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What is Business Intelligence?

By   /  November 13, 2017  /  No Comments

business intelligenceBusiness Intelligence (BI) includes the technologies and tools used to analyze and report on different business operations. Business Intelligence uses raw data stored in varying Data Warehouses, Data Marts, Data Lakes, and other storage platforms, and transforms it into actionable knowledge/information assets. Such elements include dashboards, spreadsheets, data visualizations, reports, and many others.

“In its more comprehensive usage, BI is all of the systems, platforms, software, technology, and techniques that are essential for the collection, storage, retrieval, and analysis of data assets within a given organization. Therefore, BI is the procedures and processes used for strategic planning, decision making, market research, customer support, inventory analysis, statistical reporting, and many other aspects of an enterprise’s overall operational insight mechanisms.” (Kelle O’Neal & Charles Roe)

Business Intelligence, as stated in DAMA DMBOK:

“[Has] two meanings…First it refers to a type of data analysis aimed at understanding organizational activities and opportunities. Results of such analysis are used to improve organizational success…Secondly, Business Intelligence refers to a set of technologies that support this kind of data analysis…BI tools enable querying, data mining, statistical analysis, reporting, scenario modeling, data visualization and dashboarding.”

 Other definitions of Business Intelligence include:

  • “An umbrella term that includes the applications, infrastructure…tools and best practices that enable access to and analysis of information to improve and optimize” (Gartner IT Glossary)
  • “BI focuses on… a way to make decisions quickly and efficiently based on the right information at the right time (Keith Foote)
  • A software and services leverage that transforms “…data into actionable intelligence that informs and organization’s strategic and tactical business decisions (Mary Pratt, CIO)
  • An “…umbrella term that encompasses a range of activities around data collection, processing and analysis for businesses.” (Mikal Khoso, Northeastern University)
  • “A set of methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that leverage the output of information management processes for analysis, reporting, performance management, and information delivery.” (Forrester)
  • “A term that refers to ideas, practices and technologies for turning raw data into information that businesses can use to make better organizational decisions.” (businessintelligence)

Organizations use Business Intelligence to:

  • Support operational functions.
  • Comply with regulatory requirements.
  • Gain insight about the organization, it customers and its products.
  • Gain a competitive advantage.
  • Practice Descriptive, Predictive, Prescriptive, and Real-Time Analytics
  • Make decisions or monitor progress (Kelle O’Neal)

 

Photo Credit: Zuraihan Md Zain /Shutterstock.com

About the author

Michelle Knight enjoys putting her information specialist background to use by writing technical articles on enhancing Data Quality, lending to useful information. Michelle has written articles on W3C validator for SiteProNews, SEO competitive analysis for the SLA (Special Libraries Association), Search Engine alternatives to Google, for the Business Information Alert, and Introductions on the Semantic Web, HTML 5, and Agile, Seabourne INC LLC, through AboutUs.com. She has worked as a software tester, a researcher, and a librarian. She has over five years of experience, contracting as a quality assurance engineer at a variety of organizations including Intel, Cigna, and Umpqua Bank. During that time Michelle used HTML, XML, and SQL to verify software behavior through databases Michelle graduated, from Simmons College, with a Masters in Library and Information with an Outstanding Information Science Student Award from the ASIST (The American Society for Information Science and Technology) and has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Smith College. Michelle has a talent for digging into data, a natural eye for detail, and an abounding curiosity about finding and using data effectively.

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