Business intelligence (BI) is a broad category of applications and technologies for gathering, storing, analyzing, and providing access to data to help enterprise users make better business decisions. BI applications include the activities of decision support systems, query and reporting, online analytical processing (OLAP), statistical analysis, forecasting, and data mining.
Business intelligence applications can be:
- Mission-critical and integral to an enterprise's operations or occasional to meet a special requirement
- Enterprise-wide or local to one division, department, or project
- Centrally initiated or driven by user demand