4 Differences between Business Intelligence and Big Data

Differences between Business Intelligence and Big Data

Big Data and Business Intelligence (BI) are two intensively discussed technologies that have gained immense popularity in the information technology (IT) domain. They have created significant impacts on an enterprise’s understanding (of market and user), which has initiated tremendous shifts in the business technology landscape.

According to technical experts, both these state-of-the-art technologies aim to help enterprises in analyzing data in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their decision-making processes. Though they conceptuality have distinct similarities, they differ in terms of their technical working.

Here are some differences between big data and business intelligence:      

  1. Terminologies

Big data is a relativity new technology that was first introduced in the year 2005. It refers to the process of storing, analyzing and visualizing large datasets in order to provide comprehensive and valuable insights to enterprises for business development. Whereas business intelligence is a set of applications and practices that convert raw business data into meaningful information. The term was coined multiple times in the 20th century and is believed to drive business profits and improve the decision-making process of enterprises.            

  1. Purpose

According to technical experts, big data or big data analytics aims to capture and process huge amounts of structured and unstructured datasets collected from varied sources. It plays a vital role in planning and strategizing phases in order to improve customer outcomes. On the other hand, business intelligence works with structured data and primarily aids in an enterprise’s decision-making process. It extracts information directly from the data source to generate accurate reports and informational displays pointed at specific decisions.   

  1. Tools

Big data solutions offer efficient tools and frameworks that store and evaluate large amounts of data to gain insights and improve the decision-making process of enterprises. Hadoop, Spark, Storm, Cassandra, Presto, etc. are some of the top big data tools used today. While tools used in business intelligence collate, process and visualize data for surging the proficiency of business decisions and strategic plans. Microsoft Power BI, Google analytics, online analytical processing (OLAP), Sisense, etc. are some of the most popular BI tools.       

  1. Characteristics

Although both the technologies evaluate data sets, they vary in terms of data processing. Big data stores information on a distributed file system for easy processing. It studies the data on the basis of volume, velocity, variety, and veracity. While business intelligence combines business data on a central server known as data warehouse. Executive dashboards, ‘what if’ analysis, interactive reports, location intelligence, Meta data layer, and ranking reports are the primary features of business intelligence services.       

According to experts, various sectors including banking, media and entertainment, healthcare, retail, etc. have availed big data services from the leading big data service providers in order to reap maximum benefits from the technology. Whereas business intelligence has greatly influenced social media, gaming and food industries in past few years.

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