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Beyond Buzzwords: Demystifying Business Intelligence & Business Analytics

In today’s data-driven world, businesses are swimming in information. But how do you turn that data into actionable insights? Enter the world of Business Intelligence (BI) and Business Analytics (BA)!  Often used interchangeably, these fields are like cousins – close but with distinct roles.

This blog is your one-stop shop for understanding the key differences. We’ll crack the code on their focus, the tools they use, and the exciting career paths they offer.

So, buckle up, data enthusiasts! Let’s dive deep and discover which path – BI or BA – sparks your analytical fire.

What is Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence is using data to manage a business’s daily operational activities. Companies generally utilise business intelligence experts and tools to gather and house data regarding current operations, produce informative reports, maximise workflows, and achieve their business goals and objectives. 

Business Intelligence consists of varied software tools and systems, including spreadsheets, online analytical processing, business activity tracking software, data mining software, and reporting software. You might also find certain predictive and statistical tools used for business analytics are also included in the business intelligence. 

What is Business Analytics? 

Business Analytics is referred to as a statistical field where experts utilise quantitative tools to craft future growth strategies and make predictions. In simple words, business intelligence helps business leaders know what their current customer looks like, and business analytics helps them to know what their future customers are doing. 

Hence, business analytics is basically a term used to describe a set of predictive tools used within the business intelligence realm. These analytical tools are used for varied functions like correlational analysis, factor analysis, regression analysis, forecasting analysis, image analysis, text mining, etc. Due to heavy requirements and the effectiveness of the business analytics tools, companies hire professionals like Data Scientists.   

Business Intelligence vs Business Analytics: Key Differences 

Here are some of the major differences between business intelligence and business analytics. 

Business Analytics is a more trendy term than Business Intelligence, as analytical tools provide more benefits to companies. People are searching more related to business analytics than just business intelligence, reflecting the holistic growth in jobs related to data science and analytics. Moreover, companies need more employees in the field of business analytics, including data engineers, data scientists, and analytics directors. 

2. Focus On Present vs Future 

Business Intelligence is used to analyse historical data to make informed decisions about current business operations. At the same time, Business Analytics is used to read the data to predict future trends and opportunities. You can also craft better strategies for the companies using the analytical data. 

3. Structured or Unstructured Data 

Business Intelligence tools generally better utilise structured data through financial software or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. However, business analytics tools are used to transform unstructured data into organised data that can be easily analysed through predictive analytics.  

4. Tools Used 

In the Business Intelligence realm, you will be required to use the tools and software mentioned below: 

  • QlikSense
  • SAP Business Objectives 
  • PowerBI 

In the Business Analytics realm, you will be required to use the tools and software mentioned below:

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

Business Intelligence vs Business Analytics: What to Choose? 

Business intelligence and business analytics are some of the career fields related to the business realm, and they allow you to analyse the data for different outputs. Both have their own benefits and goals, so you must choose the career that suits your interests and past expertise. 

The Business Intelligence role allows you to collect and analyse historical business data to suggest any necessary changes within the current business environment. This will help enhance the business’s performance. 

Business Analytics professionals are required to analyse the current data and identify ways to improve and streamline the business processes. You are appointed to increase the efficiency of the processes, reduce the costs, and enhance customer satisfaction.  

To Wrap Up! 

Business Intelligence vs Business Analytics basically represents one being a little more complex and advanced than the other. One position allows you to make decisions regarding the business’s current conditions, while another gives you the authority to craft future strategies. Choose the role that sparks you more and allows you to work effortlessly. 

MBA in Business Analytics

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