january 26, 2023

What Is the Difference Between Big Data and Business Intelligence?

 Although the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they are actually quite different in its nature and methods of application.

 Big Data is best described as the information stored by organisations in large sets, or volumes. Over the past few years, traditional systems have quickly become obsolete as they simply cannot handle large volumes of data or make quick suggestions and spot trends. 

Business intelligence on the other hand is a method of generating intelligence for a business, based on data available. 

Both technologies, which encompass data processing and data analysis, are increasingly becoming used by businesses to make strategic decisions. 

Sometimes Big Data is referred to as having 6 main characteristics:

  • Volume

  • Velocity

  • Variety

  • Veracity

  • Value

  • Variability

All this means is that Big Data can process various data types quickly and efficiently, such as text, audio, location, clients, competitors, just to name a few.

Seagate reports that worldwide data will increase by a whopping 175 zettabytes by 2025. How is this data going to be processed, considering the fact that businesses are increasingly adopting real time data in their business approach?

When you collect, generate, visualise, and subsequently analyse data that you can translate into your business knowledge, you gain a competitive edge as it helps you to make more confident decisions.

How can Business Intelligence be utilised?

There are many applications of BI, but the most common one used by businesses across the globe is to monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).

KPI’s can help to:

  • Understand consumer behaviour and client profiles

  • Identify market trends

  • Identify sales opportunities

  • Monitor employee performance

  • Identify challenges and competitors

So is Big Data a part of BI?

Big Data and Business Intelligence can certainly compliment each other, but Big Data can be applied to other fields as well, such as academic research or for other purposes. 

Business Intelligence is the method for converting data into insights for business purposes, whereas Big Data simply collects large volumes of data from various sources, which can be utilised by businesses for more efficient decision-making. 

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