Business Intelligence

What’s the difference between Business Analytics and Business Intelligence? The correct answer is—who cares.

We understand the term “analytics” is widely used and often misunderstood. Business analytics can be an umbrella term meant to include:

  • Data warehousing
  • Business intelligence
  • Enterprise information management
  • Enterprise performance management
  • Analytic applications
  • Governance, risk, and compliance

This is SAP’s belief.  Another leading vendor has produced a series of industry-themed solutions such as healthcare and manufacturing packaged applications. Other vendors such as SAS use “business analytics” to indicate a level of vertical/horizontal domain knowledge tied with statistical or predictive analytics.

In a nutshell, Business Intelligence is associated with the technology component, while Business Analytics is linked to the data and functional activity side of managing the business.

As the vendor landscape changes over time, analysts and vendors (especially new entrants) will continuously seek to coin new terms to describe strikingly similar products to avoid dated, clichéd terms, thereby creating a new term to differentiate their product coverage.

Confused?  If so, that’s ok.  Let’s focus on what you should care about. We believe we can summarize this for you in three parts:

#1 Know Your Raw Data

Your source data or raw data is the key to any business intelligence platform and to any business analytics process or program. Building, buying, or attempting to fix an existing analytic solution without a full understanding of this fundamental element is a colossal mistake.  You cannot neglect the raw data.

We’ve all heard the adage “garbage in/garbage out”.  It’s like a chef who mislabels ingredients in an apple pie recipe and adds salt instead of sugar.  Depending on what you expect the outcome to be, you may notice it.  Unfortunately, in your business, this type of mistake can go unnoticed for years and accumulate substantial loss profits, a loss of customers, or expose you to regulatory risk.  Your source data—whether it’s an ERP system, e-commerce platform, case management system, or a spreadsheet—requires attention and governance.

#2 Be Agnostic in Your Choice of Technology

Being agnostic allows you to flow into your technology decision instead of forcing the path due to preconceived paths based on past experiences and investments.  If you’ve invested a significant amount of money into an ERP, do not assume that you are stuck with their reporting options and therefore must double-down on implementing and deploying something you feel like “you’ve already paid for.”  Flowing into your investment decision allows pragmatism to work its way into the process and is more likely to yield a successful outcome predicated demonstrable success beyond cost savings.

#3 Gleaning Knowledge From Your Data is a Right, Not a Privilege

The goal of ALL of business intelligence implementations is to get the most value out of information. Most the material issues that stop us from getting value out of information—information culture, politics, lack of analytic competence (which includes but is not limited to bad raw data) and misalignment of resources—manifests regardless of organization size and market share.

At the end of the day, Labyrinth can guide, lead, and implement programs designed to get you actionable data and knowledge from data.  We can assist you in sifting through the clutter of analytics platforms, vendor vernacular, and legacy issues to streamline a path to you trusting and understanding your data.  It’s easy to say “the data is all there;” however, we need to construct a path from the DATA to your PROCESSES to achieve your KNOWLEDGE GOALS.  Knowledge is a right, not a privilege.  Contact us at or (443) 345-2050.