Business Intelligence is a term used to describe a set of models, methods, processes, people and tools that work regularly on the huge amount of data of a company. Through processing, analysis, and aggregation, these data become accessible and comprehensible information that supports the Top Management’s strategic, tactical, and operational decisions, in a fast and effective way.
The potential benefits of business intelligence tools include accelerating and improving decision-making, optimizing internal business processes, increasing operational efficiency, driving new revenues and gaining competitive advantage over business rivals. BI systems can also help companies to identify market trends and to spot business problems to solve.
Initially, BI tools were primarily used by data analysts and other IT professionals who ran analyses and produced reports with query results for business users. Increasingly, however, business executives and workers are using BI platforms themselves, thanks to the development of self-service BI and data discovery tools and dashboards.
Business intelligence combines a broad set of data analysis applications, including ad hoc analytics and querying, enterprise reporting, online analytical processing (OLAP), mobile BI, real-time BI, operational BI, cloud and software-as-a-service BI, open source BI, collaborative BI, location intelligence etc.
BI technology also includes data visualization software for designing charts and other infographics, as well as tools for building BI dashboards and performance scorecards that display visualized data on business metrics and key performance indicators in an easy-to-grasp way.
BI programs may also incorporate forms of advanced analytics, such as data mining, predictive analytics, text mining, statistical analysis and big data analytics. In many cases, though, advanced analytics projects are conducted and managed by separate teams of data scientists, statisticians, predictive modelers and other skilled analytics professionals, while BI teams oversee more straightforward querying and analysis of business data.