Business Intelligence (BI) Life Cycle: What is it - EffectiveSoft
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Business intelligence life cycle: from definition to full process description

Business intelligence (BI) is the key to unlocking potential and fueling business success. Guided by a comprehensive view of data from multiple sources consolidated in a single location, organizations can analyze past and present experiences to predict future conditions and make strategic decisions.
6 min read
business intelligence life cycle

    The exponential increase in data volumes has complicated the way information is stored, transferred, shared, and used. To successfully address challenges and capitalize on the value of data, decision-makers are adopting advanced business intelligence tools.

    What is BI and how does it work? In this article, we will uncover the essence of business intelligence and explore its life cycle from beginning to end, providing a holistic view of how it works.

    What is business intelligence?

    Business intelligence involves processing and analyzing data, transforming it into knowledge that organizations can use to make informed decisions. BI uses a combination of analytics, strategy, and technology to help decision-makers develop plans and tactics to drive change and adapt to the market.

    Business intelligence software offers invaluable advantages to companies by aiding in data organization, converting data into actionable insights, and predicting market dynamics and future trends based on discernable patterns.

    BI tools help businesses improve their offerings, maximize productivity, and accelerate the analysis of information from different sources, thereby boosting data-driven approaches, economic growth, and profitability. To gain a better understanding of the process, let’s delve into the business intelligence workflow.

    benefits of business intelligence

    How does business intelligence work?

    Simply put, BI takes information from different sources and transforms it into convenient and understandable analytics presented in user-friendly views (tables, charts, graphs, histograms, and more). BI uses two types of sources: internal and external.

    business intelligence workflow

    Internal data refers to the enterprise’s information, which is typically stored in databases such as archives, ERPs, CRMs, device sensors, and other company-owned assets. While internal information is the backbone of an organization’s data system, it is not always sufficient.

    When internal information does not provide a complete picture, internal data can be supplemented with information from external sources. External sources refers to publicly available data found outside the company’s infrastructure, such as social media, public statistics, research, government data, and more.

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    Business intelligence life cycle

    Business intelligence is multifaceted and only functions effectively when properly optimized. It is an ongoing process requiring constant evolution to provide relevant, accurate, and meaningful data. To illuminate the essence of BI, we outline below the steps of the BI life cycle.

    Gathering requirements

    Before deciding on tactics, it is essential to make a robust plan. Start from the finish line to determine what you need to accomplish. Examine business requirements, assess the biggest challenges, and define the purpose of the analysis. What is your priority? What data do you already have? Where is your data coming from? Can the data analysis be automated? How much time is needed to create the insights? This stage is for finding the answers to these questions.

    Preparing data

    Once the requirements are established, the next step is to design the logical model and physical schema to facilitate data analysis. Following that comes the construction of the data warehouse where the gathered information will be stored.

    The data collected from different sources must be consolidated and made available to those who will use it for decision-making. To ensure the reliability of the data, it must be cleaned by removing duplicates and fixing bugs before it is loaded into the BI system.

    A business intelligence software development company can help you collect, clean, and load your data, provide you with robust tools, and guide you through the next steps of the BI cycle.

    Analyzing report

    This is where the magic of BI happens. The data that has been aggregated and consolidated into a single place is converted into a visually appealing report that meets the requirements established in the first stage. Interactive dashboards allow stakeholders to communicate the narrative and drill down into market trends, customer experience, business performance, problems, statistics, and other factors, providing valuable insights to enable informed decisions on the organization’s development.

    Taking action

    This is where an idea becomes reality. In this stage, you can harness the power of BI systems by creating comprehensive reports covering all areas of interest to business leaders. Leveraging business intelligence software, decision-makers can measure and monitor key performance indicators to align strategy with business objectives.

    Repeating the cycle

    The last stage of the BI cycle is the iteration of the process. Evaluate the success of your decisions and make adjustments to improve the outcomes, obtain more valuable insights, and take more impactful actions. This could entail a complete reevaluation of the requirements, circling back to the first step and creating an iterative process.

    what is bi cycle


    By helping enterprises collect data from myriad sources, consolidate it in a single place, and visualize it in a convenient and consistent way, business intelligence plays a critical role in successful business development. Companies that leverage data to analyze the present and predict future conditions acquire new perspectives and have a competitive advantage over companies that have not yet implemented BI in their processes.

    If you are looking for a BI development company, you are in the right place. Contact us today to put your BI plan into action! Our BI developers are ready to help you uncover the power of business intelligence for a better understanding of your organization and data-based decision-making.

    Key takeaways

    • Business intelligence consists of five key steps focused on setting business goals, collecting and analyzing data, and taking action based on insights derived from reports.
    • The requirements set in the initial stage influence the outcomes of the subsequent actions.
    • Effective business intelligence requires quality data from reliable sources.
    • Business intelligence is an iterative process.

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