Business Analysis or Business Intelligence - "How do I get some?"

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BI vs BA

Bill, Nice article. However, I would argue that BA and BI are overlapping terms used to provide business insights and provide actionable results. Most folks use interchangeably. In my mind, however, when I hear BI, I think of visual presentations of data that pinpoint important business metrics. It sounds more "hip". And its not limited to financials. BI should consist of both Financial and Operational analytics -bringing together critical business indicators from many sources. Answering questions related to: "What keeps the business owner up at night"...( is it lack of Sales Order backlog, Inventory, Sales processing time, or what markets is he in or will he have money for payroll, how long does it take to get a Sale)...BA in my mind, tends to be more financial KPI's, more dense. And some argue that BA is more predictive, while BI is more historical. But in reality BA encompasses BI. Both boil down to a meaningful presentation of data. Both of these terms are technology driven - you need to have your data set up so that meaningful relationships and insights can be formulated.
In our world, QQube provides a strong data backbone for BA/BI analysis. Used in conjunction with a BI tool you can garner a lot of relationships/insights not available in other ways. With the new BI analytical tools from MS(BI designer, Power query), Tableau, Crystal and others - QB owners can get up to date relevant business and financial insights.

All of these visuals should be easy to read and spot trends. There are lots of books written on how to properly present visuals/dashboards. Its not as easy as one would think. The key is defining the relevant insights and teasing them out of your data source.

The Resources you mention are all good products for financial trends. I believe Corelytics provides more predictive analytics than the others. Financial BA/BI analytics are great, but if we are to serve our clients well, I argue that we are only providing half of the story by ignoring Operational Analytics also.

Fran Reed more than 1 year ago

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