Google Trends shows the term “Business Intelligence”, as a web headline topic, has declined since 2004. In the past few years it has been surpassed by the term “Big Data”.
“Business Analytics” is emerging as the term some industry thought leaders, such as Gartner and IDC, are using as the catch-all term for software solutions that use data analysis to guide business decisions.
Despite the essential inclusiveness of all three terms, there is no shortage of discussion on the differences among these and a number of other contenders. Are the old terms so limited that they cannot contain the huge new advances in the field? Or have there been too many disappointments with attempts to deliver “Business Intelligence,” that we need new, exciting, and “untainted” terms.
It is important that we do not get distracted by new umbrella terms that cover the same mission, the same systems, and the same activities. It is like arguing over whether a Prius is an automobile or a car. The important thing is that there are exciting new technologies that can be applied to achieve the objectives of Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence or Big Data.
It really does not matter which term is used. Let’s face it, When is BI not BI? If a term refers to ways of making data meaningful and profitable, it’s all BI.