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

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

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 between Big Data and Business Intelligence so you can determine exactly how to put your data to work for you in your business.

The term Big Data and Business Intelligence are often used interchangeably, but business intelligence is actually a subset of big data. It is the part of big data that is processed and analyzed in order to make informed business decisions and understand business processes. Even the tool used to store and analyze big data is different from a BI analytics tool in its design.

Further in the article, you will learn more about big data, business intelligence, and what makes the two different from each other.

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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 operations and business processes. The data is then stored in a repository, for future reference and use. When it comes to making business-related decisions, not all of the big data is relevant. Spending your time analyzing and utilizing all the information gained in the form of big data is not only impossible but would also be a huge waste of time.

What is Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence is when we make use of the subsets of data that can give us important insights relevant to our business. The insights that we can actually use to make our business grow and find out the areas in which our business is lacking. The challenge is to determine which information from among the large pool of available information is worth looking into.

Business intelligence vendors have developed tools that enable 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?

Understanding the difference between Big data and business intelligence can be tricky as there is a certain degree of overlap between the two concepts. However, to help you understand the two concepts better we have listed three points of difference between big data and business intelligence.

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). As the name implies, big data is a massive amount of data and not all of it is relevant. Business Intelligence, on the other hand, refers to specific subsets of data that are relevant to a purpose or a specific query. Business intelligence thus 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. Yes, it is true that you can pull out business intelligence data from big data if you know exactly what you are looking for but you do not necessarily need to have big data to have business intelligence.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 a 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.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to what your business needs are. Big data is a great resource and so is business intelligence, but you can only benefit from either if you are using them in the right way. One thing that can help you in this regard is using the right business intelligence and analytics tool. Business intelligence software companies make all kinds of claims to sell their products, but falling for the most attractive claims is not the best way to choose business intelligence products.

The best way to go about selecting the best business intelligence software is to analyze your business needs, make a list of the features you want in a bi tool, and then compare BI tools from different business intelligence vendors to see which tool suits your needs the best. While comparing different bi tools, it is also important to pay attention to the cost of business intelligence software to determine whether or not the features you are paying for are worth the price.

If you need a little help in knowing 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. 


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