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Business Intelligence vs Business Analytics: Difference Stated

19th Jan, 2024
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    Business Intelligence vs Business Analytics: Difference Stated

    In today's business world, you need to be able to act quickly and make decisions that will keep your company moving forward. The key has the right tools, starting with knowing what data is important for your business. 

    Business intelligence (BI) and business analytics (BA) are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but there is some important difference between business intelligence and business analytics. BI and BA use data to help businesses make better decisions, but they do it differently.  

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    Business Intelligence (BI) is a set of tools, technologies, and practices used to gather, analyze and report data across an organization. BI helps companies make better decisions by providing the information they need to improve their performance. 

    BI can be used in any industry, but it's most commonly used in financial services and manufacturing. BI helps these industries monitor their performance against competitors and makes recommendations for improvement based on trends observed over time. 

    In the comparison of business analysis vs. business intelligence, business analytics (BA) is similar to BI in that it involves collecting data from multiple sources and analyzing it to gain insight into how well your business is performing. However, BA typically focuses more on the specific needs of individual departments within an organization rather than overall company performance. 

    Business Intelligence vs Business Analytics: Comparison Table

    Here are the seven key differences between business intelligence and business analytics in tabular form.

    ParametersBusiness IntelligenceBusiness Analytics
    DefinitionBusiness intelligence is about understanding a company's past and present.Business analytics is about predicting future outcomes of the actions taken by the company.
    FocusBusiness Intelligence tools focus on data managementBusiness analytics tools focus on data analysis.
    ApplicationsBI tools are designed to give you insight into your company's performance over timeBusiness analytics tools are designed to help you make better decisions about how to optimize your operations for the future.
    Tools Used
    • TIBCO 
    • PowerBI  
    • SAP Business Objects 
    • QlikSense 

    • Word processing 
    • MS Visio 
    • MS Office Tools  
    • Google docs 

    ApproachBusiness intelligence focuses on descriptive statistics.Business analytics focuses on predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics (the latter two of which can be used in conjunction with descriptive stats).
    UsageBusiness intelligence typically focuses on enterprise-wide reporting across multiple departments and teams.Business analytics typically focuses on detailed analysis of specific areas within an organization (such as marketing or sales).
    ExampleBI is typically focused on presenting information in a way that makes it easy to understand for people within a particular organization (e.g., executives)BA is typically focused on presenting information in a way that makes it easy for people outside of an organization (e.g., investors) to understand what's happening inside of it (and how they can benefit from those insights).
    RolesBI is mainly used by IT departments and their vendors.BA is mainly used by business departments and their consultants.

    Difference Between Business Intelligence and Business Analytics  

    The terms "Business Intelligence vs Business Analytics" are often confused but differ. Here's what you need to know about each and how they can help your company. 

    1. Business Intelligence vs Business Analytics:  Definitions 

    Business Intelligence refers to the process of gathering and analyzing data to make better business decisions. Individuals can use BI at all levels of an organization, including managers, executives, and even individual employees.

    Business Analytics is a subset of Business Intelligence that focuses on applying statistical analysis techniques to gain insight into how customers use products or services. As a result, business Analytics professionals typically have more advanced degrees in mathematics or statistics than those who work with BI.

    Business intelligence focuses on collecting and analyzing data from multiple sources to identify trends and patterns to make better-informed decisions about your company's future direction. Business analysts use BI tools like dashboards, reports, scorecards, and visualizations to perform their job duties, like creating reports or managing projects based on the information gathered from different departments within an organization. 

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    2. Descriptive Vs. Predictive 

    The main difference between Business Intelligence and Business Analytics is that Business Intelligence is focused on descriptive analysis, while Business Analytics is focused on predictive analysis.

    Business Intelligence is used to analyze historical data to predict future trends. It's typically used for things like sales forecasts and product recommendations.

    On the other hand, business analytics uses predictive modeling to predict how different variables affect each other. For example, if you're a retailer wanting to know how price affects sales volume, a business analyst can help you predict the effect raising prices would have on your bottom line. 

    3. Managers Vs. Analysts

    One of the biggest differences between BI and BA is that managers deal with data to make decisions, while analysts deal with data to answer questions. 

