It is extremely important for businesses to have a clear view of all their data for constant growth; this is where business intelligence tools come in. The global adoption rate of BI tools is 26%. With 3.8 different business intelligence tools on average, along with constant growth in the coming years. And if you also want to adopt a tool in your business or want to know more about it, it can be quite challenging to understand precisely what BI is. So, we have created a complete guide on how it works, how it can assist you in your business, and more. 

What is Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence combines data mining, data visualization, business analytics, data tools, infrastructure, and best practices to help organizations make more data-driven decisions. The software ingests data and presents it in a user-friendly way, such as reports, dashboards, charts, and graphs. BI enables the user to access various types of data- historical and current, third-party and in-house, as well as unstructured like social media and semi-structured data. This can be helpful for the users to find out how their business is performing. 


Even though Business Intelligence has been established as a significant part of covering business objectives, there is still some confusion around the meaning of BI and business analysis. Let’s have a look at both below.

Business Intelligence vs. Business Analytics

Business Intelligence focuses on descriptive analytics that provides a list of historical and present data to show what is happening now and what happened earlier. It answers how and what side of the business so that the managers can replicate the changes, what works and what does not. 

On the other hand, Business analytics is a predictive analysis. It uses data mining, machine learning, modeling, etc., to determine future outcomes. It answers the why side of the business queries, helping managers make sound predictions and foresee a new business decision. 

Different Types of Business Intelligence

1. Strategic Business Intelligence 

It is also referred to as “auto-delivered intelligence” and is a kind of business intelligence that involves producing reports from a data source or warehouse. Analyzing specified datasets that are essential to the particular process and providing a historical outlook of data improves business operations. The strategic intelligence model also provides a foundation for planning, goal-setting, forecasting, etc. 

Strategic BI places a strong emphasis on displaying the results in graphs and charts to highlight opportunities, trends, and problem areas. It operates on four crucial factors:

  • Optimizing data for analysis 
  • Gathering and storing the data
  • Identifying the key business drivers

You have to choose which business intelligence to refer to in what situation, or you can contact a good development team to help find the areas to imply this strategy. 

2. Operational Business Intelligence 

It is related to the transactional and operational data sources. It can be identified with the help of the data that is being analyzed if it directly helps finish an operational task. Operational BI offers relevant, time-sensitive information to the operation managers and front-line customer-facing employees to aid them in their everyday processes.

As the operational BI is greatly focused, there is less need for graphs and charts. For example, for informing the member of the client over dues, a graph won’t work well. A brief message is required at this point. 

Because of this, operational BI heavily relies on communication tools like email, instant messages, and dashboards. Schedules, invoices, shipping documents, and financial statements are the output that one receives from operational business intelligence.

Working of Business Intelligence? 

Business intelligence is used by many different startups and industries in various ways; however, the development process is the same for all industries. 

  • All the data is gathered from the company and the external market data from different sources and is integrated and stored in the data warehouse. 
  • By creating robust data analysis models, data sets are made and set up for data analysis. 
  • Against the models and data sets, then data analysts run the queries. 
  • These query results are used food creating graphs, charts, etc., along with BI dashboards and reports.
  • These reports are used in making critical decisions for businesses in terms of what needs to be changed and what is working. 

Components of Business Intelligence

There are five major components of Business Intelligence. 

  • Real-time BI 
  • Online analytical processing (OLAP)
  • Data Sources 
  • Data warehousing software
  • Advanced Analytics or Corporate Performance Management (CPM)

Top Practices of Business Intelligence

1. Business Needs 

It is essential to know the business needs to implement the business intelligence. The most critical needs come from the two sides, end users and the IT department, but the requirements differ. So the business has to be aware of all the needs of constituents. 

2. User Experience 

A seamless user experience is essential for business intelligence as it promotes user adoption and drives more value from BI products and initiatives. With a usable and logical interface, end-user adoption will be a success.

3. Data Quality and Governance

It establishes processes and standards for data collection, integration, and quality control. Ensure that data is accurate, consistent, and reliable. And also implements data governance practices to maintain data integrity and security.

4. Provide Training

The BI tools have many features and functions, so the users must be friendly with the new technology. To make it possible, the company has to provide training to the company official, but it can be challenging to train a large group at a time, so that you can pick a small group of users, and they can then communicate with the others.

