Business intelligence, or BI, is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of analytics 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. Companies use BI to improve decision making, cut costs and identify new business opportunities. BI is more than just corporate reporting and more than a set of tools to coax data out of enterprise systems.
Data DiscoveryData discovery is not a tool. It is a business user oriented process for detecting patterns and outliers by visually navigating data or applying guided advanced analytics. Discovery is an iterative process that does not require extensive upfront model creation.
Interactive and new visualization types enable decision-makers to see, within an instant, major trends, as well as spot outliers. Visualizations make use of our brains’ pattern recognition capabilities to digest information at a glance or even pre-attentively. Visual analysis is an important feature that is increasingly being sought by enterprises seeking more efficient ways for decision-makers to absorb and act on data. Users are better at finding insights and detecting outliers if data is presented in charts and graphs on one page, versus being buried in data tables spanning multiple pages.
Business Intelligence (BI) refers to technologies, applications and practices for the collection, integration, analysis, and presentation of business information. The purpose of Business Intelligence is to support better business decision making. Essentially, Business Intelligence systems are data-driven Decision Support Systems (DSS). Business Intelligence is sometimes used interchangeably with briefing books, report and query tools and executive information systems.
Business Intelligence systems provide historical, current, and predictive views of business operations, most often using data that has been gathered into a data warehouse or a data mart and occasionally working from operational data. Software elements support reporting, interactive “slice-and-dice” pivot-table analyses, visualization, and statistical data mining.
Operational reports perform a different role within the organization: to provide the information needed to perform a certain task. Operational report data tends to come from either the application database itself or an operational data store (ODS)/reporting database created specifically for this purpose. People involved in the day-to-day operations of your business, such as your infrastructure team or shipping manager, will get the most benefit out of operational reports. The most important design features for an operational report include clean lines – so the user can see the information they need immediately – the ability to drill down to more data if needed, and a way to link to the application system to see more information.
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