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What Is Business Intelligence Your A-Z Guide

27 Jun 2023

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Enter the business intelligence domain. One of the game-changing innovations that empower businesses to make smarter decisions, uncovers hidden opportunities, and drive exceptional growth.  In case you are confused or thinking business intelligence is a difficult area to explore, don’t worry!  We assure you a smooth landing in the runway of business intelligence. In today's innovative times, data is considered fuel for businesses. Various technological elements help organizations to leverage this asset, like data analysis, data science, etc. Business intelligence is a beneficial concept for companies to derive insights from data. 

So roll your sleeves and get ready to explore the benefits of business intelligence, business intelligence applications, and much more. We'll start with the basics and answer the most obvious question: what is business intelligence

What Is Business Intelligence?  

Business intelligence is a technological process that converts the data collected into meaningful insights to make informed decisions. The whole BI process involves many activities like data gathering, storing, analyzing, etc.  The primary goal of performing a technical process is to help the decision-makers and policy creators. The technological process involves increasing the company's profit, competing with competitors, improving efficiency, etc. Let's learn about BI in more detail by going back in history and glancing at the evolution of business intelligence.  

Evolution of Business Intelligence  

When business intelligence came into existence, its process was very different. It involved two steps: collecting the data and reporting it to the managers to make the decisions.  

But since then, the technology is developed, and even the data is increased in numbers. The process of BI became much larger and more complicated to get actual insights from the data. 

Traditional BI 

The very first concept of business intelligence is traditional BI. It involved employees from its department collecting the information and presenting it on a single page and format. Now the analyst person was required to work on that combined data. This process could have been more efficient and took lots of time for computation.  


Self-service business intelligence (BI) is a data analytics approach that lets business users explore data sets without requiring expertise in BI, data mining, or statistical analysis. With self-service BI tools, users can filter, sort, analyze, and visualize data independently without involving an organization's BI and IT teams. 

Augmented Analysis 

The newest and updated version of BI is augmented analysis. This version comes with updated systems and software that ease up the work of analysts and lets them focus on more important aspects like reading the data and making vital decisions for the organization. Like any other concept, BI has come a long way and will continue to do so. The future trends of BI are high and promising for analysts and businesses. Moving further in the guide, let's understand business intelligence components.  

Components of Business Intelligence  

Getting familiar with the three crucial components of business intelligence for a BI analyst aspirant is essential. The components of business intelligence are explained below:  

Data Warehousing 

 This digital data have a massive pool of data. And this data is collected by analysts from various sources in different forms. The warehouse aims to store all this data information in one place, making it easier to work with data. Multiple good data warehouse options are available in the market, such as Amazon AWS, Mircosoft, IBM, etc. 

Big Data 

Big Data is the existence of vast amounts of data gathered from multiple sources, such as social media platforms and websites. Although the market is flooded with solutions focused on database technologies, many need help to handle the enormous volume commonly linked with big data. Specialized analytics tools like SAS, KNIME, and Hadoop are available to offer a solution. Big Data analytics has altered businesses' perspectives and had an unanticipated effect on how they conduct their daily operations. 

Real-Time BI 

This specific BI component is gaining popularity in a mobile society. A company can react in real-time to patterns in the mail, messaging systems, or even digital ads by using software programs. A business person might announce special offers that capitalize on the current situation because everything happens in real-time. These were the components of BI. But how does the concept of BI work in real-time? To solve this doubt, let's see business intelligence applications across multiple fields and sectors of the market.  

Business Intelligence Applications   

Business intelligence applications focus on creating software for businesses and organizations that'll increase the company's efficiency. But, as a business intelligence analyst aspirant, you might be surprised to know that business intelligence applications are not limited to the tech field. There is various field that takes advantage of BI.  

Human Resource Field 

The Human resource field is one of the most critical parts of every organization. The department deals with managing resources, managing data of candidates and employees, framing policies and regulating them, etc. The concept of BI can help visualize all these critical data and help HR see the clearer picture. The manager takes the help of the HR dashboard, a BI dashboard with HR field data.  

Sales Department 

The sales department is the backbone of any company. Salespersons must read and study the lead data and try to convince them to consume the company's product/service. With the help of business intelligence, data like conversion rate, lead demography, sales ratio, etc., is collected and then converted into graphs and diagrams. Reading and studying these graphs makes the process much smoother and the decision-making process much faster; this reduces the overall burden of employees in the sales department.  


