BI 101: Why being data driven matters in Business Intelligence

Why is Business Intelligence important (BI)

Business Intelligence (BI) helps businesses and organizations by asking and answering relevant questions of their data. Business intelligence can help companies make better decisions by showing present and historical data within their business context.

Why Being “Data Driven” Matters?

As the year rolls onward, this much is clear: the availability of data is forever changing the way businesses are run, but only if companies find a way to interpret and use it. Business Intelligence (BI) software enables executives and managers to harness data and steer their companies with fact-based insights rather than opinions and ideas. If you are unfamiliar with business intelligence, I will explain its concepts and why your company must care about it.

In order to get started with the planning of how you will use BI, you will need to understand common terminology used in the field. BI terms can be sorted out into 4 different categories;

REPORTING: what happened?

Standard Reports: It maintains the records of past activity and data

Read More: The Journey of BI from the Past, Now and Beyond

ANALYSIS: why did it happen?

Spreadsheet Analysis: The analysis of data using standard productivity software to evaluate r anticipate business performance under a given set of circumstances

Adhoc Query: Software that enables the user themselves to create specific, customized data queries

Visualization Tools: Software that helps user understand data better by creating a visual representation of it

MONITORING: what’s happening now?

Dashboard: A central display of all useful, actionable data and metrics for an organization

KPIs: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are particular measures of performance such as click-through rate, return on investment, etc

Performance Management: Any system designed to ensure that all performance goals are being efficiently met

PREDICTION: what might happen?

Predictive Modeling: Any model that attempts to predict the probability of an outcome

Data Mining: A way of extracting patterns and correlations from large amount of data.

The Rising Popularity of Business Intelligence (BI)

Business Intelligence is nothing new. In fact, BI tools have been in existence for over years. However, the field has been experiencing a spike in internet in recent years. Aside from the sheer abundance of available data, there are 2 significant trends in business and technology that explains this;


Business users are demanding BI insights instead of just data analysis. In fact, business people now control roughly% of the BI software purchases.


The mobile technology market has exploded in the past years. In 2011, tablet sales in particular rose to 260%. These devices are perfect tools for tapping BI data wherever you are.

Read More: CRM 101: Everything about Customer Relationship Management

Final Thoughts

Most of the companies have been already gaining insights from their data. However, a data-driven culture should not be interpreted as blindly following the numbers. It should encourage the advancement of data interpretation skills and critical thinking, which enables businesses in not only base their decisions on reliable data, but also to know when it is better not to do so. At the same time, business users consider data to be the domain of the IT department and data scientists/analysts. Likewise, they don’t want to give away their control over the data that easily.

Therefore, the challenge is to connect the insights of analytics with the problems currently facing the organization in order to improve the business value of the company. Thus, management needs to understand data as an asset, and not as a by-product of business processes.

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