Business Intelligence – Definition

Cite this article as:"Business Intelligence – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated March 1, 2019, last accessed October 26, 2020,

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Business Intelligence (BI) Definition

Business intelligence is the methodological and technical infrastructure for the collection, storage and analysis of data resulting from the company’s undertakings. Business Intelligence includes data search, process analysis, benchmarking of performance, descriptive analytics and other data related processes that influence the managerial decisions in a company.

A Little More on What is Business Intelligence (BI)

Business Intelligence developed from a strong belief that managers who had either inaccurate or incomplete data are prone to decisions worse than their counterparts with the data as a financial model would term it as garbage in-garbage out.

Business Intelligence is only resourceful when it is directed towards data that are more accurate data delivered in good time and quantity.

Software companies have come up with providing solutions to problems in the firms as a result of usage of unstructured and unformatted data. The solution involves the use of software to undertake the company’s data unification and analysis.

Besides software solutions, there is a need for data scientist specialist to ensure the balance responsibility between speed and reporting depth. Hiring, compliance, production and marketing activities are made easier by the use of Business intelligence that is used in the companies. Also, business intelligence is of important role in all departments in the organisation.

Higher speed, reporting and analysis accuracy, higher data quality, more satisfaction from employees, profitability and sound decision making within the company are some benefits of business intelligence.

References for Business Intelligence

Academic Research on Business Intelligence

  • Business intelligence (BI) success and the role of BI capabilities, Isik, O., Jones, M. C., & Sidorova, A. (2013). Decision Support Systems, 56(1), 361-370. ¬†The success of business intelligence has risen to be of higher priority for the institutions that have put in place the business intelligence solutions to their decision making. The survey conducted found that Business intelligence users have the contentment on it and its capabilities while there was less satisfaction on the interaction of BI with other systems even though, the relationship plays an important role in the success of a business.
  • The current state of business intelligence, Watson, H. J., & Wixom, B. H. (2007). Computer, 40(9). ¬†¬†Business intelligence has risen to become a strategic initiative and has been valuable in increasing the effectiveness and innovation of business. Business intelligence according to this paper involves two activities of getting data in and getting data out. Getting data is moving data from a set of source systems into an integrated data warehouse. This has reduced in value to the companies while getting data out also considered by the author to be business intelligence, consists of business users and applications accessing data from the data warehouse to perform enterprise reporting, OLAP, querying, and predictive analytics
  • Factors influencing business intelligence (BI) data collection strategies: An empirical investigation, Ramakrishnan, T., Jones, M. C., & Sidorova, A. (2012). Decision Support Systems, 52(2), 486-496. ¬†The paper analyses the effects of external pressure on the company’s data collection strategy and the need for which business intelligence is installed. There were the model proposal and testing based on institutional theory, competitive pressure and business intelligence research. The outcome of the analysis was the provision of theoretical lens for better understandability of the facilitators and success factors on huge business intelligence data collection in addition to provision of mental model on which data needed decisions by business intelligence is made by managers.
  • Business intelligence and analytics: from big data to a big impact, Chen, H., Chiang, R. H., & Storey, V. C. (2012). MIS Quarterly, 1165-1188. The paper is about the definition and description of business intelligence and analytics1, 2 and three based on their features and ability. In the current research, the author states that Business intelligence and analytics is examined and the problems and opportunities related to its research and education are identified. The report of a bibliometric examination of significant business intelligence and analytics, publications, research and its topics founded on academic and industry‚Äôs publication was made.
  • Business intelligence, Negash, S. (2004). Communications of the association for information systems, 13(1), 15. ¬†The study was based on the combination of operational data and analytics resources in business intelligence to equip planners and decision makers with complex and competitive data. The combination aimed at raising the timeliness and quality of decision process data. This paper suggests for Business intelligence framework and possible research topics. Benefits of unstructured data discussion need on the development of Business intelligence tools for purchase, configuration, cleanup, search, analysis and delivery are outlined in the framework. Additionally, the paper examines the matrix for business intelligence data types and sources.
  • Business Intelligence (BI) critical success factors, Hawking, P., & Sellitto, C. (2010, December). In 21st Australian conference on information systems (pp. 1-3). ¬†There are numerous advantages that companies gain from business intelligence, and they vary from one firm to another. Companies have adopted the use of Business intelligence in Enterprise Resource Planning system to combine, transform and analyses large volumes of data from a firm’s activities. Besides its adoption in ERP, much of the critical factors relating to the adoption have drawn the attention. This paper has outlined the essential success factors identified in the conferences, formal groups and education meetings by industry partners, vendors and system users.
  • An overview of business intelligence technology, Chaudhuri, S., Dayal, U., & Narasayya, V. (2011). Communications of the ACM, 54(8), 88-98. Business intelligence (BI) software is a collection of decision support technologies for the enterprise with the objective of enabling knowledge workers such as executives, managers, and analysts to make better and faster decisions. Businesses are leveraging their data asset aggressively by deploying and experimenting with more sophisticated data analysis techniques to drive business decisions and deliver new functionality such as personalised offers and services to customers. Currently, it is difficult to find a successful enterprise that has not leveraged business intelligence technology
  • Beyond data warehousing: what’s next in business intelligence?, Golfarelli, M., Rizzi, S., & Cella, I. (2004, November). In Proceedings of the 7th ACM international workshop on Data warehousing and OLAP (pp. 1-6). ACM. The author states that the DW process of support of upwards data search, failures in downward enforcement of company‚Äôs strategy, the paper shows the development of a new method of business intelligence, known as Business performance management. The framework not only includes DW but also requires a reactive component with the capability of time-critical operation processes monitoring to enable decision makers of tactical and operation processes in matching the company strategy. The objective of this paper is the motivation of study society to admit the emerging of second BI period to bring out the general architecture for BPM and put down the base for an inquiry into the most problematic and related issues.
  • The measurement of business intelligence, L√∂nnqvist, A., & Pirttim√§ki, V. (2006). Information systems management, 23(1), 32. The paper outlined then identification and measurement approaches for a value of Business intelligence and business process management in a company from literature review viewpoint.
  • Critical success factors for business intelligence systems, Yeoh, W., & Koronios, A. (2010). Journal of computer information systems, 50(3), 23-32. The author states the complexity of activities involving resources that are required for the implementation of business intelligence. Data warehouse, being the most infrastructural requirement for business intelligence is subject oriented integrated, time variant and non-volatile data collection method which is different from online transaction processing database.
  • Business intelligence empirical study on the top 50 Finnish companies, Hannula, M., & Pirttimaki, V. (2003). Journal of American Academy of Business, 2(2), 593-599. The author states the Information business value as the influence that the performance of business has on the system information resource. The paper also suggested the role of top management in strategy formulation in issuing the choices of information systems in attaining the business strategy. The final information system to be implemented should contain the information system resource for the company needs.
  • Business intelligence: Concepts, components, techniques and benefits. Journal of Theoretical and Applied Information Technology, 9(1), 60-70. The paper shows that Business Intelligence (BI) is one of the important methods of business process analysis of data and supporting decision making process companies. For the performance of these tasks, Business Intelligence systems use some products, technologies and methodologies that are based on a certain information system infrastructure including tools such as data warehouses and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. The paper state the main role of Business Intelligence in a company as leveraging information assets in terms of business information and business analyses within the context of key business processes resulting in accuracy of decisions and actions hence improved business performance.

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