The Data Warehouse Institute defines Business Intelligence as the processes, technologies and tools needed to turn data into information and information into knowledge and knowledge into plans that drive profitable business action. It encompasses data warehousing, business analytics and knowledge management.
Companies use BI to improve decision making, cut costs and identify new business opportunities. BI is more than just corporate reporting and more than a set of tools to coax data out of enterprise systems. It can be used to gain a clear understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, cutting costs and losses, streamlining internal processes and increasing revenue.
For example, retailers use BI to determine which items to add or remove from stock; medical administrators use BI to control the flow of patients through a hospital; restaurant chains use BI to make strategic decisions on what new products to add to their menus, which dishes to remove and which underperforming store needs to close etc.
BI firstly emerged in the 1980s with the development of visual analytic software, its roots can be traced as far back as the 1950s when IBM technology scientist Hans Peter Luhn published a groundbreaking research paper "A Business Intelligence System" where he envisioned a computer-automated document processing system. BI helps business leaders collect, analyze and provide access to data through a few key applications:
- Process mining/Data mining/Text mining
- Complex event processing
- Online analytical processing (OLAP)
- Business performance management
- Statistical analysis
One crucial component of BI is business analytics which is quietly essential to the success of companies in a wide range of industries. The giant retailer Wal-Mart uses vast amounts of data and category analysis to dominate the industry. Amazon and Yahoo are extremely analytical and follow a "test and learn" approach to business changes. Capital One runs more than 30,000 experiments a year to identify desirable customers and price credit card offers.
Our research and development activities on BI run in conjunction with our business consulting projects.
Business Analytics in Rolling Stock Maintenance Strategy Optimization
Identify Potential Customer for Corporate Bank
Utility Company Business Growth Model and Decision Support System