Business Intelligence for Business

How cool it would be to see what’s happening in the organization which has branches all over the world from a computer screen, that also in real-time? With a real-time overview of the activities, decision-makers can take effective decisions quickly to overcome hindrances in the business and strive for progressive growth. Business Intelligence (BI) is the key to enabling real-time information of the business and effective decision support mechanism. BI can be defined as a “data-driven Decision Support System that combines data gathering, data storage, and knowledge management with analysis to provide input to the decision process” (Negash & Gray, 2008).

Real-time does not mean that data are gathered, stored, processed, and visualized within a few seconds. Depending on the volume, velocity, and veracity of data this could take a few minutes to a few hours. But it is much better and efficient than the traditional approach. For instance, an ABC company has implemented BI and an XYZ company has not implemented BI. Here ABC company’s managers can overview the performance of the company every few hours and conduct appropriate analysis every day. The ABC company’s manager found that there is a decline in sales of its Kathmandu city branch within a few days because of poor customer service. The managers can take quick corrective actions preventing further loss. On the other hand, XYZ company’s managers can overview the company’s performance only by end of the month using a traditional approach and found that there has been a decline in sales from the first week of the month. As they were not able to take any corrective actions in beginning, they lost their business for the month. This could have been prevented using BI. BI combines architectures, analytical tools, databases, and applications that enable access to data in real-time for analysts and managers for appropriate analysis (Sharda, Delen, & Turban, 2018).

Starbucks is the world’s largest coffee chain with more than 28,000 stores all around the globe. For the Starbucks managers to manage their business all around the globe, it uses BI. Starbucks has a huge database of purchase data. Using this information and BI, Starbucks can determine individual choices and offer them personalized products and services that they are likely to take advantage of (CCS Technology, 2018). This has increased their customer retention rate and increased their sales.


CCS Technology. (2018, April 19). Real-world examples of business intelligence. Retrieved from CCS Technology:

Negash, S., & Gray, P. (2008). Business Intelligence. Handbook on decision support systems 2, 175-193.

Sharda, R., Delen, D., & Turban, E. (2018). Business Intelligence, Analytics, and Data Science: A Managerial Perspective (4 ed.). London: Pearson.