Business Intelligence or BI is an umbrella term that includes the applications, tools, infrastructure and best practices that enable access to an analysis of information to improve and optimise performance and decisions.
It grew out of the conviction that managers with inaccurate or incomplete information will tend, on average to make worse decisions than if they had better information. Information frameworks have been designed so that business intelligence can be at the hand of the decision makers, without relying on Information Technology staff.
“Managers with inaccurate information will tend, on average to make worse decisions than if they had better business intelligence.”
Business Intelligence is a technology-driven process for analysing data and presenting actionable information to help corporate executives, business managers and other end users make more informed business decisions. BI encompasses a wide variety of tools, applications and methodologies that enable organisations to collect data from internal systems and external sources, prepare it for analysis, develop and run queries against the data, and create reports, dashboards and data visualizations to make the analytical results available to corporate decision makers as well as operational workers.
To be useful, business intelligence must seek to increase the accuracy, timeliness and amount of data. This means finding more ways to capture information that isn’t already being recorded, checking the information for errors, and structuring the information in a way that makes broad analysis possible.
Business Intelligence is critically important for making informed learning decisions. But it is not a skill that is learnt overnight. It takes regular practice using BI software apps (Power BI is our favorite), creativity on the displaying of data and a deep and precise knowledge of what you wish your business outcomes to be.
You won’t understand the critical importance and relevance that BI will have for your business until you start applying your own business data to BI software applications especially Power BI and watching your data come alive. The moment your data starts working for you is when you get excited about the possibilities that are available using business intelligence and especially business intelligence applications.