Having data is not the same as having information. Data becomes information when you can use it to answer business questions, so you can understand your business better. Business intelligence allows you to answer those questions, so that decision makers at all levels can respond quickly to changes in the business.
Business intelligence provides answers to basic questions such as:
· What are my five top selling products?
· How do my sales this year compare to sales last year?
· What is the 3-month moving average of my sales?
Business intelligence (BI) is a broad category of applications and technologies for gathering, storing, analyzing, and providing access to data to help enterprise users make better business decisions. BI applications include the activities of decision support systems, query and reporting, online analytical, While the overall objective of Business Intelligence (BI) solutions may be clear, the technologies that deliver the right information to the right people at the right time for decision-making can be complex and expansive.
BI can involve database and application technologies, knowledge management, enterprise resource planning (ERP), data mining, document management, and much more.
By implementing business analytics software, organizations are able to leverage their existing investment in transactional applications, while avoiding costly mistakes due to "gut feel" decisions made without solid information.