Organisations now have access to more sources and streams of data than you can shake a stick at. But generally, all data falls into just two distinct camps. A report based, historical data is the basis of Business Intelligence (BI) while live, flowing data is what powers Operational Intelligence (OI). And although many people think that the two activities are linked or even synonymous, they are actually quite distinct. So let’s take a look at the difference between these two frequently confused terms – and explore why using both can be such a powerful boost to your business.
All About the Events
Think of OI as essentially event-centric. As events and business processes take place, they generate live, real-time data that flows into your business. Once transformed and saved to a database, that data becomes ‘static’ or historical data (the kind used to generate BI reports and queries). But when you have the tools to monitor and analyse that data and provide live feedback, while it’s flowing in – and before it gets stored – that’s Operational Intelligence.
OI is about having the ability to tap into live data and processes as they change so that you can give manage, amend or initiate activities and functions in real-time across your business. It’s like having the ability to connect the dots for your organisation, even while those dots are moving and morphing in front of your eyes! OI focuses on what’s happening day-to-day, whether that’s using live browsing activity to tailor live online offers, giving your people on the shop floor the information they need to greet a customer by name – or generating an alert the instant a problem is detected so that your team can proactively warn customers.
All About the Data
Business Intelligence, on the other hand, is about analysing vast amounts of historical information after the event, to discern valuable patterns and long-term trends. So while Operational Intelligence revolves around events, Business Intelligence is all about the data. The here-and-now don’t really matter in the world of BI, not until the data it generates has been integrated and added to the rest of a company’s stored information, so that it can be compared and evaluated in the greater scheme of things.
Where BI comes out on top, is in its ability to offer an incredible depth of information and a breadth of context that OI simply isn’t designed to deliver. By speedily drilling down into impressive amounts of stored, historical data, BI allows you to generate queries and create beautifully complex but highly accessible reports. So while OI can help you manage the day-to-day, it’s BI that will help you uncover the larger patterns and long-term trends that allow you to intelligently forecast and plan for the future, whether that’s next fiscal quarter or the next few years.
Business Intelligence and Operational Intelligence are two very different approaches and having one in no way eliminates your business need for the other. At Endeavour, we’ve helped organisations of all sizes and in a range of different industries to understand and benefit from BI and OI – and we can safely say that the real magic happens when the two approaches are put to work together. Of course, it helps that we work with a leading BI solution that has Operational Intelligence built into its very fabric. Traditionally, if a business wanted to benefit from both BI and OI functions, they would have to implement two different pieces of software - or use an add-on to their main programme. But when it comes to Business and Operational Intelligence, Greentree4 has got you covered on both fronts. No matter how you use it or what you use it for, Greentree4 offers the opportunity to analyse and compare key data of all kinds, whether it’s live and changing – or deeply layered and historical.
To stay on top of fast-changing, day-to-day business demands, while also having the crucial ability to make informed long-term decisions, you need a business solution that packs a double OI/BI punch! If you’d like to get the most out of all your data with a dual OI/BI approach all wrapped up in a single software solution, get in touch with the team at Endeavour and ask about Greentree4 today.