Business Intelligence (BI) are the set of strategies, processes, applications, data, technologies and technical architectures which are used to support the collection, analysis, presentation and dissemination of business information. BI technologies provide historical, current and predictive views of business operations. Common functions of business intelligence technologies are reporting, online analytical processing, analytics, data mining, process mining, complex event processing, business performance management, benchmarking, text mining, predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics and are capable of handling large amounts of structured and sometimes unstructured data to help identify, develop and otherwise create new strategic business opportunities. The goal is to allow for the easy interpretation of these big data. Identifying new opportunities and implementing an effective strategy based on insights can provide businesses with a competitive market advantage and long-term stability.
Business intelligence can be used to support a wide range of business decisions ranging from operational to strategic. Basic operating decisions include product positioning or pricing. Strategic business decisions include priorities, goals and directions at the broadest level. In all cases, BI is most effective when it combines data derived from the market in which a company operates (external data) with data from company sources internal to the business such as financial and operations data (internal data). When combined, external and internal data can provide a more complete picture which, in effect, creates an “intelligence” that cannot be derived by any singular set of data. Amongst myriad uses, business intelligence tools empower organisations to gain insight into new markets, assess demand and suitability of products and services for different market segments and gauge the impact of marketing efforts.
Business intelligence is made up of an increasing number of components including:
- Multidimensional aggregation and allocation
- Denormalization, tagging and standardization
- Realtime reporting with analytical alert
- A method of interfacing with unstructured data sources
- Group consolidation, budgeting and rolling forecasts
- Statistical inference and probabilistic simulation
- Key performance indicators optimization
- Version control and process management
- Open item management