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What Is Business Intelligence? > Just What Is BI?

Just What Is BI?

Business Intelligence (BI) is defined in many ways. Often particular vendors "craft" the definition to show their tools in the best possible light. For the purposes of this book, Microsoft's vision of BI using SQL Server 2005 is defined as

Business Intelligence is a method of storing and presenting key enterprise data so that anyone in your company can quickly and easily ask questions of accurate and timely data. Effective BI allows end users to use data to understand why your business got the particular results that it did, to decide on courses of action based on past data, and to accurately forecast future results.

BI data is displayed in a fashion that is appropriate to each type of user, i.e. analysts will be able to drill into detailed data, executives will see timely summaries, and middle managers will see data presented at the level of detail that they need to make good business decisions. Microsoft's BI uses cubes, rather than tables, to store information and presents information via reports. The reports can be presented to end users in a variety of formats: Windows applications, Web Applications, and Microsoft BI client tools, such as Excel or SQL Reporting Services.


  

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