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What is Business Intelligence? Understand BI for Your Company

What is Business Intelligence? Understanding BI for your company

There isn’t an ounce of doubt about the fact that every business or organization depends on data. Be it a small business or a large corporation; data is the driving force behind effective decisions.

You might have already the term business intelligence and analytics. While some business owners think it to be some other “Jarvis-like” thingy, it is pretty straightforward. Business Intelligence, better known as BI, isn’t something new. It has been around for a long time. With time and technological advancement, BI has evolved to impact almost every business niche.

In this article, we will be telling you in-depth details about Business Intelligence. We will also discuss its evolution over time and how it impacts businesses. In addition to these, we will also tell you about some bright career prospects that one has after they complete a business intelligence course.

So, without further ado, let’s start.

BI: Meaning, History, and Importance

In simple words, the set of actions that a business owner takes to derive easy to understand insights from records (mostly numbers) maintained is business intelligence.

The word “business intelligence” was first used in 1865 by Richard Miller Devens in the context of a banker. Since then, BI has evolved to what it is today – the go-to choice for millions of businesses globally. 

But, in 1956, when IBM invented the hard disk, the path to modern BI was laid. During the 90s, companies like Gartner started updating the technology. These features are the founding pillars of modern-day Business Intelligence. 

Then came BI 1.0 and BI 2.0.  During the late 90s and early 2000s, business intelligence became a commonly used term. This led to many new vendors popping up in the market. These vendors provided services like producing reports, organizing the extracted reports, and presenting it in a way that’s easy to understand.

During this time, BI was too complicated. Thus, IT teams were assigned to handle these. Although BI had made a mark, it was challenging to master. Hiring an in-house IT team and setting up the infrastructure (on-premises) is still costly. Imagine what it would have been like during the early 2000s.

So, BI 1.0 was time-consuming and complicated. Only professionals were able to access the software fully to their benefits. This problem opened the doors to newer vendors who started providing tools that catered to the non-technical users. 

What next?

BI entered the 21st century. In this period (also called BI 2.0), technological advancement was at its peak. Newer tools were developed to address the problems of time and complexity. This followed with the rise of cloud-based programs.

BI 2.0 also impacted data-processing speeds. It allowed users to make better decisions by providing real-time data. Other things, such as add-on tools for users, allowed companies to let go of the burden from IT teams.

By 2005, BI was no longer an added feature. It had become a necessity for every business. More and more organizations started adopting it to stay in the competition. Thanks to the Internet, business intelligence was the talk of the town. Forums, Facebook, Blogs, etc. helped a lot of corporations to understand and learn this new concept.

In today’s date, the founding pillars remain the same. However, there has been a drastic change in the speed and agility of BI tools. With Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud BI, and Mobile BI in the picture, business intelligence is no longer limited to data analyzation and visualization.

As more and more tools are being developed, the use of BI is becoming more convenient. It is also becoming cheaper and more accessible with time.

Importance of BI

It might occur to you if there is a need for business intelligence in your organization. The extent of its impact depends upon how you use it. However, the one constant thing is that every business should use it.

If your organization uses practical business intelligence training, you can improve decision-making at all management levels and strengthen your strategic business management processes. Some organizations hire professional business analysts while some enrol their employees in a business analyst course.

Irrespective of the business type, here are some common benefits of BI for your business –

Customer Insights

One of the most significant benefits of implementing BI in your business is that it will provide you detailed insights about your target audience. Using BI, you can learn about consumer behaviour, buying trends, and changing needs.

This data will help you to adapt your marketing strategy to the demands. Adapting to changing needs is the key to profitability.

Marketing & Sales Growth

Knowing what your competitor is doing will surely help you strategize a better plan. BI allows you to understand how visitors interact with your organization by keeping track of data on your customers so that you can identify solutions to common problems and get your customers better with targeted messages to boost sales.

Improved Productivity

BI increases productivity. BI helps you to quickly and efficiently analyze and interpret data. It allows you to understand your business data as soon as it enters. It also allows you to build reports with a simple mouse click. This allows you and your staff more time to focus on work that needs to be done rather than analyze your business.

Better ROI

BI enhances your ROI and achievement of goals. Analysis of BI enables you to understand how to allocate resources best to meet your stated objectives. This allows you to increase your ROI by making sure that resources are strategically deployed to achieve fixed goals.

Improved Visibility

BI enhances the visibility of the core elements of a business. BI makes every aspect of your company more comfortable to see, including those that are sometimes ignored. As a result, you can more easily identify and make changes to components that need improvement.

Competitive Intelligence

BI can also be used to get a glimpse of what your competitors are doing. This enhances the ability of your business to make decisions and plan for the future.

There are so many benefits of implementing BI in an organization that we can’t list enough points. At the end of it, gaining the best value depends on how you use it. It also depends on a lot on how tech-savvy your employees are. If you’re a start-up, it will be ideal for learning BI by joining a business intelligence course so you can take better control of the data.

Companies Using BI to Get Better Results

As we mentioned earlier, there are a lot of companies that use BI to gain a better insight into competition and drive incredible results.

Here are two big names in the industry that have been successfully using BI:

American Express (AMEX)

Is there anyone who hasn’t heard about American Express? Through harnessing the power of predictive analytics, AMEX has been able to respond quickly to fraud and even stop it before it occurs in some cases.

BI tools are handy when used to detect losses and fraud. American Express, in particular, has shown the impact that BI can have on these two areas. Not only have they been able to better manage their accounts, but also those of their clients, after implementing a new BI program.

Using sophisticated algorithms and predictive data analysis, American Express can detect fraudulent uses of the cards of its customers in real-time and prevent future charges on the map automatically until the customer is alerted. This helps protect their clients and also reduces the company's financial risk.


One of the most significant gifts of IoT, Netflix has changed the way how millions of users’ view content on the Internet.

This video streaming company collects massive amounts of data on the actions of their users, including which videos they click on or hover over, how long they spend searching for something to watch, what titles they type in the search bar, or whether they use the new products that the company first launches. This helps them provide more user-specific content, thereby increasing revenue.

BI: Career Prospects & Future

Business analysts are responsible for reducing the barriers between IT and business using BI tools to analyze processes, define needs, and provide executives and investors with data-driven reports and recommendations.

Business analysts are not required to have an IT background, but they need to have a basic understanding of how different products and tools of the system work. A basic business analyst course will provide you with the right path to tread on.

With time and experience, you will build skills that will help boost your career. The demand for professional analysts is high. Plus, it also is a high-paying career option. Other than the business intelligence course, a few good-to-have skills are problem-solving ability, communication, adaptability, and undying love for numbers.

Data analytics will always play an essential role in the management of security systems and also in the detection of dangerous malware programs alongside providing you with visual reports for effective planning.

So, don’t miss out on it. If you have any further queries related to business intelligence, feel free to let us know in the comments, and we’ll be happy to help.

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