Introduction to Business Intelligence


Definition: Business intelligence (BI) works to simplify information discovery and analysis, thereby making it possible for decision-makers at all levels of an organization to more easily access, understand, analyze, collaborate, and act on information, anytime and anywhere. This definition here demonstrates that traditional analyst-driven Business Intelligence applications have evolved to include multiple initiatives to measure, manage, and improve on the performance of individuals, processes, teams, and business units as a whole.

Business intelligence (BI) is generally said to have two basic different meanings related to the use of the term intelligence. The primary and the less frequent one is the human intelligence capacity applied in business affairs/activities. Business Intelligence is a new field of the investigation of the application of human cognitive faculties and artificial intelligence technologies to the management and decision support in different business problems. The second one basically relates to the intelligence as information valued for its currency and relevance. It is expert information, knowledge and technologies efficient in the management of organizational and individual business.


The various components of business intelligence include:

  • On-line analytical processing (OLAP): It usually refers to the way in which business users can slice their way through data using sophisticated tools that allow for navigation of dimensions such as time or hierarchies.
  • Corporate Performance Management: It usually provides a container for several pieces to plug into so that the aggregate tells a story. For example a balanced scorecard that displays port-lets for financial metrics combined with say organizational learning and growth metrics.
  • Advanced Analytics: Referred to as data mining this takes advantage of statistical analysis techniques to predict certainty measures on fats.
  • Data Sources: These can be operational databases, historical data, external data etc. They can also reside on many different platforms and can contain structured information, such as tables or spreadsheets such as plaintext files or pictures and other multimedia information.
  • Real time Business Intelligence: This allows for the real time distribution of metrics through email, messaging systems or interactive displays.
  • Data Warehouse and data marts: It supports the physical propagation of data by handling the numerous enterprise records for integration cleansing, aggregation and query tasks.


Business intelligence provides innumerable benefits to companies by eliminating a lot of guesswork within an organization, enhancing communication among departments while coordinating various activities, and enable companies to respond quickly to changes in financial conditions, customer preferences and supply chain operations.

Information is often regarded as the second most valuable resource of a company after its employees. Thus a company capable of making decisions on timely and accurate information can surely improve its performance. It also expedites decision making, as acting quickly and correctly on information before competing business do can often result in competitively superior performance. It can also help in improving customer experience, allowing for the timely and appropriate response to customer problems.

Few of the basic advantages of BI as recognized by various firms are listed below:

  • With BI, organizations can identify their most profitable customers and the underlying reasons for the loyalty of those customers as well as identify future customers with comparable potential.
  • Money laundering criminal activities can be discovered.
  • Better analysis of click-stream data to improve e-commerce strategies.
  • Speedy detection of warranty-reported problems to minimize the impact of product design deficiencies.
  • Analysis of potential growth customer profitability and reduce risk exposure through more accurate financial credit scoring of their customers.
  • Determine what combinations of products and service line customers are likely to purchase and when to do so.
  • Employees can also easily convert their business knowledge via the analytical intelligence to solve many business issues, like increase response rates from direct mail, telephone, e-mail and internet delivered marketing campaigns.
  • Detection and determination of fraudulent behavior, such as from usage spikes when credit or phone cards are stolen.
  • Determine with attrition and churn analysis why customers leave for competitors and become customers.

12 comments for “Introduction to Business Intelligence

  1. adoula
    May 31, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    very intersting article about Business Intelligence i advice you to read it and you will see her importance

  2. gulraiz
    May 31, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    i have read all ur post am also a student of bussiness administration i like ur post n want to know more about it if u give me any other links of ur posts i like to read it also…ill w8 ur reply thx

  3. May 31, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    This is very good post for be because i am new in business field and this post introduction to business is very helpful to me thanks.

  4. May 31, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    This is an excellent post for any beginner in this field. I recommend it to anyone who wants to enter the serious world of business.

  5. poweryn
    May 31, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    In shortly Business intelligence, or BI, is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of software applications used to analyze an organization’s raw data. BI as a discipline is made up of several related activities, including data mining, online analytical processing, querying and reporting.
    thank you for this article.

  6. May 31, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Apparently, this is actually a new word for me, given the fact that I work at a large company. IS BI actually implemented by all large companies?

  7. mnkassier
    May 31, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    This post helped me to understand the process of a business.I see most of businesses in our country don’t use the component of Real time Business Intelligence for their businesses and the companies which are using it has got some success with that. Businesses in Sri Lanka have to learn more about Business Intelligence. So, this post will be a great resource for them.

  8. May 31, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    enjoyed your article. it’s nice and useful. Thank you. I’m waiting for next article

  9. Tanmi Gold
    May 31, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    BI is a great platform today, this introductory article will be very useful for people who would like to be a part of it. Appreciate your writing.

  10. May 31, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    fabulous article i liked the benefits of Business intelligence because it helps in Giving consumers the most advantageous customer experience not only means gaining their business, it also means gaining an advantage over the competition. also a company can expect to find improved turnaround times on data collection, ideas for new business initiatives. also organisations having disparate systems without any kind of integration can see the benefit of business intelligence within their organisations . it really helps in solving various business issues .

  11. Arif Ahmed
    May 31, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    It looks like very helpful to me. Because i am a student of bussiness administration. I want to know more about it. It is a great post.

  12. aadil
    May 31, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    this is very excellent article helping a beginner in business . this also helped me a lot because i am also a beginner in this field . thanks a lot.

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