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Business Intelligence Systems

Business intelligence systems

Information systems that process operational data to identify patterns, relationships, and trends for use by business professionals.

Decision support systems

Synonym for decision-making BI systems.

Data acquisition

Process of obtaining, cleaning, organizing, relating, and cataloging source data.

BI analysis

Process of creating business intelligence: reporting, data mining, and knowledge management.

Publish results

Process of delivering business intelligence to the knowledge workers who need it.

Push publishing

Delivers business intelligence to users without any request from the users.

Pull publishing

Requires the user to request BI results.

Data warehouse

Facility for managing an organization's BI data. Needs to: obtain data, cleanse data, organize and relate data, and catalog data.


The level of detail represented by the data.

Reporting application

BI application that inputs data from one or more sources and applies reporting operations to that data to produce business intelligence.

RFM analysis

A technique readily implemented with basic reporting operations, is used to analyze and rank customers according to their purchasing patterns.

Online analytical processing

Reporting application with the ability to sum, count, average, and perform other simple arithmetic operations on groups of data.


Data item of interest.


characteristic of a measure.

Drill down (into data)

To further divide the data into more detail.

Unsupervised data mining

When analysts do not create a model or hypothesis before running the analysis.

Cluster Analysis

Unsupervised technique that identifies groups of entities that have similar characteristics.

Supervised data mining

Develop a model prior to the analysis and apply statistical techniques to data to estimate parameters of the model.

Regression analysis

Measures the impact of a set of variables on another variable.

Neural networks

Popular supervised data mining application used to predict values and make classifications.

Market-basket analysis

Unsupervised data mining technique for determining sales patterns.


Opportunity when customers who buy product x also usually buy product y.


Probability that two items will be purchased together.


Conditional probability estimate in market-basket terminology.


Ratio of confidence to the base pro ability of buying an item.

Decision tree

Hierarchical arrangement of criteria that predict a classification.

Knowledge management

Process of creating value from intellectual capital and sharing the knowledge with employees.


Most important knowledge management content function. Easily accessible and robust means of determining whether the content they need exists, and a link to obtain that content. Ex. Google

Real Simple Syndication

Standard for subscribing to content sources. Like an email system fro content.

RSS reader

Program to subscribe to magazines, blogs, web sites, and other content sources.

Expert systems

Systems that attempt to capture human expertise and put it into a format that can be used by nonexperts.

Static reports

BI documents that are fixed at the time of creation and do not change.

Dynamic reports

BI documents that are updated at the time they are requested.


User requests for particular BI results on a particular schedule or in response to particular events.

BI server

Web server application that is purpose-built for the publishing of BI.

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