Business intelligence (BI) is a technology-driven process for analyzing data and presenting actionable information to help executives, managers and other corporate end users make informed business decisions. The potential benefits of business intelligence tools include accelerating and improving decision-making, optimizing internal business processes, increasing operational efficiency, driving new revenues and gaining competitive advantage over business rivals. BI systems can also help companies identify market trends and spot business problems that need to be addressed.
To help with that, a growing number of organizations are replacing traditional waterfall development with Agile BI and data warehousing approaches that use Agile software development techniques to break up BI projects into small chunks and deliver new functionality to business analysts on an incremental and iterative basis. Doing so can enable companies to put BI features into use more quickly and to refine or modify development plans as business needs change or as new requirements emerge and take priority over earlier ones.
BI platforms are increasingly being used as front-end interfaces for big data systems. Modern BI software typically offers flexible back ends, enabling them to connect to a range of data sources. This, along with simple user interfaces, makes the tools a good fit for big data architectures. Users can connect to a range of data sources, including Hadoop systems, NoSQL databases, cloud platforms and more conventional data warehouses, and can develop a unified view of their diverse data.