Supplementing Business Intelligence with Business Analytics

Mark J

Updated · Jul 19, 2010

Business intelligence (BI) covers a range of capabilities and tools from simple spreadsheet reports to sophisticated predictive analytical models. This article suggests that business intelligence is increasingly being supplemented with business analytics, which uses the same data sources, along with quantitative analysis, statistics, and predictive models, to improve business planning and decision-making.

“In ‘Analytics at Work,' authors Thomas Davenport, Jeanne Harris, and Robert Morison contend that most business decisions warrant some degree of analytical study, but in reality, some functions or business domains are more amenable to BI and analytics than others. Because developing and implementing effective BI and analytical processes and tools requires focused, executive-level planning and, ultimately, sophisticated software and application development, most companies want to find the sweet spots where such investments of time, energy, and money produce the greatest benefits.

“When looking at opportune applications of BI and analytics, ‘Analytics at Work' notes, ‘Many organizations start where they make their money—in customer relationships. They use analytics to segment their customers and identify their best ones. They analyze data to understand customer behaviors, predict their customers' wants and needs, and offer fitting products and promotions.'”

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