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Common functions of business intelligence technologies include reporting , online analytical processing , analytics , data mining , process mining , complex event processing , business performance management , benchmarking , text mining , predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics. BI technologies can handle large amounts of structured and sometimes unstructured data to help identify, develop and otherwise create new strategic business opportunities. They aim to allow for the easy interpretation of these big data.

Identifying new opportunities and implementing an effective strategy based on insights can provide businesses with a competitive market advantage and long-term stability. Business intelligence can be used by enterprises to support a wide range of business decisions ranging from operational to strategic.

Basic operating decisions include product positioning or pricing. Strategic business decisions involve priorities, goals and directions at the broadest level. In all cases, BI is most effective when it combines data derived from the market in which a company operates external data with data from company sources internal to the business such as financial and operations data internal data. When combined, external and internal data can provide a complete picture which, in effect, creates an "intelligence" that cannot be derived from any singular set of data.

Bloomberg - Are you a robot?

A data warehouse contains a copy of analytical data that facilitate decision support. Devens used the term to describe how the banker Sir Henry Furnese gained profit by receiving and acting upon information about his environment, prior to his competitors:. Throughout Holland, Flanders, France, and Germany, he maintained a complete and perfect train of business intelligence. The news of the many battles fought was thus received first by him, and the fall of Namur added to his profits, owing to his early receipt of the news. The ability to collect and react accordingly based on the information retrieved, Devens says, is central to business intelligence.

When Hans Peter Luhn , a researcher at IBM , used the term business intelligence in an article published in , he employed the Webster's Dictionary definition of intelligence: "the ability to apprehend the interrelationships of presented facts in such a way as to guide action towards a desired goal. In , Howard Dresner later a Gartner analyst proposed business intelligence as an umbrella term to describe "concepts and methods to improve business decision making by using fact-based support systems. Critics [ who? In this respect it has also been criticized [ by whom? According to Forrester Research , business intelligence is "a set of methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information used to enable more effective strategic, tactical, and operational insights and decision-making.

Therefore, Forrester refers to data preparation and data usage as two separate but closely linked segments of the business-intelligence architectural stack. Some elements of business intelligence are: [ citation needed ]. Forrester distinguishes this from the business-intelligence market , which is "just the top layers of the BI architectural stack, such as reporting , analytics , and dashboards. Though the term business intelligence is sometimes a synonym for competitive intelligence because they both support decision making , BI uses technologies, processes, and applications to analyze mostly internal, structured data and business processes while competitive intelligence gathers, analyzes and disseminates information with a topical focus on company competitors.

If understood broadly, business intelligence can include the subset of competitive intelligence. Business intelligence and business analytics are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are alternate definitions. In this definition, business analytics is the subset of BI focusing on statistics, prediction, and optimization, rather than the reporting functionality. Business operations can generate a very large amount of information in the form of e-mails, memos, notes from call-centers, news, user groups, chats, reports, web-pages, presentations, image-files, video-files, and marketing material.

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The management of semi-structured data is an unsolved problem in the information technology industry. BI uses both structured and unstructured data. The former is easy to search, and the latter contains a large quantity of the information needed for analysis and decision making. This can ultimately lead to poorly informed decision making.

Unstructured and semi-structured data have different meanings depending on their context. In the context of relational database systems, unstructured data cannot be stored in predictably ordered columns and rows. One type of unstructured data is typically stored in a BLOB binary large object , a catch-all data type available in most relational database management systems. Unstructured data may also refer to irregularly or randomly repeated column patterns that vary from row to row [20] or files of natural language that do not have detailed metadata.

Many of these data types, however, like e-mails, word processing text files, PPTs, image-files, and video-files conform to a standard that offers the possibility of metadata. Metadata can include information such as author and time of creation, and this can be stored in a relational database.

Therefore, it may be more accurate to talk about this as semi-structured documents or data, [18] but no specific consensus seems to have been reached. Unstructured data can also simply be the knowledge that business users have about future business trends.


Business forecasting naturally aligns with the BI system because business users think of their business in aggregate terms. However, in business intelligence, this skill may require, but is not a must. Code efficiency is prioritized in data science.

I would need to make sure my code is efficient and at the same time, check whether the resource of the server is enough so that the server will be able to handle it. There will be lots of people sharing the server, thus by communicating on how to share the resources is also important. Communication skill is still very important.

Or maybe when you are communicating with internal teams about setting the requirements of the project, and you are not able to express your views clearly. You would have made your life way harder or lose your chance to showcase the value of your work. Understand the pros and cons of various kinds of machine learning models. This is important which you should think of before you choose to try out any model. Last but not least, coding and query languages are two of the most essential skills in data science.


Able to pull the right data and try out different models in a short period is one of the sought out skills in the current market. Thank you so much for reading until the end. I appreciate that! However, these are just my views on how different the job scopes of these two jobs are. As I am sure that in some other companies, the tasks being assigned to the business intelligence might be very different from what I describe above. Business Intelligence deals with known unknowns, while Data Science deals with unknown unknowns — Maxim Scherbak.

I hope you will be able to understand how different these two jobs are by now so that you could make a well-informed decision. His experiences involved more on crawling websites, creating data pipeline and also implementing machine learning models on solving business problems. He provides crawling services that can provide you with the accurate and cleaned data which you need. You can visit this website to view his portfolio and also to contact him for crawling services.

The Big Deal About Business Intelligence

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Get started. How Business Intelligence is different from Data Science. Low Wei Hong Follow. Data really powers everything that we do. Working Journey: Business Intelligence. Working Journey: Data Science After switching my position to a data scientist, I could say the experience is very different.

Final Thoughts.