Monday, February 20, 2012

Business Intelligence vs Analytics

My collegue Sandeep Raut has a very simple blog-post explaining the differences between traditional BI and Analytics. Summarizing a few key points from the blog below.

"BI traditionally is concerned with creating reports on past data or even current live data. We create OLAP cubes using which we can slice & dice the data, even do a drill down. Analytics is about analyzing the data using mathematics/statistics to identify patterns. These patterns can then be used to predict what may happen in the future. Analytics is about identifying relationships between key data variables that were unknown before. It is about surfacing unknown patterns."

But in my humble opinion, should Analytics not be a subset of BI? I can understand the hype that product vendors create to differentiate their products in the market, but can Analytics exist in isolation to BI? Even predictive data analysis using "realt-time" data/text mining techniques would logically fall under BI....
After all BI is all about meeting business needs through actionable information !
Maybe it is just a game of words and semantics. I remember a few years back, the term DSS (Decision Support Systems) was more widely used than BI :)