Rebranding Business Intelligence as Decision Intelligence

As a business intelligence professional, I’ve often described my work as generating insights from information at the right time and presenting them in the right way to help decision makers drive actions that make a positive impact on the business.

Yet, I’ve found that many traditional decision makers, at least in traditional industries who haven’t been exposed to the term “business intelligence” and “analytics”, think business intelligence (“BI”) is complicated and so they simply call it “reporting”.  While reporting is a process within BI, let’s agree that “reporting” is a term that should, by and large, be left in the 80’s and 90’s.

Let’s help decision-makers really understand the power of BI.

Business intelligence isn’t simple and getting the right business intelligence can be complex but of course it’s so much more powerful when you realize that at the core purpose of business intelligence is a decision.  A customer facing decision or a risk management decision.  All business can essentially be summarized into decisions.

Let’s look at what a world of Decision Intelligence and Decision Analytics could be….

Decision Intelligence

Decision Intelligence can be an end objective but if you consider it to be a process of generating intelligence for specific decisions, the insights should directly support the decision at the time the decision is made.

For example, for a decision “do we increase or decrease risk appetite to a particular industry segment?”, the insights should include projected industry profitability. Specific insight targeted to a specific decision.

Think about it this way.  If the insight doesn’t inform your decision, then it’s really entertainment!


Decision Analytics

Decision Analytics now becomes targeted analysis to support a specific decision.  In the example above, it’s possible that extensive profitability analysis is required to arrive at the insight about industry profitability.  Targeting that analysis will ensure that business analysts focus their energies on providing insights for the most important decisions.

Business intelligence is a broad umbrella term for a lot of reporting and analytics.  Unfortunately, my experience is it’s still not well enough understood.  Let’s rebrand it Decision Intelligence and focus our efforts on improving the quality of data for our most important decisions.

Is your business clear about which decisions get the most priority?  Which decisions need to be fast?

Does your business have enough decision intelligence?