Big Data and Business Intelligence – What’s the Difference?

Modern businesses are keen on leveraging any insights that could help them get ahead of their competition. As a result, it’s no surprise that data analytics tools and technologies are rapidly gaining popularity among all types of companies. Business Intelligence is one such advancement that more and more companies are embracing as a must-have business software system – but where does Big Data come in? On top of that, what key technology do you need to not only compile, but analyze your important business data?

It’s a common misconception that Big Data and Business Intelligence are one and the same, or that either can be used to retrieve the statistics you need to drive growth in your organization. While there is some overlap between these technologies, it’s important to understand the differences in Big Data and Business Intelligence so you can determine exactly how to put your data to work for you in your business.

What is Big Data?

As its name suggests, Big Data is a collection of massive amounts of data, all of which is usually gathered from daily operational and business processes. The data is then stored in a repository, for future reference and use.

What is Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence is a tool that enables organizations to ask the questions they want, for learning better about the performance of their business. The answer to every query is then facilitated by relevant data sets, wherein each query serves a purpose that includes but is not limited to: analysis, prescriptive reviews or predictive modeling/planning.

So what makes Big Data and Business Intelligence different from one another?

1. Big data is generic. Business Intelligence is far more specific.

Big Data merely refers to every bit of data captured and stored in a repository (which is later scrutinized solely based on what is available). Business Intelligence, on the other hand, gives you the capability to connect multiple data sources to a centralized system, for addressing key organizational concerns.

2. Business Intelligence is not dependent on Big Data.

Contrary to popular (and a rather inaccurate) belief, Big Data isn’t required for Business Intelligence to function. The queries that Business Intelligence tools need to pull data and generate reports can be supported with only the data sets necessary – even if they are of a smaller scale.

3. The results produced by Big Data and Business Intelligence vary – by context.

The contextual difference between Big Data and Business Intelligence will depend on whether you need broad analysis of all business data, or if you want to drill down into specifics. While Big Data tends to display results based on all the data it has acquired alone, Business Intelligence is tailored to only answer specific questions from specific data sources tied to the system.

Due to this, it is likely that both tools can reveal differing results while scrutinizing a common dilemma, which can open up new perspectives for decision-makers to further contemplate in turn.

Interested to know how you can incorporate state-of-the-art Business Intelligence into your business? Look no further! Visit our Business Intelligence solutions page now to see a list of the most prominent software vendors in the trade.

Or, do you need one-on-one assistance? Drop us a line at info@wheelhouse.com and we’ll be happy to help!