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BizReport : White Papers : IT - Software & Development

Understanding Business Intelligence and Your Bottom Line

Business Intelligence (BI) is neither a product nor a system, it is an umbrella term that combines architectures, applications, and databases. It enables the real-time, interactive access, analysis, and manipulation of information, which provides the business community with easy access to business data. BI analyzes data—the data businesses generate through transactions or by other kinds of business activities—and helps businesses by analyzing the past and present business situations and performances. By giving this valuable insight, BI helps decision-makers make more informed decisions and supplies end-users with critical business information on their customers or partners, including information on behaviors and trends.

Given that virtually all small and midsized businesses (SMBs) can benefit from BI tools, the real question is how much of this technology constitutes a good investment of time and energy? Most of the industrial-strength, BI-related tools cater more to the larger enterprises whose business structures are highly complex and whose budgets can accommodate the lofty implementation expenditures. While many of these vendors would like you to think that their pricey, high-end solutions are absolutely necessary for the SMB sector as well, our research indicates otherwise.

Based on the size of your company and budgetary constraints, your goal is to determine what BI tools you really need to drill down and extract the key performance data that will make your company more efficient and profitable.

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