Business Intelligence (the abbreviation BI is used) is the designation for analytical and business applications. They allow comprehensive and effective work with enterprise data. They are used for both data processing from the past, as well as forecasting and simulation of future development or scenarios. Their main purpose is to provide data for faster and more effective decision-making.
Business Intelligence in practice: Business Intelligence tools allow to take advantage of enterprise data from various sources (from different source applications or databases), but then work with them from different views. BI tools therefore help to make the data in one place available, in an appropriate form and environment for managers who can analyze, compare, sort, and on their basis decide. BI helps to effectively use data from the entire company, providing data for decision making, the creation of information and knowledge.
Most organizations and their business applications are flooded with data from different operational systems (e.g. ERP, CRM, HRM) and their use for decision-making and operation becomes difficult without analysis tools. However, it is important to emphasize that the key to obtaining quality output from BI systems is a good data base of source data (the principle of “Garbage in - Garbage out” applies). The biggest mistake is to analyze and collect of useless or bad data (see Data Quality). Therefore, if the organization has incorrectly set architecture of its information system or business processes, even a good BI solution will not save it.
BI tools are typically used by medium and large organizations or organizations that process large amounts of data or data from different source systems.
From a technical perspective BI tools are based on a data warehouse (i.e. central repository of data selected from the entire company), which mostly uses OLAP technology.
Business intelligence has an impact on the strategic and operational decisions of the company. Today is virtually indispensable part of their information systems in medium and large companies. It helps to create a competitive advantages fundamentally affects the success of the company, because with BI organization can respond more quickly. It is among the strategic technologies with significant impact on the business. In recent years, with the increasing amount of data their importance grows even more. In the future, it assumes even greater emphasis on simulation and predictive solutions and extraction of large amounts of data (the so-called big data).