Business intelligence is the process of analyzing company data to better understand that data, spot anomalies or trends and make predictions.
It’s possible to do analytics on individual systems — such as the sales system or the inventory system — but the resulting business intelligence is then significantly limited in value.
When the analytics are performed across many — or all — of a company’s systems, the resulting intelligence is more comprehensive. Executives can see a genuine, holistic, bird’s-eye view of company performance. They can spot correlations and relationships between sales and inventory levels to help make informed decisions, for example.
To get that holistic view, data warehouses are used to pull all the data together.