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Business Intelligence (BI)

Business Intelligence (BI) systems are used to improve an enterprise's decision making by combining tools for gathering, storing, accessing, and analyzing business data. While traditional features for querying, reporting, and analytics have long been the core focus of these tools, BI has evolved in recent years to become comprehensive, enterprise-wide platforms, and newer trends, such as self-service BI, have helped to continue interest in this technology.

BI is a combination of the tools and systems involved in an enterprise's strategic planning that aid in its analysis.

These solutions provide a single source through which to analyze a company's disparate data sources, permitting users to execute queries without the assistance of technical staff. Over the past several years, they have evolved from narrowly focused query and reporting tools to enterprise-wide platforms. The resulting single source offers not only current, but also historical and predictive views of operations.

Sometimes referred to as decision-support software, BI applications analyze patterns in sales, trends, pricing, and customer behavior to assist in the business decision-making process. The expanded use of data warehouses, e-commerce tools, CRM packages, and other enterprise software has created a proportional need to easily view and use the information stored within these systems.

The continued evolution of this software genre encompasses new trends, including self-service techniques, and ongoing acquisitions that