What is Business Intelligence?

BY: EMMANUEL URIAS

What is Business Intelligence?

The term Business Intelligence is used to refer to the technologies, tools, practices, and applications that are used in businesses and corporations to collect, integrate, analyze, and present their raw data in a manner that creates actionable and insightful information.  The information collected through the leveraging of services and software to transform intelligence informs a business’s tactical decisions.

The Business Intelligence (BI) discipline and technological process is made up of:

  • Data Mining
  • Online analytical processing
  • Querying
  • Reporting

Purpose of Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence serves the purpose of supporting and enabling businesses to make smart decisions from tactical information. It acts as a data-driven decision making support system that is used interchangeably with executive information systems, briefing books, and query and report tools.

Benefits of Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence helps companies identify any problem areas within the organization, their most profitable customers, and other possible investment areas.

Some of the key benefits of implement Business Intelligence within an organization are:

  1. Fast Decision Making

Business Intelligence tools and systems enable organizations to see detailed data from all depths of the organization, from customer data to financial data. The systems are able to synthesize the data in a faster manner than a human individual would.

  1. Identifies Opportunities

Business Intelligence systems analyze all aspects of an organization.  It compares its strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities against the market conditions. According to the Journal of Theoretical and Applied Information Technology, this gives companies a competitive advantage. More so, this data gives companies incites on any opportunities within the market.

  1. Eliminates Waste

Theses intelligence tools help sieve out any unnecessary resources and aspects that are not adding any value to companies. They pinpoint any areas of waste that might have previously gone unnoticed or unidentified.

  1. Easy Consolidation of Data

The automated data collection provided by Business Intelligence tools decrease the amount of time that would have been wasted on trying to consolidate data.

Business Intelligence Tools

Businesses choose Business Intelligence tools based on their size, complexity of operations, and the available technologies. Some of the Business Intelligence tools identified as the best in the market include, Sisense, Actuate Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT), Looker, Domo, Clear Analytics, and Ducen among others.

Business Intelligence Trends

In today’s business world, more and more organizations are beginning to view information management as an integrated enterprise approach. Enterprise information management brings Business Intelligence and Enterprise Content Management together. Currently organizations are moving towards Operational Business Intelligence which is currently underserved and uncontested by vendors.

The concept of BI revolves around the integration and delivery of relevant business information within organizations. Companies use these tools to help them quickly identify information and adapt to changing environments. Business Intelligence tools and systems help organizations to grow by improving the decision making processes in place at all management levels. Their information consolidation feature improves the tactical strategic management processes.