Business Intelligence is a technological advancement in the world of enterprises that uses various strategies for data analysis. Business intelligence can be considered as a combination of segments like data gathering, data storage, and knowledge management with proper data analysis to help with the decision-making process. Some researchers regard business intelligence as a set of methodologies, processes, architecture, and technologies that can convert raw data into meaningful and useful data to enable more effective decision-making.
The term Business intelligence (BI) was originated in 1989. It is said to have evolved from a decision support system (DSS) that began in the 1960s and accelerated throughout the mid of 1980s. DSS was developed to assist the decision-making process and planning. In 1989 Howard Dresner popularized the concept of business intelligence by describing it as a method to improve business decisions and forecasting by using various BI softwares and tools. As a result, numerous BI softwares and tools are now available in the market with many advanced features and properties. Also, there are some free BI softwares available with limited features.
BI is getting advanced as a technological boon since it performs functions like reporting, online analytical data processing, analytics, data mining, complex event processing, business performance management, benchmarking, predictive analysis, and perspective analytics. Thereby BI is able to provide accurate historical, current, and predictive views of future business operations.
Nowadays, advanced enterprises apply BI to assist in the framing of important business decisions ranging from operational to strategic. One of the fundamental operating decisions is product positioning and pricing. At the broadest level, Strategic business decisions seem to include Priorities, goals, and Directions. All these changes in the enterprise's world indicate the significance of Business intelligence. As part of the arrival of this new technology, business organizations take much care in training their workforce to manage the BI software and BI tools.
BI is a data analysis process that operates mainly by performing two significant actions.: getting data in and getting data out. Getting data is conventionally termed as data warehousing which involves transferring data from a source system into an integrated warehouse. On the other hand, getting data out receives more attention from organizations since it helps in decision-making. Therefore this second action is commonly referred to as BI.
Role of Business Intelligence
Business intelligence takes its prominent role when it comes to the analysis and interpretation of large volumes of data about the firm and its operations. Business intelligence makes use of large databases (big data) as the basis of sophisticated data analysis more over source of information. Business intelligence is most effective when it operates by combining the external data and internal data with the help of BI software and BI tools. External data is the data derived from the market in which a company operates. Whereas the internal data comprises of the data obtained from the company sources that are internal to the business.
When the BI combines internal and external data, it can demonstrate a complete picture which in turn builds an intelligence that cannot be derived from any of the singular data sets which is being used conventionally. BI is evolving by adapting to the changing business trends. Recent notable expansion in the field of business intelligence is the development of business performance measurement (BPM) and business activity monitoring (BAM). Advanced BI software are designed to monitor these. Along with that BI is expanding from a staff tool to a technical tool which is widely used by people throughout the organization & is termed as BI for masses. Gradually BI will become an unavoidable element in the world of business along with their BI software and BI tool.
Business intelligence makes use of advanced tools such as Power BI and Tableau. Power BI is a business analytics solution provided by Microsoft. It helps to visualize data and share insights across organizations. Power BI is widely used for modeling the data and to create charts and graphs. There are many free tools used in business intelligence such as BIRT, ClicData, The ELK Stack, etc.
Mainly these open sources are used for data creation, visualization, and reporting various technologies that are related to BI. Some of them are Azure Data Factory (ETL), SQL Server Analysis, Azure Analysis Services, and SQL Server.
Benefits of Business Intelligence
The benefits of business intelligence are innumerable. All these benefits increase the significance and utility of BI software around the globe. Some of the important benefits of BI technology are mentioned below :-
Fast and accurate reporting
Valuable business insights
Better data quality
Increased customer satisfaction
Identifying market trends
Increased operational efficiency
Improved and accurate decisions
BI is used in various social domains, the important ones are supply chains, sales, medical field, finance, asset management, hr departments, and Information technology. In supply chain markets, BI software is widely used in warehouse stock analysis and reporting, sales plan marketing, store stock holding & sales analysis. In addition, it is also effectively used in framing store trends and sales trends. In the sales field, sales analysis, forecasting sales trends, profit analysis, and sales productions make use of BI solutions. In the case of the medical field, BI tools have a wide range of applications such as clinical analysis and reporting, creation of hospital dashboards and patient dashboards, and also other medical-related analytics.
The forecasting power and decision-making capacity of BI softwares have a significant role in the finance and asset management sector. In this sector, BI tools are mainly used for financial data analysis, reporting, and dashboard management. In addition, it is also being used in asset, wealth, and liability analysis. Moreover, BI tools assist in identifying the trend of revenue, assets, profits, and finance. Nowadays more advanced tools are being sought by the human resources department of every organization to build strong relationships with clients and employees.
As a result, solutions and services provided by BI tools and softwares are of great help to human resources affairs in HR data analysis, attrition analysis, salary analysis, and interview analysis. The benefits of accurate forecasting and decision-making tool is that it can deal with a large amount of data, and can create tremendous positive impacts in the IT sector and in project management domains. Some of the major applications of BI technology in these sectors are systems and resources analysis and budget analysis.
The utilization of BI in business enterprises will bring drastic changes to the working patterns because of its strong forecasting and over-viewing features. More advanced services can be provided to clients by upgrading the technical operations using BI, and by training the workforce of the company to handle BI more comfortably. An accurate decision making on business actions and effective forecasting help enterprises to increase the profit margin and also to avoid unnecessary loss. To thrive in a swiftly evolving business world it is very essential to adapt to this kind of advanced technical solution.