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Impact - A Blog by INM

What is Business Intelligence (BI)?

July 10, 2008 by Andrea Simmons

There’s been quite a bit of news lately on Business Intelligence (BI) and its changing role in the enterprise. All of which has inspired me to write an article series on the topic. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be looking deeper into BI, covering what it is, its role in the shifting enterprise, and how new tools and technologies on the market are changing its face.

Let’s start with an introduction and definition of what we mean by Business Intelligence. According to Wikipedia, Business Intelligence is defined as “the technologies, applications and practices for the collection, integration, analysis, and presentation of business information for the purpose of supporting better business decision making.”

In the past, this term was typically associated with the elite financial markets, but today it has become a common place term that is interchangeably used to reference metrics and reporting broadly within organizations. BI has moved from something that concerned only a few select organizations, to something that now concerns most businesses. Its influence has also propagated within the organization. In the early years of BI, it was only the senior management that was concerned with performance. Today, the shift in how organizations operate has made BI a topic of interest at multiple levels within the organization. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article, where we will look at “The Enterprise Shift and the Role of BI