What is business intelligence?

Business intelligence

Business Intelligence (BI) refers to software applications that are used to analyse an organisation’s data.

The significance of data in a business has reached new highs but many of the ideas stemming from big data analytics, already have some history under the umbrella term business intelligence.

BI has been around in various forms for a number of years, dating back to at least 1989, but has now become increasingly swamped under the new umbrella term big data analytics.

Under this there are numerous tools, applications, and methodologies that are designed to help businesses to collect data from both internal and external source, prepare it for analysis, and run queries against it in order to create reports.

Reports can be created and access through dashboards, data visualisation tools, and other processes in order to make the results of the analytic queries easy to understand.

The reason for doing this is to influence decision making so that the business can internally operate more efficiently and externally gain competitive advantage over business rivals. BI systems are capable of helping a business identify market trends and problems that need to be addressed.

Who are the top BI vendors?

Technology Term:

Business Intelligence

Standard Definition Exists?


Accepted Acronym:


Year first used/coined:


Attributed to:

Richard Millar Devens

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