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What is a BI Platform

Insights-driven businesses are on track to earn $1.8 trillion by 2021. Executive Management, Operations, and Sales are the three primary roles driving Business Intelligence (BI) adoption in 2018. Forbes

With more businesses adopting BI to drive their digital growth an increasing number of vendors are entering the BI scene and are offering BI solutions that cater to business of all sizes and market, this is evident by the BI market which is expected to grow to a $29.48 billion by 2022. Reuters

This guide will walk you through the BI space and offer insights into the different tools, development requirements, the different roles and positions to develop, operate and manage a BI solution for your business or organisation.

By the end of this guide you'll have enough understanding of a BI solutions and how better they fit your business or organisation goals.

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Business Intelligence

(BI) is a technology-driven process for analysing data and presenting actionable information to help executives, managers and other business end users make informed business decisions.

Business intelligence can be used by companies to support a wide range of business decisions ranging from operational to strategic. Basic operating decisions include product positioning or pricing. Strategic business decisions involve priorities, goals and directions at the broadest level. In all cases, BI is most effective when it combines data derived from the market in which a company operates (external data) with data from company sources internal to the business such as financial and operations data (internal data). When combined, external and internal data can provide a complete picture which, in effect, creates an “intelligence” that cannot be derived from any singular set of data.

BI technologies provide historical, current and predictive views of business operations. Common functions of business intelligence technologies include:

  • reporting
  • online analytical processing
  • analytics
  • data mining
  • process mining
  • complex event processing
  • business performance management
  • benchmarking
  • predictive analytics
  • and prescriptive analytics.

BI technologies can handle large amounts of structured and sometimes unstructured data to help identify, develop and otherwise create new strategic business opportunities. They aim to allow for the easy interpretation of these big data. Identifying new opportunities and implementing an effective strategy based on insights can provide businesses with a competitive market advantage and long-term stability.

A typical BI platform will provide a select subset of all common functionalities of a BI but not all. Each platform focuses on a set number of areas to position the platform to stand out from other competitors and appeal to a specific market segments, therefore it is important to look at the main business objectives as the main criterion for choosing a BI platform or solution.