Business intelligence and business analytics share the same goal - to help firms make better decisions through actionable data - but they differ in method. Business analytics relies more heavily on predictive statistics than business intelligence, which tends toward industry experience and individual evaluations. They are both component parts in a larger overall trend toward the use of big data and can be used to complement one another in the right contexts.

That said, there is little practical use in drawing clear distinctions between business intelligence and business analytics. Not only are the two terms used interchangeably throughout much of the industry but, as previously identified, they share the same objectives.

Strategic Data

The unifying assumption underlying business intelligence and business analytics is that market data, whether about consumers, producers or resources, can be meaningfully organized and interpreted. This is not dissimilar from some of the assumptions of technical stock market analysis or econometrics. Strategic data usage has become an important part of corporate governance. An entire sub-industry exists to teach, train or perform business intelligence gathering and analysis for other companies.

Business consulting is nothing new; the first recognized consulting firm in the United States was developed in 1890. What makes business analytics and business intelligence different is the integration of statistics and regression analysis. Many sources point to the introduction of commercial computers in the 1950s as the beginning of modern business intelligence. Until 2008-2010, the entire scope of strategic business data existed under the broad umbrella of "BI."

The terminology changed suddenly after that time period, when the more IT-centric branch of business intelligence began to call itself analytics. This new marketing catchword showed higher favorability numbers among business leaders and increasing volume on Google searches.

  1. How difficult is it to understand business analytics?

    Find out what it takes to understand the method of business analytics, and how to start a career through one of its many ... Read Answer >>
  2. What is the most important type of data used in business analytics?

    Consider what makes data useful in business analytics, and why companies should search for the types of data that provide ... Read Answer >>
  3. What are some common methods of gathering CI (competitive intelligence)?

    Read about some common methods of acquiring competitive business intelligence, and discover what a good intelligence analysis ... Read Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between CI (competitive intelligence) and competitive analysis?

    Understand the difference between competitive intelligence and competitive analysis. Learn why a company conducts both types ... Read Answer >>
  5. How do companies balance labor supply and demand in human resources planning?

    Find out what it means for a company to balance labor supply and demand, and learn how human resources planning can strategically ... Read Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    How Intelligence Relates To Wealth

    Being smart doesn't necessarily mean you'll be wealthy, but there are many ways intelligence can influence how much money you earn.
  2. Tech

    3 Surprising Things That Big Data Reveals About HR

    More and more companies are using big data in HR as a means of saving time and money when recruiting, hiring and retaining workers.
  3. Tech

    Investors Turn to Artificial Intelligence (GOOGL, FB)

    Since the Alan Turing developed the Turing Test, scientific researchers have worked to develop a computer with the ability to function like a human brain.
  4. Investing

    Business Intelligence for Dummies

    An overview of the Business Intelligence industry and what opportunities it presents for investors.
  5. Financial Advisor

    Why Financial Advisors Need to Use Google Analytics

    Google Analytics is a free tool that advisors can use to monitoring website traffic and improving digital marketing efforts. Here's what to know.
  6. Tech

    How Big Data Has Changed Healthcare

    Like many other industries, healthcare has adapted to data analytics not only for its financial returns but also improving patient’s quality of life.
  7. Trading

    2 AI Stocks Set to Break Out to New Highs

    These two artificial intelligence stocks appear set to breakout to new highs.
  8. Tech

    Marketing Technology Takes off Due to Funding

    Marketing technology is on fire. According to the latest research, funding for marketing technology neared $3.8 billion in the third quarter of this year.
  9. Tech

    How Big Data Has Changed Marketing

    Big data has enabled marketers to enhance their customer engagement and customer retention strategies by providing insight into behavior and thoughts.
  10. Investing

    Analytical Commentary On A Fund

    Independent fund investment research is the key to finding investment quality in a mutual fund.
  1. Descriptive Analytics

    Descriptive analytics refers to the interpretation of historical ...
  2. Behavioral Analytics

    Behavioral analytics is an area of data analytics focuses on ...
  3. Prescriptive Analytics

    Prescriptive analytics is the use of technology to help businesses ...
  4. Moody's Analytics

    A subsidiary of Moody's Corporation that offers tools, solutions ...
  5. Data Science

    Data science is a field of Big Data which seeks to provide meaningful ...
  6. Business

    1. An organization or enterprising entity engaged in commercial, ...
Hot Definitions
  1. Return on Assets - ROA

    Return on assets (ROA) is an indicator of how profitable a company is relative to its total assets.
  2. Fibonacci Retracement

    A term used in technical analysis that refers to areas of support (price stops going lower) or resistance (price stops going ...
  3. Ethereum

    Ethereum is a decentralized software platform that enables SmartContracts and Distributed Applications (ĐApps) to be built ...
  4. Cryptocurrency

    A digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. A cryptocurrency is difficult to counterfeit because of ...
  5. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority - FINRA

    A regulatory body created after the merger of the National Association of Securities Dealers and the New York Stock Exchange's ...
  6. Initial Public Offering - IPO

    The first sale of stock by a private company to the public. IPOs are often issued by companies seeking the capital to expand ...
Trading Center