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The thin lines: business intelligence (BI), business analytics (BA), and data analytics

There is so much hype and interest in Business Analytics (BA), it begs the question of digging deep into hives. I was curious in finding a little light of the following questions:

  • What are the differences/similarities between BI and BA?
  • Are there differences/similarities between Analysis vs Analytics?

So, I took a little detour to find about these fascinating queries.

Key Differences:

Data Analysis vs Data Analytics

According to a Boeing Data Analyst, Data Analysis refers to hands-on Data Exploration and Evaluation.

  • Data Analytics is a broader term and includes Data Analysis as necessary sub-component

Business intelligence (BI) VS Business Analytics (BA)

  • BI involves tools and techniques used to transform raw data into information for analysis/reporting for providing insight.
  • BA defines the science/cognitive process behind the analysis. It is the act of discovering insights using any tooling or services at your disposal
  • BI is needed to run the business day to day while BA is needed to change the business.
  • BI will tell you what happened; BA takes forward thinking approach to see what is going to happen.

Key SIMILARITIES and the Obvious of BI, BA, Analysis, Analytics

What-ever term you coin to describe the concepts, the following are the obvious:

  • Asking the right questions
  • Data extract, transform, and load (ETL);
  • Application of Specific tools and Techniques
  • Exploratory and Predictive Analysis
  • Analysis and intelligence go hand in hand. You cannot do without the other
  • Successfully communicating Result.

Key differences between BI vs BA

So, the BA practitioners are differentiating themselves from BI in the following perspectives:

  • What is happening right now (BI) vs What will happen in the future (BA)?
  • To optimize the Present (BI) vs To optimize the Future (BA)To explore and analyze Current data (BI) vs Historical Data (BA)
  • Real-time reporting tends to lean toward BI while changing business processes or business model prioritizes BA

The thin lines: business intelligence (BI), business analytics (BA), and data analytics

To sum-up, new-term will always emerge and reshape the boundaries between practitioners. In my opinion, Data Analysis is here to stay as it is the mother of all exploration and prediction. However, new tools and technologies will give it a new dimension/meaning or term such as Business/Data Analytics.

Written by: ATM Shirajul Haque — [email protected]  / www.linkedin.com/in/atmshirajulhaque

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