programmable logic controller or programmable controller is an industrial computer that has been ruggedized and adapted for the control of manufacturing processes, such as assembly lines, machines, robotic devices, or any activity that requires high reliability, ease of programming, and process fault diagnosis.

Computer based HMI (Human Machine Interface) products often provide the means by which process personnel interact with the PLC control system.


Platform as a service (PaaS) or application platform as a service (aPaaS) or platform-based service is a category of cloud computing services that allows customers to provision, instantiate, run, and manage a modular bundle comprising a computing platform and one or more applications, without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching the application(s); and to allow developers to create, develop, and package such software bundles. Wikipedia

Pilot project

The pilot project is an initial small-scale implementation that is used to prove the viability of a project idea. This could involve either the exploration of a novel new approach or idea or the application of a standard approach recommended by outside parties but which is new to the organisation. An example of this would be the standard implementation approach for a new off-the-shelf package. The pilot project enables an organisation to manage the risk of a new idea and identify any deficiencies before substantial resources are committed.

Robotic process automation

Robotic process automation (RPA) is applied on the numerous, small manual tasks and work processes that exists in a company. Manual processes that includes copy and paste of data and information between difference systems and applications. The RPA tool itself is a purpose fir software toolkit that is trained to handle such automatically and transparent for the user. Any keyboard/mouse combination can be automated, regardless of application. Use it to automate sending of receipts, check forms, updating spreadsheets etc etc. Free up time for your valuable employees and enable them to do more value creating tasks, form.


Many industrial organizations rely on a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. It helps operators access actionable data and manage equipment. SCADA is a powerful control system that is designed to collect, analyze, and visualize data from industrial equipment.


Structured Query Language is standardized programming methodology that is used to manage relational databases and to perform operations in the data in the databases. SQL was initiated in the 1970´s and there are numerous toolkits available, the most common and poplar includes Mictosoft SQL Server, Oracle Database and MySQL.


Software as a service (SaaS) is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. SaaS is also known as "on-demand software" and Web-based/Web-hosted software. Wikipedia


Popular framework supporting agile delivery, started in software development and are now popular in many domains, supporting to a certain extent complex deliveries.

Structured data

  • Clearly defined and searchable types of data
  • Quantitative
  • Stored in data warehouses
  • Easy to search and analyze
  • Exists in predefined formats

Unstructured data

  • Usually stored in its native format, in data lakes
  • Qualitative
  • Requires more work to process and understand, use meta data
  • In a variety of formats

User Interface (UI) & User Experience (UX)

Both often used as synonyms even though they have very different meanings. The User Interface (UI) explains the parts of an application, website, computer etc. which the user can manipulate. So everything from the website-menu to buttons and even keyboards or touchscreen can be part of the User Interface (UI). The User Experience (UX) is how the user feels, the emotions he gets and the ease-of-use he has when interacting with a product or service. This can be also the communication with the customer and the product or the design of a service.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality is a term that describes a computer-generated artificial reality, in which the user can interact. Often, special gear like special glasses, gloves etc. are used so user are able to interact in the virtual world.

Voice Recognition & Natural Language Processing (NLP)

Voice Recognition is part of computer science where computers turn spoken words into text. A simple example of Voice Recognition are services like Apple´s Siri, Amazon´s Alexa and Google Assistant, which can be used to dictate texts or to transcribe videos.

Natural-Language-Processing on the other hand is focusing on the interaction between computers and the human language. NLP tries to improve 3 different factors: speech (voice) recognition, natural language understanding and natural-language generation. These fields then include the uptake of what you say, the understanding what you say and then also the natural sounding reaction to what you say. Used to give instructions/inputs and get results/outputs to and from a computer by using the users human voice. There are numerous of implemented use cases; “Alexa, can you please give me the <sensor name> temperature?”, “Alexa, can you please give me the battery state of my <car brand>?”, “Siri, please order 2 liters of milk from <storename>”.

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