Deriving intelligence (or useful information) out of a whole set of raw, structured or unstructured data, is the Business Intelligence Definition. Any business gathers a large amount of data from the business transactions in does with its customers, suppliers/vendors and all other related activities. A variety of software applications are available that helps users analyze raw data and make this BI Definition work. These tools often make end users get the processes run, rather than waiting for IT personnel run special reports for them. This kind of BI Definition necessitates that the software tools are able to do data mining, querying and reporting of underlying data as well as conduct online analytical processing.
By the way the Business Intelligence Definition works the BI tools could equally be used to find operational intelligence besides sales, marketing or business expansion decisions. Business leaders could look at costs, material acquisition and other aspects of the business to identify if some business processes are not working well. The Business Intelligence (BI) Definition allows for executives to reengineers such inefficient processes and they can have solid data to back such decisions. The data mining allowed in the BI Definition, helps dig out these relevant data easily, rather than depending on some empirical data. BI Definition cover both the strategic as well as tactical decision making by businesses. It is possible, for example restaurant chains like Wendy’s, to decide strategically what new menu items to be added to the outlets across the nation or a region. Tactical decisions such as negotiating/renegotiation contact with suppliers are covered under the Business Intelligence Definition too. Quite often executives use dashboards, on their decision support systems, that help monitor crucial parameters. Business Intelligence (BI) Definition covers setting up of some limits on such parameters and generating alarms to help draw the attention of the executive.
Business Intelligence Definition and the definition of business analytics often overlap. Business analytics used to be considered a component of the business analysis tool chest. If Business Intelligence Definition covers tools that let executives monitor trends inside the data collected, data analytics can be considered as the mining of data to discover any new tends that may exist. Data analytics will let you find all kinds of correlation/cross-correlations that may exist in various segments of data that keeps pouring in into a business. Data collected into data warehouses is useful in this regard. By BI Definition, such data storehouses can be used to run BI tools equally easily.
BI reporting almost ends with dashboards. Operations managers can use these for business planning work to an extent. This group of business managers however, needs more features that the Business Intelligence (BI) Definition allows. It is difficult to iterate BI reports according to ne “what if” questions. More often than not, standardized reports that monitor predefined key metrics are covered under BI. Analytics needs to take care of such questions and thus allow drilling down to data even to its source and the tools are different from this point of view.
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