Business Intelligence vs Business Analytics – Do They Go Hand In Hand?

Business Intelligence vs Business Analytics – Do They Go Hand In Hand?

A- Finding Similar Differences

Business analytics or Business Intelligence.
Are they same or different? The steady fact is that both of them have the same goal and both exist to improve the efficiency and viability of business by using the effectiveness of data analysis. Most of the enterprises use business analytics and business intelligence interchangeably. We will help you clear this out once-and-for-all, but before we do, let this quote have the sucker-punch.

business intelligence
Another way of differentiating between business analytics and business intelligence is to find what role they play in your business.

Business intelligence is all about assembling and accessing your sources of data. Business intelligence comprises of software and infrastructure which you can use to funnel data to your analysis. The powerful software options which are used to compile information are marketed as business intelligence software.

On the contrary, business analytics is what you do with the data that is at your disposal. Once a large amount of data is gathered from a variety of sources and integrated into a single data hub, you can then easily use it to optimize your business performance. Business analytics also helps in determining what long strings of numbers actually mean.

“Analytics is about predicting trends”
Business intelligence looks backward in time. It lists out the data which has already occurred and provides us with the insight to improve. It can be understood what is going well but also learn to recover what went terribly.

Well, business analytics is all about anticipating the trends and needs of future. It
takes the data and deals with the hypothetical changes to the models. It is less consistent than business intelligence and even the best prediction is not same as seeing the future. But business analytics helps in evolving your business in order to meet changes in landscape and taking advantage of developing occurring then.

B- Expert Perspectives

Here are surveys from leading experts across business intelligence spectrum. This will help in understanding in a better way the distinction between these standard terms.

1. Maintaining vs. Revolutionizing

Pat Roche, Vice President of Engineering, Noetix Products, Magnitude Software explains that business intelligence is needed to run a business while business analytics is required to change & improve the business.

He also adds that business intelligence focuses on creating operational efficiency by accessing real-time data by enabling individuals to most effectively perform their job functions. BI includes analysis of historical data from multiple sources. This data enables informed decision making, identification of problems and solutions related to the same. By stressing more on business analytics, he states that business analytics is more of exploration of historical data from many source systems through statistical analysis, data mining, predictive modeling, quantitative analysis and other techniques and technologies. This helps in identifying trends and understand the information which can help in driving business change and support sustained business practices.

2. Understanding The Past Versus The Future

For Mark van Rijmenam, CEO/Founder – BigData-Startups, the difference between business intelligence is looking in a little back and using historical data from one minute ago to many years ago. On the contrary, Business Analytics is looking forward and foreseeing what is going to happen. Where Business Analytics help you in anticipating what is coming on the way. This distinction seems very much important as both offers you with different insights. Business intelligence holds utmost importance as it helps in better decision making based on past results while business analytics help you in moving forward and help predict in a smarter way.

3. It’s All Relative

Well, Timo Elliot, Innovation Evangelist at SAP says that no one knows the real difference between Business Analytics and Business Intelligence. He stresses that everybody has a different notion and understanding of analytics and intelligence based on businesses with which the term is associated. Say, for an example when SAP says “business analytics” instead of “business intelligence”, it indicates to the umbrella term which includes business intelligence, enterprise performance management, data warehousing, analytic applications, risk, governance, risk, and compliance.

On the contrary vendors like SAS uses business analytics for indicating some level of domain knowledge tied with predictive or statistical analytics.

4. Analytics Is A Function Of BI

Dr. Rado Kotorov, Chief Innovation Officer, Information Builders explains Business Intelligence is used to refer platform capabilities to manage metadata, access data, development tools for dashboards, reports, and applications, scheduling and distribution capabilities. Analytics referred methods of analyzing information or tools to perform such methods. According to Dr. Rado, analytics is a subset of broader platform capabilities. Leading BI platforms includes complex tools to perform different types of analytics like descriptive analytics, predictive modeling, data mining and visual patterns discovery.

5. Analytics As A Way To Consume Intelligence

Tim Biskup, Director, Customer Relationship Management, Progressive Business Publications says that there are a lot of conflicting views and opinions on business analytics and business intelligence. Most of these opinions are simply based on the marketing trends. He also torches lights on the tested definition of CIA, the Central Intelligence Agency. CIA is responsible for having people and processes and infrastructure in place to capture data from the world. This captured data also needs to analyze, disseminate and strategize around how to intelligently apply the intelligence and output of various analysis actions done to it. He also defines Business Analytics as a collective set of methods and tools which are used by analysts to intelligently consume intelligence towards enabling smarter decisions. Hence, he concludes that analysis without intelligence can’t be done. Even capturing intelligence without doing analysis is a mere waste of time.

C- Making Choices

Hence, choosing the right solution for your business depends on your aims.

Opt for business intelligence if you wish to improve operations, meeting organizational goals, improving efficiency. Business analytics is the best option if you intend to change your business model and need to know where to start.

A business which requires extensive data and intuitive reports must consider business intelligence. Business Intelligence software is an excellent solution for those which want to improve decision making and understand their organization’s productivity.


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Ravi Jain

Ravi Jain

Ravi Jain is an astute professional with a charismatic personality, who builds leading businesses through his keen insights and tremendous experience. He has 14+ long years of extensive experience in spearheading BI, Analytics, Salesforce & Cloud roadmap constantly catering to growth strategies, building exquisite IT-driven solutions to resolve myriad business challenges and delivering gargantuan projects successfully in globally distributed delivery model.
Ravi Jain

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