Business intelligence (BI) mainly refers to computer-based techniques used in identifying, extracting and analyzing business data, such as sales revenue by products and/or departments, or by associated costs and incomes.
BI technologies provide historical, current and predictive views of business operations. Common functions of business intelligence technologies are reporting, online analytical processing, analytics, data mining, process mining, complex event processing, business performance management, benchmarking, text mining and predictive analytics.
Business intelligence aims to support better business decision-making, thus a BI system can be called a decision support system (DSS).Though the term Business Intelligence is sometimes used as a synonym for competitive intelligence, because they both support decision making, BI uses technologies, processes, and applications to analyze mostly internal, structured data and business processes while competitive intelligence gathers, analyzes and disseminates information with a topical focus on company competitors. Business Intelligence understood broadly can include the subset of competitive intelligence.
A Data Warehouse (DW) is a database used for reporting and analysis. The data stored in the warehouse is uploaded from the operational systems. The data may pass through an operational data store for additional operations before it is used in the DW for reporting.
The typical data warehouse uses staging, integration, and access layers to house its key functions. The staging layer stores raw data, the integration layer integrates the data and moves it into hierarchal groups, and the access layer helps users retrieve data.
Data warehouses can be subdivided into data marts. Data marts store subsets of data from a warehouse.
This definition of the data warehouse focuses on data storage. The main source of the data is cleaned, transformed, catalogued and made available for use by managers and other business professionals for data mining, online analytical processing, market research and decision support. However, the means to retrieve and analyze data, to extract, transform and load data, and to manage the data dictionary are also considered essential components of a data warehousing system. Many references to data warehousing use this broader context. Thus, an expanded definition for data warehousing includes business intelligence tools, tools to extract, transform and load data into the repository, and tools to manage and retrieve metadata.