Business intelligence is an extremely broad term that can encompass many things. It’s a broad concept, and there are many different types of business intelligence. Generally speaking, business intelligence refers to the process of gathering raw data from your organization and making it available in a way that makes sense to decision-makers. It also refers to the technology used to gather this information and present it in an effective way.
Data Analysis vs Business Intelligence
How does business intelligence differ from data analysis? Data analysis is simply using a tool like Excel or SPSS to look at raw data from your organization and make sense of it (i.e., find trends, calculate averages, etc.). For example: “Our sales are increasing by .5% every quarter.” That statement may sound simple enough; however, we need some context before we can truly understand its meaning (i.e., “Do we have more customers now than when we started?”). You may be thinking that this isn’t very different than what you do right now with Excel or SPSS; however, business intelligence differs because you’re gathering all your company’s data for analysis rather than just using one particular set of information for one particular purpose (a common practice today). In addition, business intelligence processes include methods for presenting all this analyzed information in an easily digestible format so that anyone at any level within the organization can understand it effectively. My company uses BI software to do exactly that.
What is Business Intelligence Software?
Business intelligence software (like our company uses) gathers all your company’s data and presents it in an easy-to-follow format. It can include a variety of functions, but here are some common ones: Data gathering – Collecting your organization’s data in a centralized place (i.e., one database instead of multiple spreadsheets). Data clustering – Grouping all your company’s data by certain variables so you can easily identify trends and make sense of the data quickly and effectively. Data analysis – Measuring how successful your organization has been over time using this information, calculating averages for sales revenue versus expenses, etc., as we discussed earlier in this post.
Data Presentation – Summarizing the above processes into reports that anyone within the organization can access to be more informed about their business as well as more knowledgeable about how to make better decisions going forward. Here are some common examples: Sales reports by product line or region Internet usage statistics by age range or gender Job performance metrics across different departments Expense reports for each department The possibilities with business intelligence software like ours are endless! In fact, business intelligence software is only limited by our imaginations! We could use it to track almost any aspect of our operation with relative ease if we wanted! 🙂 So what does that mean? Well. It means that there are businesses out there that are able to use business intelligence software to their advantage. Business intelligence software is an extremely useful tool for any organization, and it can provide a competitive advantage if used properly!
What is the Future of Business Intelligence?
The future of business intelligence is very bright. I love this topic because it’s so full of information – both old and new. Some people say that the Internet has made business intelligence obsolete because you can gather all your data from multiple web sources (e.g., Google Analytics) for free; however, others believe that the Internet has only made our need for quality business intelligence more prevalent than ever before! I’m in the latter category and think we’ll see much more focus on BI in years to come as technology continues to advance at an incredibly fast pace! So what does this mean for us? Well, I believe it means that getting into a career in BI or related fields like data analysis will be a smart move over time as our society becomes increasingly dependent on technology (and therefore information). Of course, technology doesn’t always develop at a consistent pace; however, trends are important things to consider when deciding on your career path. It’s also important not just to consider how quickly one particular trend may develop but also how well positioned you’ll be when it does happen if you choose a certain career path versus another one with regards to developing new skills and learning about new technologies as they arise.
I hope this has been helpful and will encourage you to keep up with the exciting world of business intelligence software, information gathering, and analysis!