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Business Intelligence vs Business analytics

October 12, 2015
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What is the difference between Business intelligence and business analytics? At a point when this question comes up, everybody has an opinion which contrasts from one another.

For finding the answer to this question I have gone through many sites, and found that even experts who have been working with business data for quite a long time can’t agree on the concrete definition. For some, both the terms are interrelated and for others they are diverse.

If you are also looking for the same, this post might help you.

Business Intelligence vs Business analytics

  Business Intelligence Business Analytics

Refers to

Business intelligence is a set of theory, methodology, process and architecture and technology that transforms crude data into valuable information for business purpose.                                                                 BI can oversee a lot of data to help identify and develop new opportunities. Using new opportunities and implementing effective strategies it can gain competitive market advantage and long term stability.

Business analytics refers to the skills, technologies, applications and practices for persistent iterative research of past performance of the company in order to gain insight into business management.Business analytics focuses on developing new insights and understanding of business performance based on data and statistical methods.


Catalogue the past which is necessary to maintain the business

Deals with present and predict the future which is needed to revolutionizing the business.

Types of questions

WHAT is happening to your business  (For Visibility)

WHY it is happening, WHAT WILL likely happen in future (For Investigation, Prediction & Prescription)


Reporting (KPI's , metrics),Automated monitoring /Alerting(thresholds)Interactive analysis Dashboards Scorecards  OLAP (Cubes, slice and dice, Drilling)Ad hock query Business Applications

Predictive modelling,Data Mining,Text Mining Multimedia Mining Descriptive Modelling Statistical/Quantitative analysis Simulation and optimization


SAP, Cognos, Microstrategy, SAS,

Revolution R Enterprise ,Qlik View, Tableau, Jaspersoft

Knowledge generation




Business users

Data Scientists, Business analysts, IT, Business Users

Though business analytics and intelligence both are distinct but are associated and have emerged as principle implements that guide decisions and strategies for disciplines like marketing, research and development customer care, credit and inventory management. Both the terms are not new concept and are advancing quickly to meet business challenges and grow new open doors.

Below graph shows the trend in searches which will lead to meet the business challenges. There is a decline in business intelligence though it is the relative overall search volume and is not absolute. Also in business analytics there is a considerable rise in search interest.

Google Trends on Business Intelligence and Business Analytics, 2005- Present


Making a clear distinction between business intelligence and business analytics can be a bit of a challenge, especially since both the terms  mean different things to different people, and few  even use various business intelligence related terms interchangeably however the distinction is still imperative , if someone seek to analyse and understand the organization’s past performance as well as future trends. An endeavour’s necessities can change, and it's vital to survey what activities are required to have set up so as to settle on better choices.

EduPristine offerBusiness analytics certification program in collaboration with Dun & Bradstreet's to provide better understanding of the concept and provide an edge in the competitive market.


About the Author

Trusted by Fortune 500 Companies and 10,000 Students from 40+ countries across the globe, it is one of the leading International Training providers for Finance Certifications like FRM®, CFA®, PRM®, Business Analytics, HR Analytics, Financial Modeling, and Operational Risk Modeling. EduPristine has conducted more than 500,000 man-hours of quality training in finance.


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