Business intelligence (BI) refers to technologies, applications and practices for the collection, integration, analysis, and presentation of business information and sometimes to the information itself. The purpose of business intelligence--a term that dates at least to 1958--is to support better business decision making. Thus, BI is also described as a decision support system (DSS):
BI is sometimes used interchangeably with briefing books, report and query tools and executive information systems. In general, business intelligence systems are data-driven DSS.
BI systems provide historical, current, and predictive views of business operations, most often using data that has been gathered into a data warehouse or a data mart and occasionally working from operational data. Software elements support the use of this information by assisting in the extraction, analysis, and reporting of information. Applications tackle sales, production, financial, and many other sources of business data for purposes that include, notably, business performance management. Information may be gathered on comparable companies to produce benchmarks.
Prior to the start of the Information Age in the late 20th century, businesses had to collect data from non-automated sources. Businesses then lacked the computing resources necessary to properly analyze the data, and as a result, companies often made business decisions primarily on the basis of intuition.
As businesses automated systems the amount of data increased but its collection remained difficult due to the inability of information to be moved between or within systems. Analysis of information informed for long-term decision making, but was slow and often required the use of instinct or expertise to make short-term decisions. Business intelligence was defined in 1958 by Hans Peter Luhn, who wrote,
In this paper, business is a collection of activities carried on for whatever purpose, be it... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2008, 10). Business Intelligence. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 2008, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Business-Intelligence-168161.html
"Business Intelligence" StudyMode.com. 10 2008. 10 2008 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Business-Intelligence-168161.html>.
"Business Intelligence." StudyMode.com. 10, 2008. Accessed 10, 2008. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Business-Intelligence-168161.html.