How Do Analytics Fit into Business Intelligence?

how do analytics fit into business intelligence

With the availability of business intelligence tools increasing by the day, organizations may be confused as to which to buy and why. Every business wants to streamline workflows, improve decision-making, and increase sales and revenue, but they may not be certain how to use a BI tool to do it.

Furthermore, business intelligence systems only provide enough results to improve day-to-day operations. Some may find that their BI system is not answering all of the questions that address business needs.

New startups, growing companies, and those moving in a new direction need more information. Which products should be developed? Where should the organization launch its marketing campaign? How can the best possible outcome be ensured without wasting money or hurting the brand?

For those invested in long-term growth and innovation, using business analytics as part of a BI strategy can help address these questions and meet key objectives. Read ahead for an overview on how and why BA can improve upon BI.

How BA Fits into BI

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Business intelligence uses technology systems and tools to transform data sets into understandable real-time insights that help enterprise leaders improve decision making. Business analytics goes one step further by using historical information to predict what will happen in the future.

While BI focuses on what is happening now BA focuses on what will probably happen and what should be done to ensure there's a successful outcome. Both work together to pinpoint inefficiencies that help to save money, increase profit margins, attract new customers, and improve internal day-to-day operations.

Putting the Pieces Together

BI encompasses all of the technology systems, methodologies, and tools needed to streamline and improve internal and external business needs.

Data gathered by a BI tool uses charts and visuals to describe what happened in the past (historical data) and what is happening in real-time. BA is used as an offshoot of BI to complete the business intelligence strategy and tell a fine-tuned and more thorough story about the data.

Analytics software takes real-time and historical information collected through BI systems and then drills down further to predict future outcomes. Statistical analysis, data mining, machine learning, and other techniques are employed for predictive modeling.

Predictive analysis helps management solve concerns before they ever arise. It uses the insights derived from a BI software system to recommend solutions to managers or business owners.

Organizations are increasingly recognizing that they shouldn't choose between BI and BA, but rather use both in an integrated approach for the best outcome.

BI helps to focus on the present and what needs to be done by each individual today to meet key objectives, while BA helps with what needs to be done tomorrow. Without business analytics, a business intelligence strategy doesn't always deliver the best results.

For those companies focused on keeping the status quo and making improvements over time to internal workflow processes, simply using a BI solution may be enough. But this isn't the case for most organizations.

In today's climate, employing data-driven decisions to curate targeted marketing campaigns, pinpoint future markets, budget properly, and shift a sales strategy is essential to stay competitive.

Hiring an Analyst

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An experienced data analyst will use all of the aspects of a business intelligence tool to ensure the information is relevant and necessary. He/she will clean the data, or remove duplicate information from other databases before performing analysis, ensuring the organization receives the most accurate results.

The analyst will look for cause and effect to know which processes to continue and which to discard. Every recommendation made will be to improve sales and revenue in the future.

Though hiring an analyst and purchasing analytics software may be expensive, the rewards gained from them are well worth the investment, particularly for startups who need help reaching a target audience and making decisions to improve their odds.

Key Takeaways

In conclusion, here are the key takeaways to remember about BI and BA-

  • BI uses technology systems and methodologies to collect data and gain valuable real-time insights that help improve decision-making. BA drills down further into data to predict what might happen in the future. Recommendations are used to ensure the most successful outcome.
  • BA is used as part of a BI strategy to encourage growth, innovation, and improve marketing and sales strategies.
  • Hiring an analyst can help new startups and evolving companies make good decisions that improve the ability to stay competitive.
  • An entrepreneur may use BI to find statistical information while using BA to further understand that information. The insights generated from BA ensure money and resources will be saved before making any future decisions.