The last business intelligence application we'll see is the marketing department. Marketing is all about promoting and advertising, which is one of the most important aspects of a business. Large amounts of data need to be more manageable by conventional reporting or data presentation methods. Among other essential indicators, the dashboard presents high-level metrics like the CPL, MQL, SQL, and net earnings. They make it simple to determine where the organization's marketing department stands about the previous month, allowing you to make inferences and potential improvements. These were some of the top business intelligence applications. Analysts have to perform multiple business intelligence techniques to gain all such benefits. Let's see some of those techniques.  

Business Intelligence Techniques  

Businesses can select from multiple business intelligence techniques according to their preference. Let's quickly take a look at the most common ones.  

Data Visualization

Data visualization is converting raw and textual data into graphical forms like diagrams, charts, graphs, etc. This BI technique helps the analyst quickly identify trends and patterns in the data. The method also transforms complex data into accessible forms.  

Data Mining 

Data mining automatically or semi-automatically analyzes vast amounts of data to find significant patterns and rules. The volume of data kept in a company data warehouse is enormous. It is essential to locate the actual data that could inform company decisions. As a result, analysts employ methods of data mining to reveal the underlying correlations and patterns in data.  


ETL stands for extraction, transaction, and loading. ETL tools consolidate data from several data sources or databases by automating the extraction, transformation, and loading operations. These technologies can write metadata and do data cleansing and profiling. A tool should work with all elements of an organization's current data solutions and be safe, simple to use and upkeep, and easy to integrate. After knowing the information about business intelligence concepts, one might need clarification about the differences between business intelligence and business analytics. Let us clear that for you in the following part of this guide.  

Differences between Business Intelligence and Business Analytics 

Both business intelligence and business analytics concepts are technical and deal with and manage vast data sets, and it's evident that aspirants and users need clarification on the two. Let's see what the difference between business intelligence and business analytics is.  

Meaning of Both Terms 

The practice of obtaining and analyzing data to make more informed company choices is known as business intelligence. At various organizational levels, including leaders, policy-makers, and even regular employees, people can use business intelligence (BI). Business analytics is a branch of business intelligence that uses statistical analytical methods to learn more about how consumers interact with goods and services. 

Type of Data Used 

Business intelligence works best with structured forms of data. On the other hand, business analytics can work with an unstructured or semi-structured dataset. In business analysis, the unstructured data is first organized, cleaned, and worked upon.  

Current & Future Period 

Business intelligence mainly focuses on analyzing the present and the past to create forecasts using data from the past. It is possible to see what transpired after you implemented a specific change to your business or to use historical data to help paint a picture of the future. Business analytics focuses more on examining and analyzing real-time data to spot trends or patterns that can be used to forecast potential future events. To avoid being caught off guard by anything unexpected, it's essential to make sure you're ready for everything that may come your way.  

Apart from these factors, there are differences between the two concepts. With this, we've reached the last topic, the benefits of business intelligence.  

Benefits of Business Intelligence  

Business intelligence aids organizations in making informed decisions. The significant advantages of business intelligence are briefly discussed here.   

Increased Revenue

Companies looking to increase sales must think about using business intelligence while considering essential business KPIs. It offers precise information that will increase the company's profitability and enable it to expand its various operations across multiple business divisions. 

Better Report System 

Using pre-built templates or bespoke reports, employees can monitor KPIs using various information sources, including financial, operational, and sales data. For organizations to take prompt action, these reports are created in real-time using the most pertinent data. Most reports include simple-to-read visuals like tables, figures, and charts. Some BI software reports are interactive, allowing users to experiment with various parameters or gain access to information more quickly. 

Competitive Analysis 

A thorough assessment of how a business's products and services might contend with similar offers is provided by competitive analysis. Reports from BI's competitive analysis services can consider variables like market share, audience, rate of growth, and current product interest. For instance, you could create a competitive study that compares the sales of a company's products to those of a competition.  Hope the above mentioned information is useful and it helped you understand business intelligence. This was an simple attempt for you to explore BI. Now, lets wind up the blog with the conclusion.

Stay ahead of the game by making data-driven decisions that give you a competitive edge.


Business intelligence (BI) is the secret weapon that empowers organizations to conquer the challenges of today's fast-paced business landscape. With BI, businesses gain the superpower of harnessing their data to unlock exceptional insights, make smarter decisions, and ignite a new era of success. Explore how business intelligence can transform your organization and drive success. Take the next step and embrace the world of business intelligence today and shape your career. With actionable insights, real-time analytics, and a data-driven approach, you can stay ahead of the competition, optimize operations, and confidently make informed decisions. Don't let valuable opportunities slip away. 

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 fingertips Fingertips

Fingertips is one of India's leading learning platforms, enabling aspirants - working professionals, and students to enhance competitive skills and thrive in their careers. We offer intensive training in areas such as Digital Marketing, Data Science, Business Intelligence, Artificial intelligence, and Machine Learning, among others.

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