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Developing Business Intelligence Apps for SharePoint by David Feldman, Jason Himmelstein

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Chapter 12. Introduction to Business Intelligence

What Is Business Intelligence?

Business intelligence (BI) is the process of deriving meaning from data with the goal of supporting decision making. The term was coined in 1958 by Hans Peter Luhn of IBM as “the ability to apprehend the interrelationships of presented facts in such a way as to guide action towards a desired goal.” Over the years, a number of different marketing terms have been applied to this process, including Decision Support Systems (DSS), Executive Information System (EIS), Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), and business intelligence (BI). Regardless of the words we use, we are talking about the same thing: the process of extracting valuable information from our data to empower action.

In a sense, every computer system we interact with has elements of a transactional system designed to capture a specific event, such as help desk ticket creation and a business intelligence or reporting component designed to extract value from that captured data. Every scenario, be it online sales and marketing or checking into your flight at an airport has requirements around the reporting and analysis of that data.

The traditional definition of business intelligence meant data warehousing, decision support, and analysis. BI has evolved significantly over the past few years and has transformed into a broad and deep space as a key ingredient for aiding and executing business strategies. Understanding of the business is achieved through ...

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