Business Intelligence Definition

Business Intelligence is the process of collecting, analyzing, and using data to make informed decisions and improve a company's performance.

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Business intelligence is when the business owner makes decisions and measures goals with data. We’re here to help small business owners understand their compliance needs and plan for the future.

What is business intelligence?

When setting your business goals, you might encounter the definition of business intelligence. Business intelligence is a data- and analytics-driven approach to understanding your business, customers, and bottom line. Often involving “BI” software, business intelligence enables small business owners to track their progress toward their goals. It can be as simple as a pivot chart in Excel or as complex as an AI-generated report from specialized BI software. 

What are the features of business intelligence?

The business definition of business intelligence is highlighted by centralized data warehouses that deliver information to decision-makers quickly. After collecting data, BI software answers business questions through data visualizations like charts, graphs, maps, and reports. It provides a simple way for business owners to compare data from different business areas or under different scenarios. Ultimately, business intelligence enables strategic decision-making using data from internal and external sources that reflect the company’s past, present, and future state.

Business Intelligence Benefits

One of the main advantages of business intelligence is that raw data becomes useful information. Business leaders can make better decisions, take informed actions, and implement more efficient business processes. They can base decisions on facts instead of estimates or feelings. Making decisions using business intelligence means your company:

  • Gains a competitive advantage with fast access to information
  • Objectively makes quick decisions
  • Has improved performance and outcomes
  • Reduces waste and inefficient processes
  • Can improve productivity and worker morale
  • Has transparency across business functional areas
  • Experiences a higher return on investment and lower total cost of ownership

Business intelligence gives your company visibility into its financial, operational, and customer information to make the best decisions possible.

Business Intelligence Considerations

While making informed decisions may be a no-brainer, business intelligence has a few disadvantages. Business intelligence requires time, money, and a certain level of technical knowledge. Business intelligence must continually improve data accuracy, timeliness, and volume to be useful. The small business owner must find ways to capture new information, check the information for errors, and structure the information for analysis while running the business.

Business Intelligence Examples

One example of business intelligence in practice is targeted advertising. In 2020, Coca-Cola used an algorithm to analyze social media posts mentioning the brand and its engagement. The company also used AI to present ads to social media users based on posts with mentions of Coke competitors. The data collected enabled the company to respond quickly to consumer perceptions and produce advertisements tailored for their target audience. 


The meaning of business intelligence is data-driven decisions. Using data, the business decision-makers can make informed, objective decisions in areas from marketing to hiring to product development.

We Can Help

The business intelligence definition is just one of the many things we can help you with. Whether you’re in the planning phase or a seasoned entrepreneur, we provide products and services to help you meet your goals. Our team of experts can help you start your corporation or limited liability company when you use our Business Formation Service. Plus, with our Worry-Free Compliance Service, we’ll keep your documents organized and remind you of upcoming deadlines. 

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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Written by Team ZenBusiness

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