What is Business Intelligence?

12/17/2014 John Stevens Business

What is business intelligence? In today’s marketplace of trendy buzzwords and flashy slogans, business intelligence (BI) has come to mean a variety of things ranging from software tools to data analysis techniques. However, at its core, business intelligence aims at enabling businesses to make better business decisions from the data they possess. In the world of software, a BI solution is often appropriately referred to as decision support system as that is exactly what business intelligence aims to accomplish.

The goal of a business intelligence solution is to enable firms to make sense out of their data and to make informed choices regarding their corporate strategy as a result. It is often the case that a company is drowning in data yet they have very little in terms of useful information. The goal of a good BI tool is to provide analysis, show trends, and offer decision makers in a company the opportunity to explore historical data in order to provide strategy for the future.

A variety of products exist to provide decision support to companies to facilitate business intelligence, and any decision on a particular BI tool should be led by business needs first and foremost. Business intelligence software should be user-centered and allow users to easily execute ad hoc queries, create graphs and charts, and allow users to explore different facets and relationships within their corporate data store. With such a tool, users can iteratively study the information that their company possess to effect positive changes through deeper insight into the information that a company possesses. With improved decision making, a company can strengthen their position against the competition by arming them with strategic information.

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