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Business Intelligence Overview

Business Intelligence is a concept that has evolved from the 1960s as an information-sharing system across organisations, to the 1980s where it was associated with computers and various IT-reliant service solutions. Modern Business Intelligence is somewhat more technical, but essentially gives a comprehensive view of the business for better decision-making.

What is Business Intelligence?

This umbrella term refers to all the processes and methods related to collecting, storing and analysing data from business operations which optimise overall performance. Business Intelligence involves all the technologies, applications and practices which are used to collect, integrate, analyse and present business information to allow for enhanced, data-based decision-making. With Business Intelligence, analysts are also able to spot trends which will serve to increase sales and revenue.

Read more: Business Intelligence vs Business Analytics

Trends in Business Intelligence

Organisations are now seeking ways to develop Business Intelligence for enhanced business processes. Here are some of the emerging trends in 2020:

1. Self-Service Business Intelligence

One of the biggest trends in modern Business Intelligence is the implementation of Self-Service Business Intelligence (SSBI) whereby end-users are able to access an organisation’s information, without the necessary technical skill. The SSBI is flexible and user-friendly, so that end-users are able to analyse data and make decisions themselves.

2. Artificial Intelligence

The implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) automation is commonplace in many forward-thinking companies, with constant adaptions being made to fine-tune systems. One example of this Business Intelligence use is the creation of chatbots being used across industries.

3. Increased automation

Human error is being phased out as data-related tasks are being done completely by machines. This is being seen in Business Intelligence analytics for smooth running within the productivity stages of organisations.

Business Intelligence processes

Here is a look at some of the processes that can be expected from Business Intelligence:

  • Data mining – this is the use of databases, statistics and machine learning to discover trend patterns.
  • Data visualisation – data is represented as charts, graphs and histograms.
  • Visual analysis – using storytelling to communicate data insights.
  • Reporting – data analysis is shared for effective decision-making.
  • Performance metrics / benchmarking – when performance data is compared to historical data to track performance goals.
  • Descriptive analytics – preliminary data analysis determines what has happened in the past.
  • Querying – BI will provide relevant data-specific information requested.
  • Statistical analysis – when descriptive analytics’ results are analysed to understand trends.

Benefits of Business Intelligence

Organisations from all industries are benefitting from the implementation of Business Intelligence software. These include, among others:

  • Analysing customer behaviour and discovering ways to improve relations
  • Identifying market trends
  • Streamlining operations
  • Identifying areas of increased profit potential
  • Tracking performance and predicting areas of success
  • Early identification of problem areas for quick resolution
  • Data comparison to keep up with competitors

Read More: 10 key benefits of Business Intelligence


To get the maximum benefits from Business Intelligence solutions, it’s important to partner with an experienced provider who can tailor packages and provide Business Intelligence support where needed.

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