To some, the term “business intelligence” may seem like a hilarious oxymoron, but the term is actually not used to describe how smart a business or its owner is. Instead, it’s used to describe a number of different computer programs that are used to gather, analyze, and report on a business’s data. Business intelligence, or BI as it’s often called, is made of things such as data mining, data querying, reporting, and analytical processing. But while this may answer the question of what is BI, the actual applications of business intelligence aren’t as clear without further description. Let’s take a look at how BI is used today and why it’s become a necessity in the business world.
Business intelligence as a concept has been used for quite some time, but it was almost always outsourced to professional analytical teams that had the necessary computer equipment to manage large amounts of raw data. However, thanks to advances in technology, now even small businesses can implement some business intelligence practices. There are a number of software applications that can be run on standard computers, so sending data to IT experts is no longer necessary, making BI the order of the day. That said, it's critical that your team is trained on the latest BI tools.
BI is used to help improve the decision making process. With the information gathered from the data, executives and other decision makers have a solid foundation to use as the base of their decisions. The reports generated from BI can be used to make internal processes better, make the business operate more efficiently, identify new revenue streams, and more.