    Managers typically manage a company's operations and finances, including its marketing, sales, and production. They make decisions based on data from all over the company. They need to make decisions quickly, so they use dashboards to track key performance indicators (KPIs) related to their areas of responsibility. Managers also need to interpret the meaning behind those KPIs to make good choices about how best to move forward. 

    Typically, analysts work on producing reports for management or other stakeholders. As part of their work responsibilities, they may also conduct research or analysis on behalf of a client or company. This can entail using automated tools like scraping tools to collect data from a database or website, evaluating it, and then returning it in some format, such as charts or graphs. 

    4. Reporting Vs. Applying

    Reporting and applying are two ways the business intelligence and business analytics fields differ. 

    Business intelligence refers to the processes used to generate data reports. In contrast, business analytics refers to the processes used to apply data-driven insights to make decisions or take action. 

    Business intelligence focuses on reporting, whereas business analytics is focused on using the information to make better decisions. 

    5. New Analytics Strategy vs. Existing Analytics Strategy

    Business Intelligence is concerned with aggregated data collected from various sources (like databases) and analyzed for insights about a business' performance. BI tools can help users make better decisions by providing them with data-driven insights in various areas, including finance and marketing.

    In contrast, Business Analytics involves an analytical approach to solving problems within a business context. Rather than just looking at aggregated data, analytics uses real-time information to generate new insights into how a business operates—and then helps take action on those insights.

    6. Current Events vs. Future Possibilities

    Business intelligence focuses mostly on looking at the past and present to develop forecasts based on historical data. It uses past data to help create a picture of what things might be like in the future, or it can be used to see what happened when you made a certain change in your business. This helps you to be able to make better decisions based on what happened before. 

    Business Analytics is more about looking at real-time data and analyzing it to find patterns or trends that will help predict what might happen in the future. It's all about ensuring you're prepared for anything that comes your way, so you don't get blindsided by anything unexpected. 

    7. Ease of Operations

    BI systems make it easy for businesses to store, access and analyze data. People with little technical knowledge can use BI software, which allows them to access all necessary information without writing code or creating detailed reports—something that would otherwise be difficult. 

    On the other hand, BA is more technical and typically requires an understanding of statistics and programming languages like Python or R. Because it involves analyzing large amounts of data from multiple sources, business analytics can be a time- and resource-intensive process. 

    8. Tools

    Business intelligence uses various tools to collect, analyze, and report data. These tools include databases (such as SQL), data warehouses (like Hadoop), business intelligence applications (like Tableau), and visualization tools (like Microsoft Power BI).

    Business analytics uses predictive models to forecast future trends. These models use statistical methods like regression or time series analysis to predict what will happen in the future based on historical data points. 

    Business analytics tools include R Studio, SAS Institute, and SPSS. 

    9. Application

    Business intelligence applications include: 

    • Salesforce's Sales Cloud helps companies collect customer data from multiple sources and use it to create personalized experiences for customers. 
    • Yandex Metrica, which allows users to monitor statistics about their site visitors and adjust their strategies accordingly 
    • Insightly CRM Pro, which helps users keep track of contacts and leads in an organized fashion 

    Business analytics (BA) is a subset of BI that uses statistical and mathematical techniques to analyze large datasets from which a business can extract meaningful information. BAs help companies make better decisions by identifying patterns and trends in existing data sets.  

    Determine Your Business Intelligence and Analytics Needs

    The key similarity between business intelligence and business analytics is that they're both about using data to make decisions. The difference is that BI focuses on the how, while BA focuses on the what. 

    Business Intelligence and Analytics need to be tailored to the specific needs of your business. 

    There are four specific areas to consider when determining your BI and analytics needs: 

    1. End-User Experience

    The end-user experience is very important in business intelligence and analytics. This is where the user interacts with the data and makes decisions based on that interaction. The user's experience should be intuitive, efficient, and clear. It should also be customizable to align with your business's needs. 

    2. Data Environment 

    The data environment refers to how you collect and store your data, as well as how you access it. If you're using an on-premise solution, your data will be stored in your server infrastructure; if you're using a cloud-based solution, your data will reside somewhere in the cloud. You need to determine what kind of access best suits your business needs—this will help determine whether or not cloud storage is right for you. 

