Business Intelligence or Business Analytics?

Author: Bit Software
Date: 28- 03- 2011

Timo Elliott wrote, earlier this month, a post about the differences between Business Intelligence & Business Analytics. Post which I think is interesting.

In Timo`s point of view, this two terms are different but still the same. Why? Because it depends on how talks about it. Some IT vendors says “business analytics” instead of “business intelligence” to indicate that business analytics is an umbrella term including data warehousing, business intelligence, enterprise information management, enterprise performance management, and much more. Other IT vendors, explain Timo Elliott, use “business analytics” to indicate some knowledge tied with statistical and predictive analytics.


According to Timo Elliott, that there are two things worth differentiating:

1. The first is the business aspect of BI — the need to get the most value out of information, a need who hasn’t changed in the last 50 years.

2. The second is the IT aspect of BI — what technology is used to help provide the business need, which does change over time.


In Elliott opinion, the transfer from „business intelligence” to „business analytics” is more a rebranding game that some BI vendors plays, in an attempt to demonstrate that their product is new, is „business oriented” and „actionable” and not „backward looking”.

„This is complete rubbish, and I encourage you to boo loudly whenever you hear a pundit say it. The very first use of what we now mostly call business intelligence was in 1951, as far as I can tell, with the advent of the first commercial computer ever, dubbed LEO for Lyons Electronic Office, powered by over 6,000 vacuum tubes. And it was already about meeting business needs through actionable information”, says Elliott.


The conclusion reached by Elliott is that the differences between “business analytics” and “business intelligence” - even though they do exist - are not so important. In other terms, nobody cares what this stuff is called: „business intelligence” or „business analytics”.