Rebranding Business Intelligence

I’ve spent the last couple of days at work in some Big Data and BI (Business Intelligence) workshops. One of my colleagues from Romania came over to run the workshops and we went through some case studies including technologies, architecture and internal organisation. Big Data/ BI is a natural progression from Digital Media and other parts of the Endava organisation, and I’m pleased to be a part of the proposition.

In my mind, the phrase ‘Business Intelligence’ conjures up a similar reaction to ‘Creative’. I have always disliked the term Creative for a given department or function, because any part of an organisation can be classed as ‘Creative’.

Just because someone deals with user interfaces or Photoshop on a daily basis, doesn’t make them more creative than the sales team next door who are coming up with new customer propositions. Or the guy working on the factory floor who realises that it’s more efficient to build a widget using a new method, could save an organisation more cash than the ‘Creative’ guy can generate upstairs.

Business Intelligence is similar… many organisations already have tools which provide some ‘business intelligence’. BI is such a poor name for a toolset, and one of the reasons I think we’re seeing so many vendors jump on the bandwagon recently, is because BI can mean virtually anything that exposes some data about an organisation.

If Microsoft had only produced their spreadsheet application in 2013, it would probably be called Business Intelligence Centre rather than Excel, although at least it will have been designed by their User Experience team.

2 thoughts on “Rebranding Business Intelligence

  1. Oh Bradley. It’s not often I disagree with you but you may have just upset anyone involved in real BI. BI is not about the tools, some vendors brand their tools as BI but they are really about data visualisation. BI is much more than that. BI is all about building data warehouses, acquiring and loading data, modelling the data, conforming different and large data sets from multiple sources e.g a billing system and CRM systems so that they can be used for analysis or reporting. It’s about governance structures over how data is accessed, built and used. If you think of data as a jigsaw puzzle, BI is the discipline that enables pieces to be joined together to get to the full picture. It’s not about nice visuals on a dashboard. These tools serve to fix the problem of once we’ve got the data in how do we get it out but to get it out it needs to make sense and that is BI.

  2. Max, I completely agree with your points. I just think that calling it ‘Business Intelligence’ undermines other parts of the organisation which also understand the business and customers – it should be called ‘Exposing Data Secrets’ or ‘Data Investigators’. For example, I like the term ‘Data Scientists’, because BI does appear to follow some scientific approaches.I should have pointed out that I’m on a mission at the moment to re-brand some organisational terms, and the next post will appear tomorrow morning.

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