Business Intelligence, or BI, comes in many forms. The term is used to describe any type of software technology that is used to pluck data from a range of sources to help businesses create adaptable reports, view and analyze up-to-date information, and ultimately make better decisions. Whether it is used to pull information for competitive intelligence, internal analysis, or market intelligence, the goal should be the same – simplifying the unearthing and analysis of vital information so members of business teams at all levels can better understand the issues and challenges they’re facing. Resulting in simple collaborations to find more productive solutions.
Business Intelligence systems provide historical, current, and predictive views of business operations, most often using data that has been gathered into a data warehouse or a data mart and occasionally working from operational data. Software elements support reporting, interactive “slice-and-dice” pivot-table analyses, visualization, and statistical data mining. Applications tackle sales, production, financial, and many other sources of business data for purposes that include business performance management. Information is often gathered about other companies in the same industry which is known as benchmarking.
Although many companies struggle to make the necessary changes to take advantage of this type of software technology, business intelligence consultants can make the process much easier by presenting a plan of action and assisting in the transition toward a more intelligent and analytical business model in the future.
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