Business intelligence can be described as the processes, architectures, methodologies and technologies that influence the output of information management processes. These are used for analysis, reporting, performance management and informational delivery. Business intelligence also includes research via executive dashboards, queries and other reporting tools.

Business intelligence vendors offer many tools, usually collected in suites, that can be used via applications or other tools. The components of business intelligence include:

  • Multidimensional aggregation and allocation
  • Denormalization, tagging and standardization
  • Real-time reporting with analytical alert
  • Methods to interface with unstructured data sources
  • Group consolidation for budgeting and rolling forecasts
  • Statistical inference and probabilistic simulation
  • Key performance indicators optimization
  • Open item management

So what does that mean to businesses? Companies and organizations use business intelligence to find new opportunities and form new strategies that give them a competitive advantage in their markets and provide long-term stability.

Business Analytics

Business analytics focus on data through the analysis of statistics and operations. This study leads to forming predictive models, optimizing application techniques and heightening communication. Business analysts use quantitative methods and evidence-based data in business modeling and decision-making. An increasingly common way to describe analytics is in reference to the statistical and mathematical data analysis that clusters, segments and scores the economic and other relevant trends that are likely to happen through prediction. An end goal of business analytics is to uncover and explore economic relationships that can influence and affect business and information technology systems.

Analytics use algorithms in order to determine relationships between different sets of data. This results in the ability to predict future events, trends and problems. Analytics use tools like online analytical processing (OLAP), data mining, forecasting and data modeling. Current and historical trends and data are also analyzed for the same purposes.

How Do Business Intelligence and Business Analytics Relate?

Frequently, these terms are used interchangeably. Although they overlap, there are some key differences. The main reference point for relating these two concepts is the fact that business intelligence uses business analytics in its own processes.

Business intelligence is the presentation of the insights and predictions that business analytics have gathered and made. This presentation of data is usually conveyed via reports, dashboards and interactive visualizations.

There are some similarities and differences concerning the professionals who perform business analysis or present business intelligence. The average salary of a business analyst is $66,913, according to PayScale. A business intelligence analyst makes a similar average salary of $65,785. Both professionals enjoy benefits like medical coverage, bonuses and profit sharing.

Both career positions also have similar education requirements for their professionals. Most business analysts and business intelligence analysts have earned at least a bachelor’s degree in a field of business, like the Bachelor of Business Administration from Southeastern University Online. This program also offers a major in business analysis that covers topics like information systems, data analysis and project management, all of which are relevant skills and knowledge to becoming a business intelligence analyst or a business analyst.