Business Analytics and Business Intelligence
GeoVerity provides business analytics for companies worldwide. Business Analytics are a fundamental component in the architecture of traditional Business Intelligence systems, and currently in most organizations and companies, Business Analytics are used for the analysis of data that have been deposited in the data infrastructure of a business organization (relational and legacy databases, Data Warehouses and Data Maris).
However, the appearance and arrival of large volumes of data to companies (Big Data) have made Business Intelligence systems evolve, giving them greater preponderance to all data analysis due to the difficulty of handling not only large volumes, but also their different formats (structured, unstructured) as well as the speed of generation of such corporate data and other characteristics that are specific to Big Data.
This situation has meant that, although Business Intelligence is still the most widely used term in the enterprise, hardware and software solution providers, and we consider that Business Analytics are still a fundamental component of a BI system. The evolution of business has made that both terms can live independently and this is shown by the numerous solutions provided by many prestigious vendors. Thus, Business Intelligence can be considered as the infrastructure for collecting and managing corporate data (internal and external) and continues to use the techniques and tools; and Business Analytics are the next stage, connected to the data infrastructures, and the final stages of presentation and visualization of results.
Business Intelligence is the predominant system in the enterprise to deal with the whole data cycle, but Business Analytics will also be considered as a discipline integrated in the whole Business Intelligence system, but with its own entity, since this is how it is beginning to be understood by many IT solution providers, on which the enterprise ultimately depends for its managerial decision making.
Basic Concepts of Business Analytics
Business Analytics are a fundamental component of Business Intelligence and is the set of techniques and tools that help users to take advantage of business data, with the objective of making better and accurate business decisions in line with their lines of business. A good definition of the objectives of Business Analytics is that BA solutions enable organizations to instantly identify in real time the factors that affect their performance, create more accurate and forward-looking strategies, improve efficiency, increase profitability and customer loyalty.
Many companies are beginning to use the terms Business Analytics and Analytics interchangeably. Both terms exist in the daily life of the company, since solution providers use one or the other terms according to their corporate strategies and offer global Business Intelligence tools (suites), while others offer only the specific data analytics tools, to connect and integrate the rest of the tools and techniques of the different components, such as data sources, data infrastructure, data visualization and presentation of results.
Bl and BA (also called business analytics) revolve around the business environment with the objective of leveraging available data to improve decision making. The feature that differentiates each of these trends relates to the timing and use of data. Both systems use data, but Business Intelligence uses historical data to learn from past decision making, while Business Analytics looks forward and tries to predict what will happen in the future.
Practical Differences in Business Strategy
Business Intelligence is a set of techniques and tools for acquiring and transforming raw data into meaningful and useful information for the purpose of business analysis. It is, above all, the use of historical data to see what has happened and will help make better informed decisions based on past performance. Business Intelligence relies on reports that are generated by professional developers and made available to the entire organization.
Business Analytics are a set of technologies and skills that, based on the performance of the enterprise, acquires knowledge based on what has happened and tries to anticipate future trends to follow and the needs of the future.
Business Intelligence versus Business Analytics and Big Data
Modern Business Intelligence has gained notoriety as it builds on traditional Business Intelligence tools and the Big Data trend. Although software manufacturers and vendors are adopting the term BA, and especially Analytics, as stand-alone systems, our view is more global and we consider Business Intelligence as an enterprise strategy at the global organizational level, including in this strategy Business Analytics as a subset of Bl based on statistics, data mining, optimization models and, essentially, predictive analytics. Business Analytics involves the use of statistical analysis and predictive modeling in order to establish trends.
DDS, Business Intelligence, and Business Analytics
In the last decade of the 20th century, Decision Support Systems (DSS) were the dominant term in business management and a new discipline known as Business Intelligence began to be used, which has been evolving and gaining strength and into which DSS have been integrated, given that the central idea revolves around company data, its conversion into knowledge so that, after the corresponding analysis, it can help in business decision making.
The term Business Intelligence – often Business Intelligence in the singular – was coined by Gartner in the mid-1990s, although the concept has its origins in the beginning of Management Information Systems (MIS) in the 1970s, when the automation of tasks in companies began. Today, information systems are the backbone of companies and their daily support and the axis on which Business Intelligence systems are based. Systems known as ERP, CRM, SCM, GIS, etc., either independently or integrated in software packages “suites”, are in daily use in organizations for the management of corporate data. The need to add appropriate insights to aid decision making has led to the concept of Business Intelligence as a set of components – physical, hardware and software infrastructure – that make up an architecture to aid efficient decision making. A Business Intelligence system includes numerous tools and techniques that provide great capabilities for the transformation of data into knowledge that help to make the right decisions by performing the appropriate actions. At GeoVerity we break down the large set of techniques and tools that constitute the support of Business Intelligence and associated Business Analytics (Business Analytics or Analytics), such as:
- Data Warehouse and Data Maris
- Data Lakes (data lakes)
- Data Integration (ETL and ELT tools) Spreadsheets (the most traditional tool)
- Alerts and notifications
- Visualization tools: dashboards and scorecards
- Reports and queries (reporting and query)
- Balanced Scorecards (BSC)
- Business rules
- OLAP Analytics
- Data Analytics
- Predictive and prescriptive analytics
- Data Mining
- Data Science
Business Intelligence began to be used by software vendors and IT consultants as a computing service to describe the data storage, integration, reporting and analysis infrastructure that comes integrated into data environments (transactional databases and data warehouses or “repositories”, including today’s Big Data with NoSQL and in-memory databases).
Business Intelligence infrastructure collects, stores, cleans and makes relevant information available to managers, relying on databases, data repositories and lately Big Data’s Hadoop, and both proprietary and open-source Business Intelligence platforms. Business Analytics is another term that is widely used by software solution providers, focusing more on tools and techniques to analyze and understand data through Analytics solutions with statistical models and Data Mining.