What’s Business Intelligence?
Business Intelligence (BI) is a set of tools and technologies used to convert the raw data into meaningful and actionable insights. This can help a lot of companies while making their decisions through providing them with historical data.
How is the Business Intelligence system implemented?
There are three main steps in order to built this kind of system:
1- Extract the raw data from the database to be used in analysis
2- Preprocess the data by cleaning it and convert it to a data warehouse where data is formed in cubes.
3- Use the BI system in a lot of things like asking queries, requesting ad-hoc reporting, analyzing, and more.
After that, the user can make decisions that suit what he discovered.
Business Intelligence vs. Data Science
From what you read till now, you might think that Business Intelligence and Data Science are the same, but they’re totally different.
Business Intelligence (BI):
In BI, the analyzation step is done for the previous data to find hindsights from the past and insights for the current moment. The BI data can be internal and external which are needed in answering questions, run queries, etc.
It’s more likely to be a forward-looking approach as it helps taking decisions based on predictions made from past and current data. It’s questions can be more broad and may contain “what” and “how” unlike the questions of BI which are simple.
Who can use BI systems?
As Business Intelligence systems are not suitable for everyone, there are four main types of users who can interact with them:
1- The IT users: as they are maintaining, developing, and testing BI systems.
2- Data Analyst
As the data analysts want to extract in-depth information about the business, BI systems help them in their strategies by providing them fresh insights.
3- Business Owner
As a head of a company, CEO, or CXO , I want to get insights that help take the right actions and increase my business profit.
4- Business Users
Those are the BI system users across the company whether they work with complex data sets or use only dashboards to evaluate the predefined data sets.
Why Business Intelligence?
To answer this question we need to know the advantages of BI Systems. Those are some of them:
– The ability of reporting very fast and gives a bird’s eye view
– More Accuracy in reports provided from the system.
– Help in making decisions and take the right actions
– Provide high-quality data insights
– Improve both customer and employee satisfaction
– Increase the competitiveness in the market
– Reduce costs and increase the revenues
With all of these advantages, any company that wants to stay in the market and take organized actions should use BI systems.
Disadvantages of BI Systems
Despite the number of advantages of BI systems and how it helps a lot of business, they have also a dark side which includes:
BI systems can be not affordable for many small or medium companies.
As we said above, not everyone can use BI systems unless he/ she knows what to do. BI systems are also complex in the implementation of data warehouses that hold the data.
3-Time Consuming Implementation
Although the processes of data and insights retrieval are done very fast, the time needed for implementing a data warehouse may take years.