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What is Business Intelligence Analytics?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2016
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Business intelligence analytics combines two of the leading concepts in information technology into a powerful tool for both businesses and organizations. In order to utilize these concepts in a productive way, the organization requires skilled, dedicated business analysts, business intelligence software, and powerful analytics tools. The primary purpose of a business intelligence analytics system is to identify trends and patterns in consumer behavior. This information is used to increase profitability, focus the company on client's needs, and provide enhanced accuracy in cost benefit analysis.

Business analysis staff members typically have a university degree in information technology, business administration, or data management. An increasing number of colleges are offering business analysis training programs, as this career is expected to experience above average growth. The primary task of a business analyst is to review the business processes used and look for technology that will reduce the time, effort, and cost of completing those tasks. In many firms, the business analyst has several years of experience working in the actual business department. This experience is valuable, as it provides insight into the tasks required, tools available, and the challenges to completing the job well.

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Business intelligence software is also known as data mining or data management software. This type of tool is used to provided a dedicated reporting area. Typically, the data from the organization is downloaded into the business intelligence analytics software tool. A series of queries and relational database tables are created to provide the basis for the analysis.

Many firms develop an information technology strategy that includes the use of business intelligence software in the decision making process. In order to really achieve a solid return on investment on this type of software, the firm should have at least 10 years of detailed data on sales, purchases, staff costs, and other items that impact the overall cost of providing a service or good. Data cubes and reports can then be built to show trends, identify product success and failures, and provide a more holistic view of company activity.

Data analytics is true statistical analysis software and is best utilized by staffers who have formal post-secondary training in statistics and analysis. This software is often used to identify trends in the data collected over a period of time. Since much of the data used for this type of analysis is also required for a business intelligence tool, some firms have combined the tools and features of these two software products into one.

In the hands of skilled employees, a business intelligence analytics tool provides both snapshots of company activity and in-depth analysis of the same data. The ability to provide staff members with personalized reports on performance in their areas of responsibility is a very powerful force in a business environment. Couple that with detailed analysis for senior management on the costs associated with various endeavors, and the firm has the tools required to make excellent business decisions.

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