The Long-Term Role and Importance of Business Intelligence


Business Intelligence can be defined as a set of methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information used to enable more effective strategic, tactical, and operational insights and decision-making. The Importance of Business Intelligence cuts across various industries from the eponymous business industry, to the healthcare industry and even governmental organization.

Business intelligence (BI) leverages software and services to transform data into actionable intelligence that informs an organization’s strategic and tactical business decisions. BI tools access and analyze data sets and present analytical findings in reports, summaries, dashboards, graphs, charts and maps to provide users with detailed intelligence about the state of the business. Although business intelligence does not tell business users what to do or what will happen if they take a certain course, it provides accurate suggestions and analytical guess. Business Intelligence offers a way for people to examine data to understand trends and derive insights. Although much of today’s hype is around big data and advanced analytics (as well as the next step up: artificial intelligence and machine learning). Business Intelligence 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. Applications tackle sales, production, financial, and many other sources of business data for purposes that include business performance management. Information is often gathered about other companies in the same industry which is known as benchmarking

Business intelligence is important and relevant for multiple reasons. First, experts say that many organizations still struggle with how to wrangle their data and leverage BI tools to their full potential. As a result, many organizations tend to have pockets of BI capabilities rather than a wholesome enterprise-wide platform.

What Are the Benefits of Using Business Intelligence?

Since you’re already aware what is the purpose of Business Intelligence in a business it’s worth tackling the question of what are its main benefits? With further analysis of Business intelligence tools, we get to discover that they are essentially data-driven Decision Support Systems (DSS). BI is sometimes used interchangeably with briefing books, report and query tools and executive information systems. With these tools, business people can start analyzing the data themselves, rather than wait for the information technology team to run complex reports. This information access helps users backup business decisions with hard numbers, rather than only gut feelings and anecdotes. This advantage is particularly relevant to the healthcare industry. For example: finance, quality, human resources and clinical departments at health systems and group practices scramble to compile data for their reports. Once departments complete this task, they must combine their reports so management can review progress on organizational goals. Management wants to see the big picture and draw valid conclusions about quality, satisfaction and cost performance across the organization.

In terms of business intelligence, the essence of data warehousing is measurement that leads to understanding, insight and action. In general, a data warehouse is a centrally managed and easily accessible copy of data collected from the transactional information systems of a corporation or health system. These data are aggregated, organized, cataloged and structured to facilitate population-based queries, research and analysis. Such queries, research and analysis enable measurement, which in turn enables understanding and the most informed business and clinical decisions.

The potential benefits of business intelligence programs are summarized below:

  • Accelerating and improving decision making
  • Optimizing internal business processes
  • Increasing operational efficiency
  • Driving new revenues
  • Gaining competitive advantages over business rivals
  • Identifying market trends
  • Spotting business problems that need to be addressed