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Difference between Business Intelligence and Business Analytics?

Fast-changing technologies and modern marketing solutions have confused the differences between Business Intelligence and Business Analytics to the point that they are used almost interchangeably.

Business Intelligence and Business Analytics?

Effectively they are both key to enhancing business performance but there are differences to be noted. Using Business Intelligence and Business Analytics correctly can be the difference between success and failure because businesses are becoming much more competitive on every level.

What do Business Intelligence and Business Analytics have in common?

Both Business Intelligence and Business Analytics are terms that describe various types of technologies and approaches. Both are data management solutions that collect data and, through specialised software, use the statistics identified to deliver useful insights for better business decision-making.

So, what are the differences?

While both Business Intelligence and Business Analytics provide insights into business operations for better-informed decision-making, the key differences are how they perform these analytics and what information they actually provide.

  • Business Intelligence – this refers to what happened in the past and how it happened leading up to modern times. The focus is more on identifying major trends and patterns with little attention given to why it happened or future predictions. Most Business Intelligence was performed by IT analytics’ professionals but modern self-service Business Intelligence software means even the less technological individuals can access this information.
  • Business Analytics – this focuses much more on why something happened in the past, highlighting all the contributing factors and causality. Once this has been analysed, it is able to make predictions about what will happen in the future. It refers to the movement of tailoring analytics and Business Intelligence for the more non-technical business people.

Is Business Intelligence part of Business Analytics?

Some consider the two to be inherently interlinked, where Business Analytics consist of data warehousing, information, predictive data analytics, as well as Business Intelligence, which is the descriptive part of the data analysis.

Is the differentiation important?

There are some who believe the differentiation between Business Intelligence and Business Analytics is inconsequential because companies will always need the basic business insights, but the strategies used are always evolving. However, understanding the software solutions and what they provide is key to business performance.

It all comes down to technology

Basically, a business needs to know what technology to invest in to get the right business insights and take on the competition. Because the use of the terms Business Intelligence and Business Analytics are so muddied, it’s vital that businesses discuss with providers exactly what each system offers the business. Some of the questions to consider are:

  • What do you need the system to do?
  • Who will be using it?
  • How detailed do you want the insights?
  • How tech-savvy must you be to use it?
  • How much control and visibility do you need?

Benefits of Business Intelligence and Business Analytics

Both business analytics and business intelligence are extremely beneficial to businesses in monitoring useful trends, detecting significant events, and analysing data to give businesses a useful picture of what is happening in the organisation. This empowers business owners to optimise business processes, increase operational efficiency, improve decision-making and drive revenue overall. Technological advances, such as Business Intelligence and Business Analytics, are key to modern business practice and survival.

Read More: Benefits of outsourcing business analytics

Canvas Intelligence provides granular business intelligence solutions to help companies track operational efficiencies, control budgets and manage costs in real-time.

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