Business intelligence is focused on analyzing past and current data to paint a picture of the current state of the business. Data science takes a cross-discipline approach to analyzing the same data, using statistical algorithms and models to uncover hidden and predictive insights from structured and unstructured data.
Business intelligence is descriptive, giving insights into what’s happening now and what happened in the past. Business analytics is an umbrella term for data analysis techniques that can also predict what will happen and show what’s needed to create better outcomes.
Business intelligence tools work together to turn data into actionable insights. Many of these operate “under the hood” to prepare, mine, store, and process data so that it can be accessed by BI systems. Others are focused on helping business users interact with data and interpret results through interactive dashboards and data visualizations.
A BI analyst, as the title suggests, gathers and analyzes data and then identifies areas where businesses can improve. They generally keep tools and databases up to date, develop BI strategies, and communicate findings to stakeholders.
A BI developer is responsible for creating, deploying, and managing business intelligence reporting tools and interfaces designed to solve specific problems within a company. A typical BI developer is versed in software engineering, databases, and data analysis. Responsibilities include translating business requirements into technical ones, helping with data model design, creating technical documentation, and more.
Although modern business intelligence tools offer an out-of-the-box self-service experience to allow business analysts and power users with technical backgrounds to uncover the insights needed to address challenges, BI developers are still needed to govern and scale the delivery of trusted corporate reports and dashboards to everyday business users – information workers and decision-makers – without such technical backgrounds.
BI reporting is the part of business intelligence focused on presenting analyzed data in the form of dashboards, reports, and data visualizations which can be summarized and easily shared around the organization.
Data visualization is the representation of data through graphs, maps, dashboards, charts, and other visual formats. It helps business users visualize trends, outliers, and patterns at a glance. Visual analysis is central to business intelligence reporting.
A decision support system refers to any interactive computer-based system that can gather and analyze information from large datasets, including raw data, documents, and knowledge bases. As the name suggests, DSS systems support planners and managers in making informed decisions based on insights surfaced through the analysis process.