3 min readOct 10, 2020


Business Analytics

Business Intelligence: 10 Definitions

“The communication facility serving the conduct of a business (in the broad sense) may be referred to as an intelligence system. The notion of intelligence is also defined here, in a more general sense, as ‘the ability to apprehend the interrelationships of presented facts in such a way as to guide action towards a desired goal’.” (Hans P Luhn,”A Business Intelligence System”, IBM Journal, 1958)

“The process of accessing and analyzing data and using it to make better business decisions. Business intelligence distinguishes the use of data, which may or may not be valuable, with the use of information, which is always of value in business decisions.” (Microsoft Corporation, “Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Data Warehouse Training Kit”, 2000)

“The processes, technologies, and tools needed to turn data into information, information into knowledge, and knowledge into plans that drive profitable business action. Business intelligence encompasses data warehousing, business analytic tools, and content/knowledge management.” (Data Warehousing Institute, 2002)

“Business intelligence is the set of processes and data structures used to analyze data and information used in strategic decision support. The components of Business Intelligence are the data warehouse, data marts, the DSS interface and the processes to ‘get data in’ to the data warehouse and to ‘get information out’.” (Claudia Imhoff et al, “Mastering Data Warehouse Design”, 2003)

“Business Intelligence is defined as getting the right information to the right people at the right time. The term encompasses all the capabilities required to turn data into intelligence that everyone in your organization can trust and use for more effective decision making.”(Stefanie V Gerlach et al, “Business Intelligence Competency Centers”, 2006)

“BI combines products, technology, and methods to organize key information that management needs to improve profit and performance. More broadly, we think of BI as business information and business analyses within the context of key business processes that lead to decisions and actions and that result in improved business performance. In particular, BI means leveraging information assets within key business processes to achieve improved business performance.” (Nancy Williams & Steve Williams, “The Profit Impact of Business Intelligence”, 2010)

“A comprehensive, cohesive, and integrated set of tools and processes used to capture, collect, integrate, store, and analyze data with the purpose of generating and presenting information used to support business decision making.” (Carlos Coronel et al, “Database Systems: Design, Implementation, and Management” 9th Ed., 2011)

“BI is a popularized, umbrella term that describes a set of concepts and methods used to improve business decision making by using fact-based support systems. The term is sometimes used interchangeably with briefing books and executive information systems. A Business Intelligence system is a data-driven DSS.” (Daniel J Power & Ciara Heavin, “Decision Support, Analytics, and Business Intelligence” 3rd Ed., 2017)

“A catchall term encompassing a variety of tools, applications and methodologies that enable organizations to collect data from internal systems and external sources. BI can be used to prepare data for analysis, develop and run queries, and create reports, dashboards and visualizations with the end goal of providing results to decision makers and end users.” (Insight Software)

“A set of methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies — supported by organizational structures, roles, and responsibilities — that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information used to enable more effective strategic, tactical, and operational insights and decision making that contribute to improving overall enterprise performance.” (Forrester)

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