What is Business Intelligence? Examining the B.I. Umbrella.

What Is Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence (BI) comprises the strategies and technologies used by enterprises for data analysis and the management of business information. A critical output of any BI practice should be the ability to provide self-service analytics solutions to business users. These solutions prioritize speed to insight and the empowerment of end-users to answer their own questions and make data driven decisions to help support growth. The path to modernizing BI is never a linear one because after one question is answered, it’s likely that follow up questions are not far behind. With this in mind, an iterative process should be followed.

At its core, BI is an umbrella term that encompasses many different moving parts. These parts are all important pieces that facilitate a larger focus on data-driven decision making within an organization.

Over time, more and more concepts/practices have begun to roll under BI. The following are a few examples of some of these key concepts:


Data infrastructure: Digital infrastructure that facilitates data sharing and consumption within an organization


Data warehousing: A centralized store of data. This data is accumulated from a wide range of sources within a company and is designed to facilitate data cleaning and analytics that will help guide management decisions.


Data mining: The process of analyzing large data sets using a board set of techniques, with the goal of uncovering patterns and/or trends in the dataset

Data analysis: Process of modelling and analyzing data with the goal of testing a known hypothesis through the generation of information from a dataset

Data visualization: Turning information from Data Analytics/Mining into visual representations that are easier to understand and consume


Data governance: The rules and policies that govern/manage data availability, usability, integrity and security

Master data management: Processes created and executed by people and technology to maintain and delivery data that is accurate, understood, trusted and controlled

The business intelligence umbrella


Each of these concepts could have their own blog post (let me know if there’s an area you’re really keen to know more about), but most organizations accomplish many of these tasks in one way or another. The first step to modernizing BI is identifying these processes in your own organization, understanding how they work today, and acknowledging what pain points may exist so you can begin to improve upon them.

To start this conversation within your own organization, grab our PDF Download as a helpful point of reference.


Do you have any questions or want to chat about how your organization is managing Business Intelligence? Get in touch! We’d love to hear from you.

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