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The business intelligence industry concerns itself with gathering and disseminating information. Technology has spurred this industry forward as the ability to collect data and other information is easier than ever before. Companies in the business intelligence industry work either as independent contractors or as companies that provide technology or equipment to other businesses. This industry often includes several different computer or technology manufacturers that create software and hardware for intelligence analysis. Processes in this industry include measurements, analytics, reporting, collaboration, and knowledge management.
Measurements in the business intelligence industry represent the building blocks of data management. Companies must be able to take measurements on specific data or information in order to actually gather intelligence. Software programs may also include specific metrics for taking measurements from gathered information. Metrics often include financial ratios, demographics, economic analysis, or other specific requirements made by companies.
Analytics include the specific internal processes the business intelligence industry includes in software programs. Simply gathering information is not enough; businesses expect more advantages than a bevy of information. Intelligence vendors will often need to provide quantitative processes, such as statistical analysis, data mining, modeling, and predictive measures to help companies leverage gathered information into usable facts or figures.
Reporting is the follow-up process for intelligence analytics. The software intelligence company must create a report that contains the specific information requested by a client. Reports may either be on-demand or on a periodic basis. Companies in the business intelligence industry may have different price points on software, depending on the reports needed by clients. Continuous reporting may be cheaper, as the vendor can create a model and earn more money as clients will consistently request additional data, rather than a one-time report.
It is common for companies to collaborate when working in business intelligence, as one company may have a specific tool or system that is not easily recreated. Other vendors within the industry work with this company in order to leverage the information into the best reports or analytics possible. Collaboration is often completed via electronic data interchange, where information moves electronically rather than manually.
Knowledge management is the final process in this industry. Gathering information is no good if a company does not know what to do with it. Companies may need to employ an individual who is a liaison between internal process and the intelligence vendor. The liaison helps the company work the information into usable reports.