The DataBoost Nexus #2
Defining Business Intelligence
Understanding what business intelligence can do for your organization requires first understanding how it is defined.
To put it bluntly, there are a great many people inside and outside the tech industry with wrong-headed ideas about what business intelligence means. Before you can appreciate the importance of BI or recognize how BI application s are changing the face of commerce, you need to be sure you have the correct definition in mind.
TechTarget.com defines business intelligence as:
“A technology-driven process for analyzing data and presenting actionable information to help corporate executives, business managers and other end users make more informed business decisions.”
It’s sort of accurate, but it’s nebulous. What qualifies as “actionable information”? Who are these “other end users” that might be utilizing the application? I think we can find a better definition.
CIO.com defines business intelligence as:
“An umbrella term that refers to a variety of software applications used to analyze an organization’s raw data.”
This is a correct definition, if a bit uninspired. BI is certainly an umbrella term, but that’s the problem. A single, unifying definition of BI would cure much confusion. Also, there’s more to BI than just software, so this definition is lacking.
Forrester Research defines business intelligence as:
“A set of methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information.”
Bingo! As is so often the case, Forrester Research nails it.
Business Intelligence is more than just software; it is a combination of disciplines that come together to improve efficiency and accuracy of data output organization wide. BI is not limited to keyboards and command lines; it is a complete business philosophy on how to best move and manage information.
Now that we understand what BI means – what it REALLY means – we can talk more about how implementing it properly can help organizations like yours.