What is Business
intelligence is the process of
gathering data in the field of business, turning data into information and
then into knowledge.
Business intelligence (BI) is a
technology-driven process for analyzing data and delivering actionable
information that helps executives, managers and workers make informed
Business intelligence (BI) comprises the
strategies and technologies used by enterprises for the data analysis of
business information. BI technologies provide historical, current, and
predictive views of business operations.
The Origin of
The first probable reference
to Business intelligence is made in
Sun Tzu's "Art of War"
more than 2,500 years ago where he claims that to succeed in
war, you should have full knowledge of your
strengths/weaknesses and full knowledge of your enemy's
strengths/weaknesses. Lack of either one might result in
defeat. Business intelligence (BI) is the art or wading
through tons of data overload, sieving through data and
presenting information - both
internal (from operational systems) and
(market intelligence) - on which management can act or build
Information is typically obtained about
customer needs, customer decision making processes, the competition,
conditions in the industry, and general economic, technological, and
cultural trends. Business intelligence is carried out to gain
sustainable competitive advantage, and is a valuable
core competence in some instances. Every business intelligence system
has a specific goal, which is derived from an organizational goal or from
Goals could be short term (e.g.: quarterly results) or long term
(shareholder value, target industry / market share or size etc).
External Sources of Changes
The changes creating
innovation can be both within the enterprise
or industry and outside them.
A three-level business intelligence system is
thus to be established to collect and analyze information from within the
enterprise; industry and market structure; and external sources, such as
demographics, changes in perception, and new knowledge. Innovators who want
to exploit new knowledge need to apply a careful analysis of the knowledge
available and the knowledge needed.
To survive and prosper in business today,
managers and other decision makers need to understand every aspect of their
organization. A primary objective of Business Intelligence (BI) is to
identify the best ways to improve business performance so that target levels
are achieved and profits increased. By providing the right information to
the right people at the right time, business intelligence enables companies
to make better decisions faster than ever before.
Business Performance Measurement
is a software oriented business intelligence system that some see as the new
generation of business intelligence though the terms are used interchangably
by most in the industry.
Industrial espionage is a type of business
intelligence that uses covert techniques. There is a grey area between
"normal" business intelligence and industrial espionage.