Advanced Analytics vs Business Intelligence

Analytics is an immense field with many subfields, so it can be difficult to sort out all the buzzwords around it.

We know that analytics refers to the skills, technologies, applications and practices for continuous iterative exploration and investigation of data to gain insight and drive business planning.

Advanced analytics and business intelligence: What’s the difference?

Analytics consists of two major areas: advanced analytics and business intelligence. What is often overlooked is how advanced analytics differs from business intelligence based on the questions they answer.

Advanced analytics

Advanced analytics goes beyond business intelligence by using sophisticated modeling techniques to predict future events or discover patterns which cannot be detected otherwise.

Advanced analytics can answer questions including:

  • Why is this happening?
  • What if these trends continue?
  • What will happen next? (prediction)
  • What is the best that can happen? (optimization)

Business intelligence 

Business intelligence traditionally focuses on using a consistent set of metrics to measure past performance and guide business planning. It consists of querying, reporting and OLAP (online analytical processing).

BI can answer questions including:

  • What happened?
  • How many?
  • How often? 

Advanced Analytics vs BI 

While business intelligence is focused on reporting and querying, advanced analytics is about optimizing, correlating, and predicting the next best action or the next most likely action.

Advanced Analytics & Business Intelligence Comparison Table

Why is advanced analytics so important?

While many companies already use and operationalize business intelligence applications within their business processes to leverage their data assets, the true potential of data is still untouched in many organizations.

Advanced analytics, particularly predictive analytics can help reveal the future and optimize operations.

Related Resources

Introduction to Advanced Analytics and Business Intelligence [Whitepaper]

Integrating Business Intelligence and Data Science [Webinar]

Operationalize Predictive Analytics to Turn Insights into Action

Best Practices for Using Predictive Analytics