While there are varying definitions for BI, Forrester defines it broadly as a “set of methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information that allows business users to make informed business decisions with real-time data that can put a company ahead of its competitors”.
In other words, the high-level goal of BI is to help a business user turn business-related data into actionable
- BI traditionally focused on reports, dashboards, and answering predefined questions
- Today BI also includes a focus on deeper, exploratory, and interactive analyses of the data using Business Analytics such as data mining, predictive analytics, statistical analysis, and natural language processing
- BI systems evolved by adding layers of data staging to increase the accessibility of the business data to business users.
- Data from the operational systems and ERP were extracted, transformed into a more consumable form (e.g., column names labeled for human rather than computer consumption, errors corrected, duplication eliminated).
- Data from a warehouse were then loaded into OLAP cubes, as well as data marts stored in data
- OLAP cubes facilitated the analysis of data over several
- Data marts present a subset of the data in the warehouse, tailored to a specific line of
- Using Business Intelligence, the business user, with the help of an IT specialist who had set up the system for her, could now more easily access and analyze the data through a BI system.