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What is the difference between Business Analytics and Business Intelligence? These two terms are often interchanged depending on context, the point of view, business focus, or the industry of the person using it. Some experts even go so far as saying it is all a matter of semantics, and that it’s all relative.

For example, Timo Elliot of SAP says that “when SAP says ‘business analytics’ instead of ‘business intelligence’, it’s intended to indicate that business analytics is an umbrella term including data warehousing, business intelligence, enterprise information management, enterprise performance management, analytic applications, and governance, risk, and compliance.

He further states that “other vendors (such as SAS) use ‘business analytics’ to indicate some level of vertical/horizontal domain knowledge tied with statistical or predictive analytics.”

In most cases, however, there are differences between the two terms that only a few people know about.

Business Analytics vs. Business Intelligence Infographic

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Here are other ways these two differ from one another.

In general, the simplest way to differentiate BI from BA is knowing what the orientation is, and how the data is being used.

Business Intelligence is typically rooted in past data and relies on historical information and reports generation. Business Analytics, on the other hand, is oriented towards the future. It uses the reports it generated to introduce improvements to an organization and make predictions on the best course of action.

To learn more about these concepts, one can take on a Business Intelligence and Analytics course.

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