Business Intelligence

Business intelligence is a general term used to describe the applications, infrastructure,  tools and best practices for the analysis of information to help enterprises improve strategic and operational decision-making and performance.

The term business intelligence was first used by Gartner analysts in the late 90s, and BI activities include forecasting, data mining, query and reporting, and statistical analysis.

Enterprises of all sizes need good business intelligence to survive in today’s competitive global business environment. Companies in a variety of industries use BI to improve decision making, cut costs and identify new business opportunities. One common application for BI is to help identify inefficient business processes that need to be streamlined or re-engineered.

A few sectors are leading the way with business intelligence. Almost all major restaurant chains, including Hardee’s, Wendy’s, Ruby Tuesday, Red Lobster and T.G.I. Friday’s, apply BI to nearly every aspect of operations. They use BI to help evaluate strategic decisions, for example, what new items to bring to their menus, where to expand and which underperforming stores to close. BI also provides useful data in renegotiating contracts with food suppliers and identifying opportunities for partnerships or mergers.