Business Intelligence and Big Data: Know The Similarity and Difference

Business Intelligence and Big Data are frequently used as synonyms for each other: In concept, these terms have some similar benefits that tend to overlay often. However, when getting down to technicalities, the distinctions between the two are evident.

Big data and Business Intelligence are equally important. Companies that integrate advanced analytics for Big Data with Business Intelligence systems are likely to realize a full return on investment. Reason being the two are highly complementary: BI systems offer a more structured user experience while Big Data provides a more profound, investigative perspective on the data. This blog will help you understand the similarities and difference between BI and Big Data.

Understanding Big Data

Volume, variety, and velocity are the three significant properties that define Big Data Click to Tweet
. In some cases, big data is used to describe the vast amounts of data that organizations collect and analyze, while in others, it’s used to describe processes and systems leveraged to collect, store, analyze and deliver data.

Big data uses any kind of data including structured, semi-structured or unstructured, in-store purchases or email clicks. The objective of Big Data analytics is to uncover actionable insights or data trends, which disclose changes that organizations can make to improve their business. These insights serve as the basis of data-driven decision-making.

Big data provides organizations with solutions to the problems they didn’t know they had.

With new technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, businesses are now able to get powerful and detail-oriented insights. AI and machine learning techniques seamlessly sort through massive volumes of data points and reveal patterns that even some of the most experienced data scientists can’t.

Understanding Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence encompasses an extensive range of applications, tools, and methodologies that enable businesses to collect data from external and internal sources; prepare it for analysis; design and run questions against the data; and develop dashboards, reports and data visualization. These results are then made available to operational workers and corporate decision makers.

BI involves data extraction from multiple sources including text documents, photographs, sounds, URLs lists and web pages.

According to a predictive analytics market study, businesses are basing their Business Intelligence initiatives on applications that support traditional statistical methodologies like hierarchical clustering, textbook statistical functions, and regression models, which are considered to be the leading features in about 80% of the companies surveyed.

Business intelligence accelerates and improves the decision-making process, optimizes internal operations of a business and increases operational efficiency. BI systems drive new revenues and help organizations to gain a competitive advantage over their rivals. Companies can leverage BI tools to identify market trends as well as find business problems that require attention.

The Similarity and Difference between Business Intelligence and Big Data


Type and variety of data

Business Intelligence uses structured data delivered in spreadsheets and dashboards. Big Data, on the other hand, uses structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data including voice data, metadata, region-specific data, proprietary databases and more.

Volume of data

BI uses tools that draw essential information from extensive data that goes into a system, and only supplies information that fits the organization’s needs. Big Data features large and distributed database that comprises of complex, simple, related and unrelated data.

Nature of analysis

Business Intelligence pays attention to both records and real-time information, which often are specific. Therefore it doesn’t employ any system intelligence in analyzing the data and drawing a conclusion but instead uses professionals. Big Data isn’t always as precise as BI. Some Big Data can be predictive.


Data source

Both Business Intelligence and Big Data can outsource data from phone records, GPS data, text messages, RFID tags, social media platforms, sensors on products and more, and use the data for a common goal of assisting the organizations to predict the future and make well-founded decisions.

The speed of data generation

The speed at which BI receives information is similar to Big Data – they both collect real-time or near real-time data.

Although Business Intelligence and Big Data are used interchangeably, knowing the contrast between the two can make a big difference in your business (since they become realities that you integrate into all solutions going forward).

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