    3. Embeddability and Customization

    Embeddability refers to how easily users can embed interactive visualizations into other applications like dashboards or reports; customization refers to how easily users can customize their views of information using tools provided by the platform they're using. These two features work together because they allow users more flexibility in how they access their data and how they use it. 

    4. Scalability, Availability, and Security  

    Scaling refers to how easily users can add more resources to their data platform as it grows. Availability refers to how quickly the system recovers from hardware failures or network outages, and security measures how well your data is protected from unauthorized access or modification. 

    Career Outcomes: Choosing Business Intelligence or Business Analytics

    If you are most people, you may ask, which is better, business intelligence or business analytics? Business intelligence and business analytics are both related to the field of business, but they're not the same. They have very different career outcomes. 

    Business intelligence professionals are typically responsible for making recommendations based on their data analysis and coming up with any necessary changes that could improve performance within an organization. 

    Professionals in the business analytics field are responsible for identifying ways that processes can be improved or streamlined so that they run more efficiently than before. This could mean anything from finding ways to reduce costs while increasing productivity or improving customer satisfaction through better service delivery methods (for example). 

    So which one should you choose? Well, both have benefits! For example, Business intelligence provides insight into how well certain strategies are working within an organization; however, business analytics might help identify areas where those strategies need improvement (or even create new ones altogether).

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    Final Word

    Business Analytics and business intelligence courses from KnowledgeHut will help you gain the skills you need to pursue a career in this growing field. You'll be able to learn about new technologies, as well as how to leverage existing solutions to improve your company's efficiency and make more informed decisions. 

    The KnowledgeHut’s Business Intelligence and Visualization online courses are designed for professionals with minimal technical backgrounds. You can learn at your own pace and work on what interests you most. In addition, there are no deadlines or schedules—you can study when it makes sense. 

    So take advantage of this opportunity today! 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What's the difference between business intelligence and business analytics?

    Business intelligence is the collection and analysis of data, which can be used to make decisions. It's a broad term that encompasses everything from reporting tools like Salesforce Reports to dashboards like Google Analytics. 

    Business analytics is a subset of business intelligence that specifically focuses on data analysis for making decisions. 

    2Does business intelligence include analytics?

    Yes, business intelligence includes analytics. The two are often used in conjunction with each other. Business intelligence is a set of tools and techniques to collect, organize, and analyze data about an organization's operations to make better decisions. Analytics is the process of using data to discover patterns, trends, and associations in large data sets that can be used to make predictions or forecasts about future events. 

    3Who earns more business analysts or business intelligence?

    It's hard to say who earns more money in the business analyst vs. business intelligence salary comparison. The answer depends on many factors, like where you work and what job you do. 
    Business intelligence is a bit different. This field is much more data-driven so business intelligence professionals may earn more money than business analysts. However, this isn't always the case. The average annual salary is INR 7 LPA. 

    4Does business intelligence need coding?

    No, business intelligence does not need coding. Business intelligence can be done through software, hardware, or other methods, but it's not necessary to have coding skills to perform business intelligence. 

    5What is the future of business analytics?

    The future of business analytics is bright. With the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning, we can expect to see more companies looking at integrating these technologies into their business analytics processes. This will help them better understand their customers and how they interact with their products and services, leading to better decision-making processes. 


    Mansoor Mohammed

    Business Agility Expert

    Mansoor Mohammed is a dynamic and energetic Enterprise Agile Coach, P3M & PMO Consultant, Trainer, Mentor, and Practitioner with over 20 years of experience in Strategy Execution and Business Agility. With a background in Avionics, Financial Services, Banking, Telecommunications, Retail, and Digital, Mansoor has led global infrastructure and software development teams, launched innovative products, and enabled Organizational Change Management. As a results-driven leader, he excels in collaborating, adapting, and driving partnerships with stakeholders at all levels. With expertise in Change Management, Transformation, Lean, Agile, and Organizational Design, Mansoor is passionate about aligning strategic goals and delivering creative solutions for successful business outcomes. Connect with him to explore change, Agile Governance, implementation delivery, and the future of work.

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