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BI - business intelligence

The term business intelligence (BI) represents the tools and systems that play a key role in the strategic planning process of the corporation. These systems allow a company to gather, store, access and analyze corporate data to aid in decision-making.

Generally these systems will illustrate business intelligence in the areas of customer profiling, customer support, market research, market segmentation, product profitability, statistical analysis, and inventory and distribution analysis to name a few.

Most companies collect a large amount of data from their business operations. To keep track of that information, a business and would need to use a wide range of software programs, such as Excel, Access and different database applications for various departments throughout their organization. Using multiple software programs makes it difficult to retrieve information in a timely manner and to perform analysis of the data.

Business Intelligence Software

Business intelligence software is designed with the primary goal of extracting important data from an organization's raw data to reveal insights to help a business make faster and more accurate decisions. The software typically integrates data from across the enterprise and provides end-users with self-service reporting and analysis. BI software uses a number of analytics features including statistics, data and text mining and predictive analytics to reveal patterns and turn information into insights.


Webopedia Big Data Resources

What is business analytics?
What is business process?
Business Intelligence software
Predictive analytics
In-depth: Business Intelligence Software Explained
Open Source Business Intelligence Software
What is big data analytics?


Big Data and Business Intelligence

Big Data is used most extensively today with business intelligence and analytics applications and a number of BI vendors have moved to launch new tools that support Hadoop. For example, SAP offers connectors to Hadoop for SAP BI and Business Objects. According to EnterpriseAppsToday, BI vendor support for big data is typically in at least one of two ways:

- Integration connectors that make it easier to move data from Hadoop into their tools.
- Data visualization tools that make it easier to analyze data from Hadoop.

Business Intelligence Vendors

The large BI vendors, including SAP, Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, Information Builders, MicroStrategy and SAS, have been around for years, but there is also a number of BI startups that see their products get absorbed as a feature in a larger player's software. According to EnterpriseAppsToday, in addition to the large players, some mid-size BI vendors to consider include Actuate Corporation, Alteryx, Logi Analytics, QlikTech and Tableau.

See "What is Business Intelligence Software?" in Webopedia's Did You Know...? section.
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