Business Analytics vs Business Intelligence

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Traditionally, data strategies were focused on business intelligence (BI) only, but thankfully the discovery of predictive analysis and prescriptive analysis has changed the equation today. Enterprises started relying on business analytics (BA) platforms to gain meaningful insights from existing data.

Business intelligence analyst agrees that understanding the difference between business intelligence and analytics adds more value to the organization and you can plan better data strategies for your business.

Business Intelligence vs. Business Analytics

In the business world, BI and business analytics terms are used interchangeably but this is necessary to understand the difference between the two for long-term success in your business. Data experts generally divide the analytics into four categories. These categories are Descriptive analysis, Diagnostic analytics, Predictive analytics, and Prescriptive analytics.

Business Analytics vs Business Intelligence

What is happening in your business and why did it happen comes under the business intelligence category, while what will likely to happen in the future and the best solution to make it happen comes under business analytics category.

In brief, the array of tools, technologies, and techniques that gives a clear picture of your business from the layer of business intelligence. At the same time, there is always some uncertainty involved with business analytics space, but the careful predictive analysis for your business can certainly help the enterprise to perform better in future.

Business Analytics vs Business Intelligence

Let us make the concept easier for the audience as much as it can be done.

Take an example of the grocery store whose branches are available across the state. As of now, you were maintaining data into excel sheets. One day you realize that data collection is voluminous but you are not able to conclude some valuable insights from collecting data. Now, you wish to understand your business in the best way,not just the profits come from the grocery store.

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For this purpose, you made a checklist and started working on the points mentioned in the list. The checklist includes the points – How does your business perform during weekdays or weekends, which shops are more profitable, what is the best selling product in your grocery store and profits you earn from different shops at different time spans like a particular month, week or a year.

Business Analytics vs Business Intelligence

So, how valuable data insights can be calculated in the real world? Obviously, you have to perform necessary aggregations, make the pie chart, the bar chart to get a clear idea on existing business profits and performance. Performing all of these tasks manually can be challenging for the data experts.

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Here, we need some advance business intelligence and business analytics software programs to automate these tasks. In further sections, we will discuss on Business Intelligence enablers and Business analytics enablers to make the task more accurate and easier for you.

BI vs. BA – Enablers or software programs for task automation

Business intelligence enables

Business Analytics vs Business Intelligence

  • Data Warehouse–Bringing voluminous data together that is taken as core practice by all the businesses. For example – when data is copied from multiple excel sheets to one worksheet, it becomes your warehouse. With BI software, this task can be automated and completed within minutes while manual practice for the same work may take hours.
  • Data visualization – Arranging data in a more organized way for quick access is termed as data visualization. Here, you can use pie charts, bar graphs, images, smart arts, infographic etc for a good visualization of your business.
  • Executive Dashboards–The meaningful data visualizations compiled earlier that can help in taking a meaningful decision is termed as executive dashboards. They are popular to organize highly relevant information in less space as needed by the enterprises. The end user just needs a quick glance on the executive dashboard to get complete information about your business.
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All we discussed till now is a type of decision support system that makes the things easier for you. It gives complete visibility on business operations and how you make it better with the best possible ways as needed by the organizations. Here is a quick look how the BI systems support your business in multiple interesting ways.

Business Analytics vs Business Intelligence

Business analytics enables

Business Analytics vs Business Intelligence

  • Data analytics – The set of tools and technologies that help you to answer all the questions statistically fall under the data analytics category. It includes mathematical operations or logical formulations of the data sets. If you are not satisfied with the simpler mathematical calculations, then you can also opt for advanced statistical operations to get complex business solutions.
  • Data sciences – It helps you to investigate past data and predicting future trends in numerous algorithmic ways. This is an improvement over data analytics to gain more accurate and precise data insights for maximum revenues and profits.

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In a nutshell, business intelligence is used to analyze current actions while business analytics is used to analyze past data or future business trends. Hope, your confusion is clear now and you can use the best process to gain valuable insights for your business.

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Most of the times, both processes are used together by data experts. BI is taken as a gateway to the business analytics to enhance the capabilities of each other. According to experts, BI does not provide in-depth analysis of data and it does not help in driving new business opportunities.

This is the reason, merging BI and BA is the most interesting idea ensuring maximum profits and revenues for the organization. The combination of business intelligence and business analytics is named as advanced analytics for your business.

More than 70 percent of businesses choose an advance analytics as a priority to the business. This would not be saying wrong that modern world demands advance analytics as the critical choice for businesses to succeed in future.



I am Kevin, the Business Analyst with JanBask training, I write articles and blogs on career of a Business Analyst, interview questions etc, to help people get a fair idea about the sector.

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