What is Business Intelligence?

So, many people asked me what exactly is BI (Business Intelligence), here and on Orkut. I expected this, I must agree.

Obviously, I will now give a brief introduction to BI here. This is info I have gathered from various sources to add to my own knowledge. Here goes

What is Business Intelligence?

According to Wikipedia, 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 is to support better business decision making. Hmmm. I trust Wikipedia. Lol

But this does not give us the complete picture. Cuz Business Intelligence is much more than just a set of tools, technologies and practices. Business Intelligence is knowledge, and the value of that knowledge is in how quickly and accurately it can be applied to a business problem or an emerging opportunity. For example, the first company to identify the most profitable of its customers can get to them first – on the flip side, if you can find those who are most likely to defraud you before they actually do, you can take measures to protect yourself. Going a bit deep, Business Intelligence is an integral part of successful business management. Business Intelligence plays a key role in strategic business decision making, empowering managers with appropriate information for critical decision making. The end result of BI should be higher net income, increased performance & growth and efficient decision making. Needless to say, every organization need BI.

Most businesses have similar information needs for effective business management. Some of these could be

•Strategic direction and management of employees, goals, and objectives

•Software capabilities for at-a-glance decision making

•Basic but effective and efficient decision support capabilities, including training, customer support and project management

At the same time, information and knowledge need to be viewed in the context of how you need to use it. And that differs from industry to industry. Telecommunications is concerned with things like network usage or customer churn – while a pharmaceutical company is focused on things like compound discovery and optimizing the development and testing cycle. The front-burner concerns in retail banking include things like credit and operational risk, fraud, customer profitability – and compliance to anti-money laundering laws and regulations. So, you see what I mean when I say that Business intelligence (BI) is about more than just technology! !

Now you may ask where BI is being utilised. According a survey, key adopters of BI include Pharma, IT?ITES, Telecom, Banking & Financial Services, Hospitality and many more….


 Business Intelligence Roadmap

A BI application that goes through six stages between inception and implementation:

  1. Justification: An assessment is made of a business problem or a business opportunity, which gives rise to the engineering project.
  2. Planning: Strategic and tactical plans are developed, which lay out how the engineering project will be accomplished.
  3. Business Analysis: Detailed analysis of the business problem or business opportunity is performed, which provides a solid understanding of the business requirements for a solution.
  4. Design: A product is conceived, which solves the business problem or enables the business opportunity.
  5. Construction: The conceived product is built, which is expected to provide a return on the development investment within a predefined time frame.
  6. Deployment: The finished product is implemented (or sold) and its effectiveness is measured, which will determine whether the solution meets, exceeds or fails the expected return on investment.

Some more Business intelligence basics:

The term “business intelligence” hasn’t been around forever; Howard Dresner, a BI consultant and author, coined the term in 1992. SearchDataManagement.com sat down with Howard Dresner, the “father of BI” at a Gartner BI Summit in Chicago. Learn why Dresner says he invented the term, find out his take on the BI market and get his recommendations for achieving BI success.
Career? – you may ask. Sure. J

Industry estimates suggest a demand-supply gap of over 100,000 professionals globally faced by the current BI market. According to Gartner, in near future, enterprises will need three times as many professionals on their analytic staffs as they need today. The demand for analytic talent today outweighs supply by at least two to one.


Ways to begin a business intelligence career :
Some experts may argue that certification and education are the best way to begin a BI career. Others may say that experience is more valuable.

Career opportunities in BI are just as exciting as the growing executive-level interest and technology outlook. As with most professions that require knowledge of various subjects, areas of specialty exist. Within BI, an individual can participate in numerous areas, including planning, design, development, deployment, maintenance and support. The roles range from a business analyst to a technical architect to the project manager. Each of these roles requires a blend of business knowledge, technical expertise and people skills. The various roles can be grouped into three areas of focus: business, technical and a blend of both.

· Business Focus. Individuals who possess business function or process knowledge, such as finance or supply chain, would be well suited for a business analyst role. In addition, industry-specific knowledge may be required, given the subject matter that is being addressed. For example, in health care the terminology and business processes surrounding patient care are unique to that industry. Having command of the appropriate terminology and an understanding of the business processes enables the business analyst to gather requirements and help create the BI strategy. In addition to subject matter knowledge, business analysts must excel in verbal and written communications, possess strong organizational skills and understand data modeling and business process design.

· Technical Focus. There are several roles for technologists in BI, ranging from architects to software specialists. Architects are knowledgeable about DW, BI or data integration frameworks and corresponding software technology. They work with the business analysts to design the approach and configuration of the technology to support the organization’s information needs. Software specialists have a commanding knowledge of a particular software application, such as reporting or data integration software. They understand the capabilities, features, functionalities and limitations of the software. They collaborate with architects and business analysts to implement the software in a manner that supports the objectives of the BI solution.

· Blended Business and Technical Focus. With BI initiatives, the project manager and the data modeler must have an understanding of the subject area and BI/DW principles. The project manager must also demonstrate outstanding organizational and communications skills to lead the team. The data modeler is typically well versed in data modeling principles and has the ability to understand and translate business requirements into a data model.

Employment Options: (Click on the image to enlarge it)

 I hope this looong post will help in the understanding about BI. Trust me, if I were you, I’d never miss this opportunity.  Okay folks, got to rush but let me wrap this post with yet another cartoon strip. J






  1. Rahul said

    This info will be useful to a lot of students.
    Good job.

  2. Hey there Preeti, U answered my question just when it came to my mind. I want to thank you. I will visit a GNIIT tomorow and let u know what they have to say.

  3. rocky said

    Detailed info, i must say. Is GNIIT worth for a BA student?

  4. Gyan said

    This is an enlightening post. I have a question. What are the placement chances after GNIIT?

  5. Ritika said

    can u tell me the locations of gniit in kolkata?

  6. […] hierarchy, life cycle of BI project — ranjeetwalunj @ 12:18 am We have learned about the basics of business intelligence in the previous […]

  7. E Srinivas Reddy said

    When I was searching, to know about BI at high level, really i got right stuff for basic understanding in terms of what, why & how. Its excellent material to a layman understanding

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