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Business Intelligence vs Business Analytics

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Business Intelligence and Business Analytics are the indispensable and most common tools of modern business to optimize workflows. To understand how each tool can benefit, let’s figure out the definitions.

Business Intelligence is the process of collecting, storing and examining data owned by a company to ensure smooth operations. BI includes various tools and software: spreadsheets, reporting system, monitoring software, data mining software, event management, online processing, dashboard development, etc. BI provides the ability to interpret big data, identify new opportunities and implement new development strategies. The ability to combine internal and external data is the BI advantage. This provides a clear current situation vision and understanding, that cannot be obtained using single data. Incorporating BI into the workflow helps organizations understand the business, market, customer needs and behavior.

Business Analytics is a statistical technology using quantitative methods for obtaining information, forecasting defects, and developing strategies. BA tools: predictive analysis, forecasting analysis, data aggregation, association and sequences identification, correlation analysis, factor analysis, data visualization, growth analysis, optimization, etc. BA usage involves the involvement of data processing specialists, as well as an additional specialized training. The decision-making process with BA occurs through numerical analysis methods (predictive modeling, analytical modeling, explanatory modeling).

What is the difference between Business Intelligence and Business Analytics?

  1. The main focus of BI is the analysis of historical and current data. BI provides a process for analyzing / comparing past events, the current situation and business development over a certain period. Using this tool it is possible to find the cause of the problem and determine the necessary actions to fix it. The main focus of BA is predicting future results. Using this tool it is possible to determine the consequences of an unresolved problem in the future, possible strategies and predict the results.
  2. BI works with past and current data to determine business needs. BA works only with past data to predict business needs, customer needs and drive productivity.
  3. The task of BI is to provide a vision of current business operations, information on current trends and customer interests. The task of BA is to provide information on changes in business operations, increased productivity, future customer needs.
  4. Basic BI tools: Qlik Sense, SAP Business Objects, TIBCO, PowerBI, etc. BA tools: Word processing, Google documents, MS Office tools, MS Visio, spreadsheets, etc.
  5. BI is a tool mainly for large companies whose goal is to ensure smooth running of business. BA is a tool for small companies to develop business, improve efficiency and achieve goals.
  6. BI uses more User Interface Dashboards for analysis and carrying out operations, BA uses more tools and software applications.
  7. BI methods and technologies for data analysis: reporting, real-time analytics, dashboards, online analytical processing, etc. BA methods: predictive modeling, data modeling, requirements modeling, SWOT analysis, etc.

BI and BA perform different tasks and roles in the business optimization process. However, both tools are an important and integral part of operational activities for better understanding the business, ensuring an efficient decision-making process, optimizing business processes, predicting trends and gaining a competitive advantage.

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