Clients sometimes comes to us with an imprecise idea of Business Intelligence and Data Analytics. This is not surprising as even people in the industry tend to conflate the two. Yet, we believe that they are very different and separate processes.
Data analytics is concerned with asking questions such as:
- What do we want to know about our customer or service?
- Where can we find the information or data to inform us?
Once these questions are answered, the data collection process can begin, with all sources of data being mined to bring data to a central place. This is a scientific activity, summed up best by
“In God we trust. All others must bring data.”
Wise words by Dr. W Edwards Deming, statistician, professor, author, lecturer. Deming’s work was widely acclaimed for revitalizing corporations such as Ford, Toyota, Xerox, Ricoh, and Sony.
Business Intelligence is more about how you use this data to make predictions about your business going forward and to make decisions. This is the process where business intelligence analytics use the data gathered to learn from it, and make decisions.
Data analytics is therefore one part of Business Intelligence. The aim of the data collection is to make the business make “intelligent” decisions based on science. As Carly Fiorina, former executive, president, and chair of Hewlett-Packard Co, so neatly put it:
“The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.”
We’ll leave the last word to well-known management consultant, who used Twitter to make his position on data clear: