This article is part of an Essential Guide, our editor-selected collection of our best articles, videos and other content on this topic. Explore more in this guide:
4. - Must-know terms before diving into mobile BI: Read more in this section
Explore other sections in this guide:
- 1. - Making the business case for mobile BI
- 2. - BI trends for a mobile future
- 3. - The benefits and pitfalls of mobile BI
Business intelligence (BI) is a broad category of applications and technologies for gathering, storing, analyzing, and providing access to data to help enterprise users make better business decisions.
Business intelligence applications can be:
- Mission-critical and integral to an enterprise's operations or occasional to meet a special requirement
- Enterprise-wide or local to one division, department
- Centrally initiated or driven by user demand
This term was used as early as September, 1996, when a Gartner Group report said:
By 2000, Information Democracy will emerge in forward-thinking enterprises, with Business Intelligence information and applications available broadly to employees, consultants, customers, suppliers, and the public. The key to thriving in a competitive marketplace is staying ahead of the competition. Making sound business decisions based on accurate and current information takes more than intuition. Data analysis, reporting, and query tools can help business users wade through a sea of data to synthesize valuable information from it - today these tools collectively fall into a category called "Business Intelligence."
While the terms business intelligence and business analytics are often used interchangeably, there are some key differences:
|BI vs BA||Business Intelligence||Business Analytics|
Answers the questions:
Why did it happen?
Will it happen again?
What will happen if we change x?
What else does the data tell us that never thought to ask?
Reporting (KPIs, metrics)
Automated Monitoring/Alerting (thresholds)
OLAP (Cubes, Slice & Dice, Drilling)
Ad hoc query