Business intelligence & Analytics

Introduction and Development

We have all heard the quote “Knowledge is Power” and I believe it’s true. Maybe that’s why I’m slightly obsessed with Business Intelligence & Analytics. It’s takes an analytic mind to understand it and it’s almost an art. Maybe it’s the challenge and potential of it that excites me? During this week I will talk about Business Intelligence & Analytics (from now on I will call it BI&A). This is the introduction to it with a short overview of its development. On Wednesday I will talk about the business value of it connected to customer service. Friday is the last of the posts about the theme, and I will look at BI&A’s future.

What is Business Intelligence?

The term refers to technologies, applications and practices for the collection, integration, analysis, and presentation of business information. The purpose of Business Intelligence is to support better business decision making. Essentially, Business Intelligence systems are data-driven Decision Support Systems (DSS). (According to

Usually business intelligence systems gather and displays historical data. In business intelligence the math is simple and you don’t always treat the data. The focus is instead on visualising the data with graphs.

What is Business Analytics?

Business analytics (BA) is the practice of iterative, methodical exploration of an organization’s data, with an emphasis on statistical analysis. Business analytics is used by companies that have committed to data-driven decision-making. (According to

There are key differences and things these areas have in common. Business analytics uses statistical analysis. Which business intelligence does not. That is why the math can get a lot more complicated in business analytics. The data in BI&A is turned into information and used for decision-making. That is what they have in common.

Business Intelligence & Analytics Development

I have chosen to base these blog posts on research articles from some of the biggest journals of Information Systems. In this blog post I will use a popular and often used article. It can easily be found on Google: “Business Intelligence & Analytics: From Big Data to Big Impact“. The authors have chosen to divide the fields development into tree stages:

  • BI&A 1.0 – Based on database management. The content is fairly straight forward and structured. Business intelligence fits perfectly in here.
  • BI&A 2.0 – This is where the world has been since the early 2000. Everything web based that we today take for granted. But cookies, social media and blogs have brought a lot of unstructured data with it. What we see here is the introduction to business analytics because of the need of e.g. web and text mining.
  • BI&A 3.0 – In October 2011 The Economist wrote an article that reported that mobile phones and tablets surpassed the number of laptops and PCs for the first time. We also see an increase in IoT which can create everything from smart homes to smart cities. So we have a lot of data from mobile devices and IoT sensors.

Based in Moore’s law we cannot imagine where BI&A will take us. Moore’s law talks about exponential development and it is often applied on technology in general. This would mean that everything you believe about the development in BI&A will be far less than what actually the development will show. The same goes for customer service technology. Before you blink everything will change. While big data might not be useful for most companies all companies will benefit from a simple BI&A system.

Customer Service

How is this relevant to a customer service you might wonder? Imagine the ability to predict if your customer needs your help. Imagine being able to step into a situation where you can turn a problem into a sale. Business Analytics will help you. Just the feeling of being a little bit more prepared through analytics will help your customer service. It could even help you in building a successful process for the team and agents. We will go into more details in the next blog post on Wednesday. So stay tuned to read more about how business intelligence & analytics plays an important role in customer service!

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