BIMEX Analytics
4 min

Introduction to Business Intelligence

Still haven’t heard about Business Intelligence (BI)? For any company or organization, being unaware of BI is almost a ‘sin.’

This concept refers to all those tools, resulting from digital transformation, that are capable of providing solutions to existing problems within organizations… or even uncovering them!

Ultimately, transforming information into knowledge to enhance the decision-making process within a company.

And why is this so important? Because in the midst of the digital age, making well-informed decisions is one of the key distinguishing factors for businesses. Especially in an era where over 6 billion searches are conducted on Google every day.

Therefore, in this post, we will delve into Business Intelligence as a concept, its functioning, tools, and benefits.

What is Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence (BI), also known as Corporate Intelligence or Business Insight, encompasses the necessary processes to provide a computer-based solution enabling us to analyze how our company is operating, aiming to optimize this functioning by improving decision-making.

According to Gartner, a leading company in consultancy and research within the new technology market, BI is a broad term encompassing applications, infrastructures, tools, as well as best practices, enabling access and analysis of information to enhance and optimize a company’s decision-making and performance.

How does it differ from Big Data and Data Science?

Business Intelligence aims to leverage data for optimizing a company’s decisions and reporting, while Big Data seeks to capture, store, and process massive data, and Data Science involves the predictive and prescriptive analysis of such data.

What is the purpose of Business Intelligence?

Fundamentally, this technology significantly aids in planning, financial analysis, detecting new opportunities, and providing complete visibility in terms of income and expenses.

Certainly, within BI solutions, there are multiple options. And the best part: they rely on technologies that are being developed and refined almost daily.

What then is the most common BI solution? Likely, it involves creating predefined and/or custom reports, as well as their automated distribution or reporting.

In addition, other highlights include:

  • Dashboards.
  • Special data storage.
  • Results forecasting.
  • Query tools for advanced users (query) including access to multidimensional cubes (OLAP).

We must emphasize that Business Intelligence solutions are immersed in a continuous process of transformation. These tools can range from systems used to measure corporate data and related reports to the reports that support analysis, prediction, and data discovery functionalities. In this sense, Business Intelligence is fundamentally based on Big Data, data analysis, and the development of this combination.

What is the origin of Business Intelligence tools?

It was towards the late ’90s and early 2000s when the potential of using Business Intelligence software began to be understood. It’s in recent years that the challenge of combining rapid and user-friendly Business Intelligence solutions for non-technical users, while ensuring secure and reliable information, has been undertaken and surpassed.

In the last five years, BI tools have become increasingly sophisticated and are now tremendously powerful, capable of analyzing and processing a multitude of data and sources. Ultimately, they assist companies in drawing conclusions to enhance each business.

The global market for Business Intelligence in figures

Digital transformation has spurred investments in analytics and metrics to derive value from data. This, coupled with the ongoing digitalization of companies and organizations, has led to an exponential growth in the business intelligence market.

What is the actual turnover? According to a report by MarketsandMarkets and data from the Gartner consultancy, BI is expected to grow at an annual rate of 7.6% between 2021 and 2025. By that year, the turnover is projected to reach $33.3 billion, whereas currently, it is around $24 billion.

In this business, it’s worth noting that SAP stands out as the global leader in the sector, holding roughly a quarter of the market share.

Business Intelligence Tools

Business intelligence tools enable access to data that would otherwise be too difficult or even impossible to obtain. Therefore, the function of Business Intelligence involves gathering data, analyzing it, providing context, assessing risks, and using this information to make decisions. Regarding this, BI tools are commonly grouped into these 3 categories:

  • Data Management Tools: With these tools, we can extract, cleanse, standardize, transform, and move data from various sources to a specific system.
  • Data Discovery Tools: These tools are used to gather and combine data from multiple sources using data mining, with the challenge of identifying patterns and trends and subsequently making forecasts.
  • Reporting Tools: Present processed information in a simple and highly visual manner, allowing the integration of information into dashboards to assess the degree of compliance with key company indicators (KPIs).

How does it benefit companies?

The main benefits of Business Intelligence stem from the analysis of data and the visibility obtained from that information. According to the Business Application Research Center (BARC), which has been conducting the BI Survey for almost two decades, the major virtues attributed to business intelligence and how its tools positively impact companies are as follows:

  • Obtaining real-time information to better understand various aspects of purchasing habits and the company’s operations.
  • Detecting potential failures and anomalies, anticipating and acting proactively.
  • Having knowledge of how the market and businesses operate to stay ahead of the competition.
  • Improving decision-making and operational efficiency by achieving greater speed and precision in generating reports, analyzing, or planning.
  • Increasing customer, supplier, and employee satisfaction.
  • Reducing costs and increasing revenue.

Expert consultancy in Business Intelligence

At Bimex Analytics, you will find a team of Business Intelligence specialists who will assist you from the very beginning to transform your company. If you want to turn your organization into a data-driven company and witness your business evolve, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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