Business intelligence (BI) mainly refers to computer-based techniques used in identifying, extracting, and analyzing business data. BI technologies provide historical, current and predictive views of business operations. Common functions of business intelligence technologies are reporting, on-line analytical processing, analytics, data mining, process mining, business performance management, benchmarking and text mining & predictive analytics. Business intelligence aims to support better business decision-making. Often BI applications use data gathered from a Data Warehouse (DW).
In computing, a Data Warehouse (DW) is a database used for reporting and analysis. The data stored in the warehouse is uploaded from the operational systems. The data may pass through an operational data store for additional operations before it is used in the DW for reporting. The main source of the data is cleaned, transformed, catalogued and made available for use by managers and other business professionals for data mining, online analytical processing, market research and decision support. However, the means to retrieve and analyze data, to extract, transform and load data, and to manage the data dictionary are also considered essential components of a data warehousing system. Many references to data warehousing use this broader context. Thus, an expanded definition for data warehousing includes business intelligence tools, tools to extract, transform and load data into the repository, and tools to manage and retrieve metadata.