5. Prepare a BI Framework

To develop a unified strategy, it is necessary to draw a project outline and scope and assess the requirement thoroughly. Establish benchmarks for all technical and reporting requirements while considering potential changes, in which case planning for scalability and extensibility might be helpful. Additionally, it’s essential to work with the appropriate stakeholders to establish objectives, goals, desired insights, KPIs, data sources, and other vital details.

Different Business Intelligence Tools

1. Microsoft Power BI 

It is a collection of apps, connectors, and software services that combine to work and turn your unrelated data sources into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights. Your data can be any collection of cloud-based or an Excel spreadsheet and on-premises hybrid data warehouses. 

2. Salesforce Tableau BI 

It supports ad hoc, which means it uses the company’s data from various sources and answers specific business questions for everyday users. Along with this, it also allows your business to publish companywide KPIs on one centralized analytics platform for easy consumption.

3. Zoho Corporation BI

It is a modern Self-service BI and analytics platform this helps business users to prepare, analyze and connect their data, discover hidden insights, and create a stunning data visualization of all in a few minutes. 

4. Oracle BI 

A proactive intelligence product called Oracle BI Delivers offers business activity monitoring and alerting that may be sent to users via a variety of channels, including email, dashboards, and mobile devices.

5. Qlik BI 

It offers businesses a full range of interactive visualizations. It makes them uniquely powerful by revealing the shape of the data, compressing large data sets, pinpointing outliners, and providing AI assistance for chart creation, data preparation, and association recommendation. 

6. Adobe Commerce Cloud BI

Adobe BI, also known as Magento BI, is used for analyzing business data and gaining insights. It helps businesses to track performance, make informed decisions and understand customer behavior. With the help of these tools, businesses can improve their marketing strategies and customer experiences.

Benefits of Using Adobe Commerce BI for E-commerce

Advantages of Business Intelligence Tools 

The benefit of business intelligence is widespread. Here are couples of key benefits that can help your company improve business performance.

  • Fast and Accurate Reporting- Business reporting requires a lot of time and is labor-intensive. Thus, with the help of Business tools, the employees can manage their data and monitor the KPIs with the help of custom reports and templates.
  • Significant Business Insights- With the help of BI tools, businesses can easily measure their revenue, department-specific performance, and employee productivity. They have a better insight into the business and what is working and what is not according to all the strengths and weaknesses of it. They can also set the notification to keep on top of the movement in the KPIs, which does matter to them.
  •  Better Customer Satisfaction- BI tools help enterprises to have a look at the customer’s behaviors and patterns with the help of the inside-out view of these. As these tools can track customer feedback, businesses can focus on retaining old customers as well as reaching new ones by taking timely actions and anticipating the needs of customers.
  • Better BI Data Quality- Since data analysis is the foundation of business intelligence, the organization will not only gather but also analyze data. Therefore, the quality of BI is a measurement that assesses the integrity and accuracy of the data within a business. It also determines the accuracy and usefulness of the data that has been analyzed. As a result, one of the many additional advantages of business intelligence is that it will enhance the data’s quality.
  • Better Revenue- The end goal of a business or startup is high revenue. The data that is gathered with the help of BI can help with analyzing the gaps in revenue by highlighting the ways to expand the margins. The tools can help analyze the faps in the revenue by highlighting the ways to expand the margins. Together these can help businesses make better strategies around the budgets that should be spent to get better and more significant revenue. 

Use Cases of Business Intelligence in Various Organizations

1. Uber


The company uses the BI to identify the various vital aspects of the business. Surge pricing is an example of it. The BI-led algorithms track the traffic conditions, time of journey, availability of the driver, and customer demand – all in real time. The dynamic pricing feature can also be used by hotels and airlines to adjust the price on the basis of customer requirements.

2. Walmart


Retail brands such as Walmarts are making use of BI to understand the impact of online behavior on online activity and in-store. This can help them to understand customers’ purchase patterns on the same day. This helps them to pinpoint the busy days and exit points in their user journey. 

3. Twitter 


This is one of the leading social media companies and is using BI along with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to have a look at inappropriate and potentially dangerous content on the platform. The technology is also used by them for fine-tuning the overall user experience of the application. The business intelligence tools see the live feeds and categorize them on the basis of their subject matter. This also helps them in identifying the user-interested topics videos and then using them to better the search capabilities. 

