Business Intelligence Software

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What Does Business Intelligence Software Mean?

Business Intelligence software (BI software) is a form of software that assists all types of businesses in measuring and enhancing productivity.


BI software works to extract data, analyze it, form reports and calculate productivity. In large businesses, the data produced by BI software can be presented to those who are responsible for, or who have vested interests in, profit margins such as business board members, business investors, CEOs, sales managers and executive administrators.

BI software is also known as a decision support system.

Techopedia Explains Business Intelligence Software

Cutting costs and speeding up the production cycle is the main aim for BI software within businesses. The start of BI software focused primarily on large manufacturing companies as opposed to smaller businesses. Historically, business automation was handled by hefty mainframe computers, which were programmed to take over from many mundane tasks performed by office workers.

BI software tools began as a computing shift that increasingly replaced white collar jobs, particularly in factory accounting, and has since expanded to include data processing, text mining, benchmarking and online analytical processing as well as predictive analytics.

Digital dashboards are a popular tool that use key performance indicators. Data mining techniques assist in identifying previously unknown business trends by collecting information from large amounts of data and applying it to business modifications. Subsets of BI software within data mining include business statistics and neural software.

BI software can bring management information they need to improve performance and increase profit margins by revealing historical business and working patterns.

Some forms of BI software include:

  • Accounting software
  • Microsoft Office
  • OpenOffice
  • Groupware
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and analytics
  • Human resources software
  • Loan origination software
  • Enterprise resource planning
  • Enterprise content management
  • Product life cycle management

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.