Business intelligence (BI) refers to computer-based techniques used in spotting, digging-out, and analyzing business data, such as sales revenue by products and/or departments or associated costs and incomes.
BI technologies provide historical, current, and predictive views of business operations. Common functions of Business Intelligence technologies are reporting, online analytical processing, analytics, data mining, business performance management, benchmarking, text mining, and predictive analytics.
Business Intelligence often aims to support better business decision-making. Thus a BI system can be called a decision support system (DSS). Though the term business intelligence is often used as a synonym for competitive intelligence, because they both support decision making, BI uses technologies, processes, and applications to analyze mostly internal, structured data and business processes while competitive intelligence is done by gathering, analyzing and disseminating information with or without support from technology and applications, and focuses on all-source information and data (unstructured or structured), mostly external, but also internal to a company, to support decision making