4. Starbucks 


Starbucks collects transaction information from millions of customers worldwide using a combination of its mobile app and the well-known loyalty card program. The business then forecasts purchasing trends using that data and the BI tools and provides customers with tailored offers based on their preferences via email or mobile application. This strategy encourages returning customers to visit the stores more frequently, which boosts sales.

5. Netflix 


With an active user of 232.5 million, Netflix gives the brand a huge benefit. There are multiple things in which Netflix uses the BI on the basis of the previous programs used for the formulation and validation of programming ideas. It uses the tools and helps increase the in-app time. As can determine the data and make an algorithm that predetermines what users are most likely to watch. 

1. Augmented Analytics 

Augmented analytics, which is powered by AI and ML, enables non-technical people to build complex data analytics models and even swiftly derive insights from them. By making the processes of data collecting, data cleaning, and insight development easier, it helps businesses manage the complexity and scale of data. More businesses can now use data analytics, enabling them to extract value from data, ask the correct questions, and develop insights in a conversational and understandable way. The enhanced analytics system also offers suggestions for pertinent insights based on the context.

2. Collaborative AI 

Even if this isn’t a new trend as such, a lot of progress has been made in this area because of the interaction between diverse stakeholders. In essence, collaborative BI combines BI tools with collaboration software, web 2.0, web 3.0, and a number of other technologies, all of which support data-driven decision-making. Collaborative BI makes it simple to share insights and reports, which facilitates decision-making. The decision-making process involves experts from several departments, which promotes issue solutions. Tableau, Power BI, QlikView, and Domo are some of the most well-liked business intelligence programs.

3. Data Security

It is necessary to have updated and accurate data for BI success. There have been security issues in some of the biggest tech giants in the world. This results in the loss of customer data, and it leaves them exposed to unruly elements who might use their data for the wrong purposes. Due to the number of company share value drops, and a bunch of users leaving, it can lead to negative publicity.No matter the size of your company; you are always susceptible to cyberattacks. So it is necessary to put a security mechanism that will be able to cover the most loopholes. In 2023 and for the coming decades, data security will never stop being relevant. 

4. Data Quality Management

Data quality is one of the most significant difficulties that analysts encounter on a regular basis. Only from the data that is already available can intelligent insights be derived. Data managers utilize a set of procedures called data quality management to preserve the integrity of the data. These procedures are adhered to throughout the whole data handling process, from data acquisition to implementation to distribution to analysis.

5. Connected Cloud 

Every tool in today’s growing world is moving to the cloud if they are not already. Every BI element, such as data storage, analytics models, data models, data sources, and computing power, are moving to the cloud. This encourages many others to adopt cloud analytics. Many problems, including complexity, risk, and expense, enter the picture when numerous unrelated systems are on the cloud. In terms of BI, there is also no one-size-fits-all answer, and this is where using the connected cloud makes sense as a tactic.

Integrate Business Intelligence in Your Business

1. Build a Business Intelligence Strategy

It is a roadmap that enables the company to measure its performance, know its shortcomings, use analytics to make well decisions, and better competitive advantage. To have a great business strategy, it is necessary to get the answers to some of these questions. 

  • What is the business objective?
  • What resources do you have to meet that objective?
  • What do you require to meet the objective?

2. Set up The Key Performance Indicators 

Now that you have a strategy and information in place, the next step would be to set the KPIs that will track the company’s growth. The KPIs have to be measurable, must be crucial to achieving business goals, and should match the objective. 

Some of the KPIs in business intelligence can be marketing, finance, project management, customer service, and human resources.

3. Hire a BI team

There are two ways you can have a BI team; first, you can hire a team from a company, or you can give your project for the development process; they can provide you with the experts that can help you with the project requirement. Different professionals that can be involved in the process are App developers, Data Administration, Data mining experts, Project Managers, and Subject matter experts.

4. Know the BI Software Requirement

The requirement of the BI software will depend on the business requirement and the project’s budget. However, there are some key considerations that you can apply to buying software from a good software development company

  • Do you have a simplified view of the data?
  • Can you collaborate with others on the data analysis part?
  • Will you be able to discover insights on your own? And many more such doubts. 

