What is Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence (BI) is a method to understand how a business is doing by looking at data across its computer systems. For example, if a business was running Salesforce.com to track its sales activity and SAP or Oracle to track its financial books, business intelligence can pull the data from both systems into a single integrated database (container) and provide a simplified view of the information. Think looking in reverse at the company’s performance across multiple systems in charts and graphs. The technology gets complex but the concept is straightforward. By the way, professionals in Information Technology (IT) consider this type of data to be “structured” which is another way of saying the data sits in (database) containers that are easy to understand (well… at least for professionals like me).