Business Intelligence and the sexiness of data science

Business Intelligence is a part of the Information Systems Pyramid but what does it mean in the context of your business?

Sexiness can be defined informally as “the quality of being exciting or appealing.”

What could a branch of data science possible have that’s appealing or exciting?


It all depends on what you mean by exciting or appealing.

  • Firstly and most importantly … Make more money
  • Next it accelerates the discovery of new business opportunities
  • Also finding ways to improve customer satisfaction
  • Finally helps everyone see your business world in a new way to help you survive and grow

If any of those sound exciting or appealing, then read on.

  • What can Business Intelligence do for you?
  • How Business Intelligence does it.
  • Starting your Business Intelligence journey

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What can Business Intelligence do for you?

How can science be sexy?

The traditional image of science is of people who favor study and research over partying and social.  I know, I am definitely in that club.  I love science.

For me I’m absolutely fascinated by “material science”.  The teams who use chemicals in different ways to overcome the most advanced of challenges.

This video sums up what science can do and is doing to change our current world.  Yeah you’re not NASA but you don’t need to be.

Tell me how you wouldn’t want this for your business.  To experience and share in this level of excitement, appeal and sexiness.

Now what if in your business you could have a team who could do the same thing in your business… today!


You have all the chemicals you need

What most businesses don’t realise is that data is like raw materials.  Quite literally that data can be converted into new and interesting things.

What you actually need is a data scientist to convert it from a big pile of dust into an incredible wheel which moves your business forward.

You can take a very formal definition

  • Business Intelligence (BI) refers to technologies, applications and practices for the collection, integration, analysis, and presentation of business information.

What you’re actually asking is how do I convert the raw materials we have collected (data) and convert it into something useful.


The first and most essential part is to get all your data into one place so the scientists can get to it.

This is called a data warehouse and the process is known as centralisation.  This delivers the “collection” and “integration” part of the definition.

Analysis is the conversion process.  Presentation is where the fun and realisation of what you have, kicks in.


Ok, how do I convert my raw materials?

You need scientists.  Yet this particular group often don’t realise they’re scientists, they refer to themselves as engineers or nerds or database administrators (DBAs).

William Whewell in 1833 coined the term and they definitely didn’t have computers back then.

The Science Council defines a scientist as someone who systematically gathers and uses research and evidence, making a hypothesis and testing it, to gain and share understanding and knowledge.

So the computers gather data and your teams gather and tidy it together in the warehouse.  The data are facts.  They are immutable.


Now we can start to make hypotheses.  “If we do X, what will happen?”  or “I need to find out where my business strengths are”

Give that to your data scientist and see what they come back to you with!  This is what they’re trained at being able to find answers for.

Their answers will be based in facts and figures and their reasoning will never be based on gut feelings or conjecture.


How Business Intelligence and Data Science does it

Business Intelligence and Data Mining

So we have the data in the data warehouse, now your data scientists choose from different approaches.

Remember the more data they have (the more raw materials they have) the more they can do.

The very definition of the purpose of Business Intelligence is to support better business decision making.

Think of it like, where best to put my mine to get my materials?

Data mining is a suite of scientifically guaranteed approaches to extract information from data.

This is the best way to get the most out of the material that is in the mine.


Virtue of the solution

Firstly Business Intelligence is a measure of “how much”.  For example it involves monitoring performance of things like KPIs.

It helps identify management blind spots and furnishes intense case-by-case statistical analysis.

You can also think of BI like a dashboard on a car showing you the most vital information


Meanwhile data mining uses “scientific methodology” the scientists spends months and months learning.

It uses algorithms to discover data patterns and behaviors.

If you drive like this you’ll get X more miles to the gallon.  If you take this route it’ll save you a few hours.


Style of analysis

Next Business Intelligence reflects only upon past data in small or large scale.

The idea here is to present facts which can influence future decisions.

The system doesn’t showcase any intelligence just statements of fact of what has occurred.

Management professionals and subject matter experts interpret the information for better decision making.


Data mining technique uses computational intelligence to discover relevant business factors.

This technique sees data scientists and management professionals working closely together to define rules for the business and identify opportunity.


The Outputs

Also Business Intelligence provides dashboards with consolidated views of the KPIs in graphics and charts

While data mining furnishes reports with recommendations for strategic decision making.


Finally where data mining comes up with new approaches, the dashboards and reporting of Business Intelligence make those insights usable on a regular basis.



Starting your Business Intelligence journey

Start simple

Are you ready to push your business forward?  Would you benefit if someone could help you?


If you use a computer you already have started.  You need to get your data into a central point, which is centralisation.

Next you need some data scientists.

There are amazing companies like Eagle Point who can help.

If you already have database teams in house, ask them “can you do data science?”

Most data scientists are techie in nature, so to be asked into a conversation will usually bring joy to their heart and see a massive dump of possibility.


I know some amazing data scientists and they are very personable.

Just ask them to do what they do, rather than tell them what to do.

If you want a hand getting started on your sexy journey just give me a shout and I’ll help.  I love that NASA feeling when it happens.

If there’s anything in this article you’d like to chat to me about you can contact me here or on social media.


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