What is Business Intelligence?


Sporadic usage of the term business intelligence dates back to at least the 1860s, but consultant Howard Dresner is credited with first proposing it in 1989 as an umbrella category for applying data analysis techniques to support business decision-making processes. What came to be known as BI technologies evolved from earlier, often mainframe-based analytical systems, such as decision support systems and executive information systems. Business intelligence is sometimes used interchangeably with business analytics; in other cases, business analytics is used either more narrowly to refer to advanced data analytics or more broadly to include both BI and advanced analytics.

As such a short definition of Business intelligence is that it is a data analysis process aimed at getting a 360 degrees view on the business performance by helping corporate executives and other end users make more informed decisions and fortify their intuition.

Corporates have multiple systems which generate large amounts of transactional data. Business intelligence (BI) is a technology-driven process for analyzing this data and presenting actionable information to help corporate executives, business managers and other end users make more informed business decisions. BI encompasses a variety of tools, applications and methodologies that enable organizations 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. It is largely used to ensure that in a tough business world where margins are ever shrinking, the end users can minimize the chances of taking wrong decisions and echoing intuitive decisions.


The potential benefits of business intelligence programs include accelerating and improving decision making; optimizing internal business processes; increasing operational efficiency; driving new revenues; and gaining competitive advantages over business rivals. BI systems can also help companies identify market trends and spot business problems that need to be addressed. It also helps save executive time; which is very costly by providing extremely visual and flexible data presentation so that the executives can do direct data discovery through data visualization It also helps executives to view highly complex KPIs which require long hours of repetitive work or experts. It ensures that the data comes automatically directly from the sources without any manual intervention ensuring that the chances of data manipulation are minimized.


BI data can include historical information, as well as new data gathered from source systems as it is generated, enabling BI analysis to support both strategic and tactical decision-making processes. BI has grown since its initial days when they were primarily used by data analysts and other IT professionals who ran analyses and produced static reports to be only delivered to business users. Thanks to the development of new age technologies and innovations, new techniques like Natural Language Processing or NLP allows end users to simply ask their questions to the data in business language and get direct answers. Coupled with this, the concept of Self Service BI has now reduced the role of technology professionals for Data Analysis and left them with more time for more creative and critical activities.

Business intelligence combines a broad set of data analysis applications, including ad hoc analysis and querying, enterprise reporting, online analytical processing (OLAP), mobile BI, real-time BI, operational BI, cloud and software as a service BI, open source BI, collaborative BI and location intelligence, Self Service BI, KPI builder, NLP engine or Business Language Neural technology based Analysis to end users. BI technology also includes data visualization software for designing charts and other infographics, as well as tools for building BI dashboards and performance scorecards that display visualized data on business metrics and key performance indicators in an easy-to-grasp way. BI applications can be bought separately from different vendors or as part of a unified BI platform from a single vendor.

BI programs can also incorporate forms of advanced analytics, such as data mining, predictive analytics, statistical analysis and big data analytics. In many cases though, advanced analytics projects are conducted and managed by separate teams of data scientists, statisticians, predictive modellers and other skilled analytics professionals.

Need for BI

Transactional systems like ERP, CRM, SCM and others are good at collecting data or information about various aspects of business and are tuned for the same. However the input of transactions/data is done by a field/plant level professionals in the organization however purchase decisions are taken by Management which usually is more based on the ability of the systems to produce more intuitive, faster and more flexible results. Transactional systems are tuned for transactions thus it is extremely hard for them to produce good, fast and flexible reports. It is here that the role of a good BI product or platform comes in. As per most analyst reports, Business Intelligence, Enterprise Reporting along with pixel perfect reporting is the fastest growing requirement given the size and complexity of data and rising cost of manpower. BI thus helps minimize costs and maximize revenues and profits.

Kautilya is a product which can give amazing visualization to the content. It enables the organization to save time by ensuring that the end users, specially senior members do not have to waste time in reading through mundane reports, rather they can get intuitive visualizations through which data can be seen very quickly and the outliners caught as and when they appear. This saves the time of the senior management thus saving their time and money for the company. Besides this, it works as a great enabler for quick decisions, ensuring far lesser mistakes and if nothing else, at least fortifying decisions taken on intuition thus diminishing the chances of poor decisions.

Please feel free to contact us to know more about Kautilya BI.

Ph/Fax: +91-124-4012305 Cell: 9810009918 Mail:ugupta@open-soft.net Web: www.kautilyabi.com

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