Being able to collect, interpret and transform data in strategic decisions is key for any company aiming to generate impact and profit in its sector, moving agile within the market.
For this reason, the use of tools that allow the analysis of data at deeper levels has become necessary. Companies are no longer satisfied with knowing "what happened", they want to analyze and visualize the present, understand the "why" and, in this way, get to anticipate the future.
In this scenario, Business Intelligence (BI) and Business Analytics (BA) prove to be fundamental to create data-based action plans that offer effective competitive advantages. What is the difference between BI and BA?
BI and BA: interpreting data to analyze past, present and future
Although often confused and used to indicate the same processes, BI and BA have different applications and objectives. What makes the difference is essentially the type of analysis underlying it and, consequently, the questions to which they provide answers.
Business Intelligence is a set of strategies and tools that allow you to collect, analyze and visualize data from different sources, from which to extrapolate strategic actions. BI can provide real-time metrics to improve decision-making processes and is based above all on the Descriptive Analysis of historical and current data. It answers the "what" and "how" questions, allowing the company to replicate what works and change what doesn't.
Business Analytics, on the other hand, refers to the set of technologies that allow you to analyze data and provide forecasts through Predictive Analysis. The focus, in this case, is on “why” something happens or could happen. Using data mining, modeling and machine learning, it is thus possible to determine likely future results and solve problems before they occur. Through Data Visualization it is also possible to investigate the causality or correlation between two or more metrics in order to investigate the causes of a specific phenomenon.
Business Intelligence vs Business Analytics: which one should you choose?
The choice of the type of data analysis process to be adopted depends on which information is of greatest interest to the company. BI uses past and current data to understand and optimize the present and, based on this, make decisions, draw up business plans, etc. While the BA allows you to use past data and analyze the present to prepare for the future.
The combination of the two solutions (quite frequent so much so that BI solutions often automatically include the BA) provides a complete picture and allows you to exploit all the potential of company data, improving the way in which the company develops existing business solutions and future.