Michael Data

Business Intelligence a.k.a. business analytics is the use of data mining to drive business decisions regarding certain common tasks. These typically include historical reporting as well as projections of Inventory, Sales, or Costs.

Business Intelligence can also include Market Research but typically refers to the above reports and projections. “Intelligence” may also refer just to the gathering of data, where “analytics” is the analysis of the data, but the two tasks are highly coupled and terminology is mostly interchangeable.

These solve a well-established problem of some kind, as opposed to applied science or AR&D.

A Business Intelligence Role

The BI analyst typically does not implement their own machine learning algorithms.
A BI role may work in various databases, data processing languages, or various amounts of data. They typically use an IDE-style tool such as Tableau or implement reports in a high-level language such as Python or SQL.

As in other analysis roles, Data Administration is also typically part of a BI analyst's responsibilities.

Common Applications

Market Research Analysis

See Market Research Analysis

  • “Do we get more purchases if the button is blue or green?”
  • Pricing models : “How much should we charge for this?”
    • Customer lifetime value estimation : how happy and loyal can our customers be?
Order Projection

“How many of this product should we order for our needs?”

Performance Metrics

We have regulatory or business reasons to want to report some aggregation or summary metrics. This may be used to guide management decisions at a C-suite level or just to pass back to a customer for informative purposes.

  • “What departments are over/under-performing? Which ones should be prioritized for attention?”
  • Sales Forecasting : “How many of this product should we produce for sales?”
Data Cleansing

Perform data management, stewardship, and warehousing for all other data processing purposes.

  • “Are these two separate entities, or should they refer to the same thing?”
  • “What data is present in the company? Who has access to it?”