5. Pick Data Storage, Platform, and Environment

It is always good to start looking for the data storage option at the very start of the project. Usually, this data warehouse is seen as the best choice for business intelligence implementation since it helps the company to have data from both online transaction processes and business apps. The next step after selecting the storage platform can be fixing the environment on-premise, hybrid, or in the cloud.

6. Prepare Your Data for Quality Business Analytics

The quality of the data is very important for a good business intelligence and analytics project. But how can you know that you are ready for the analysis of the data? Here is a small checklist that can help you in deciding. The data should be complete, unique/ not duplicated, valid, consistent, timely, and accurate.

7. Implement a Pilot Project

Once all the processes are in place and data has been vetted, the ending step that will remain then is a pilot test. Before introducing the project to the whole organization recommended testing it across a small group of users to see how receptive they are towards it. You can see results and measure against the KPIs and if you do not get the desired result, revisit the architecture and get it fixed. 

Challenges of Business Intelligence

1. Gathering and Refining of Data 

A company’s data is dispersed over a variety of on-premises and cloud-based platforms & systems. Due to the increase in data sources, firms must devise a method to gather all the data in one location. You may now use BI tools and set up a data warehouse as a one-stop shop for BI data.

Refining the data to ensure that its quality is sufficient to serve as the foundation for important business decisions is the next level of data-related business intelligence. It is crucial to classify data into the appropriate groupings in addition to running it through a checklist of vital criteria so that each team is aware of which data is useful for which purposes.

2. Training End Users 

One of the main problems with BI integration is the unsuccessful adoption of business intelligence capabilities across the entire firm. Obtaining support from all stakeholders and those in charge of sustaining them is essential. It is crucial to involve all the crucial team members early in the development process.

A well-thought-out BI solution that is designed for success will be developed with the assistance of a set of defined objectives and the KPIs that result from them. Getting support from influential members of the organization is crucial, but it’s just as important to train the personnel.

3. Using Unappropriate Performance Indicator 

One of the major obstacles to BI adoption is that even after investing a lot of time and money into the whole BI development cycle, business owners still do not perceive any tangible benefits. This issue primarily results from the absence of appropriate key performance indicators in place.

It’s important to know what your BI project is capable of and what it can do. You won’t be able to evaluate it against anything unless you are aware of the precise processes it may affect. With this knowledge, you are now fully prepared to begin implementing BI capabilities in your company and are aware of any potential issues. What the technology has planned for itself in the upcoming years is the only thing left to understand. Knowing this would enable you to launch your BI project on the appropriate footing.


Business Intelligence is one of the vital tools for organizations, providing valuable insights for data analysis. Throughout this guide, we covered all the major points of what BI is, its types, how it works, how businesses can be benefited from it, advantages, challenges, and trends. By embracing Business Intelligence, companies can uncover opportunities, enhance decision-making, and thrive in a data-driven world. 

Still trying to understand whether Business Intelligence can benefit your business or not, don’t worry! You can contact us 24*7 for a free consultation, and we are here to answer all your queries.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQs 

Q. How Can Companies Ensure the Successful Adoption of BI?

The two major elements related to the implementing business intelligence project are data storage and the BI platform. Though, you can hire a good development company that can provide you with all the desired requirements. We at Emizen Tech can assist you in finding the appropriate platform and other details for adopting BI in your company.

Q. How Does BI Integrate with Other Technologies Like Big Data and Artificial Intelligence?

To enhance the capabilities of the business BI integrated with big data and AI. Big data allows the BI to access and analyze large volumes of data from various sources. AI integration empowers BI with advanced analytics, including machine learning algorithms for pattern recognition and predictions. These integrations enhance BI’s ability to handle large-scale data, provide advanced analytics, support natural language interactions, and deliver real-time insights.

Q. How Does BI Differ From Traditional Reporting?

BI differs from traditional reporting regarding depth and scope of analysis. Standard reporting provides static reports based on historical data; BI offers more comprehensive and interactive analysis capabilities. Real-time data and dashboards are included in BI, enabling accurate information and ongoing monitoring of crucial KPIs. It encourages self-service and interaction, allowing business users to access and analyze data freely. A key component of BI is consolidating and integrating data from various sources, giving decision-makers a comprehensive perspective of the organization’s data.

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Shankar Jangid has worked with Emizentech for over a decade and oversees eCommerce's overall strategic and operational development. He is a seasoned professional capable of offering stringent standards, team leadership, and on-time, within-budget projects.