What’s In A Name?

Business Intelligence? Business Analytics? What is the right term to describe the usage of data to make better decisions? BI seems to me to be a bit confusing because it could refer to either the IT part of treating the data, namely the tipical ETL processes and the “boring” stuff, it could also refer to the front-end analitycal part of using the data and providing the right information to decision makers, but it could also refer to both things at the same time. Then you have people experts in the IT side, then you have people with their mind focused on the business side of the equation, and then you have people that can do, or think they can do, both things, but those are extremely rare. BI tools appear to let business users make decisions and let them be able to deal with data without having to do IT work (for example, an analyst does not need to make joins of tables, the BI tool will do it itself). However, I’m coming to the conclusion that BI refers in 90% of the cases to the technical and IT part of it. The best way to avoid confusion is to name “Business Analytics” to the front-end and purely business side of the equation.

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