Business Intelligence is a process that performs data analysis and presents the information to the end users in such a way that they can make informed business decisions.
Business Intelligence analyzes past and current data and provides organizations an insight into the future. Organizations rely heavily on BI in today’s ever-changing business environment so that they can plan strategically from the forecasts of BI technologies; this, in turn improves their overall organizational performance.
BI performs analysis, reporting, data mining, predictive analysis, online analytical processing, and business performance management.
Benefits of Business Intelligence
The benefits of business intelligence technologies include:
- Improved decision making.
- Identifying customer behaviors, trends, and patterns.
- Enhanced operational efficiency and competitive advantage.
- Reduced costs and increased revenues.
Stages of BI
Business Intelligence consists of the following four stages: Data Collection, Data Storage, Data Analysis and Providing Data Access.
Data Collection helps to gather past and current data for improved decision-making.
Data Storage helps to store the data efficiently for future reporting and analysis.
In the Data Analysis stage, data is analyzed using qualitative and quantitative approaches, and various patterns and trends are identified to provide future insight.
Providing Data Access
Providing access to data allows the user to perform an analysis and view the results through various reporting tools and dashboards.
Features of Business Intelligence Tools
Business Intelligence tools generally contain the following features:
- Hierarchal Data Organization—Allows data to build off itself and be drilled up or down to reveal more information. For example, if your data is organized by date, it can have a hierarchy of years and months. When viewing the trends over a period of years, you can simply click on one of the years and the data will be drilled down, revealing the trends by month for that specific year.
- Drag-And-Drop Interface—Provides ease of use for the user by allowing them to simply drag the data column they want to analyze into the report or analysis, instantly producing a new chart or graph.
- Data Aggregation—Organizes your data by sum, average, count, max, or min. Similarly, you can organize date-driven data by years, quarters, months, etc.
- Data Filters—. Provides the ability to limit data within a set to a subset based on criteria defined by the user.