Differences between Business Intelligence and Big Data: Uses and main advantages of automated tools for your company

Although very similar in their conception and purpose, the automated tools for Business Intelligence and Big Data have differences that you should have very clear to use correctly. Let’s take a look.

Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence (BI) defines as the application of technological processes and tools aimed to transform all the data stored in a certain organization into useful information to generate commercial plans or strategies
Therefore, BI is a set of information systems that work in a coordinated way. The BI tools go like this:
• Data Storage Systems (Data Warehouse)
• Data Mining Systems (Data Mining)
• Analytical Data Processing Tools
• Knowledge-Based Systems (KBS)
• Tools for data consultation and data reporting
• Dashboards
With the constant changes in the information era, the companies need to adapt their business models to manage a large volume of data.
Especially because over time every company accumulates information that needs to be structured and maintained organized for profit and services purposes. Thanks to Business Intelligence, the access and use of this data will serve better to retain customers and obtain more profits in the meantime.

Big Data

On the other hand, we have Big Data. Much is heard about Big Data these days, but its definition and application generate confusion.
Look carefully on its definition: such data is not found under any protocol or format. As a result, the traffic and structure become too large for proper handling. In this sense, we are talking about tens of terabytes than can reach thresholds of the PetaBytes (PB).
The term Big Data was coined after the term Very Large Databases (VLDB), whose conventional administration was hindered trying to manage them from conventional database systems (DBMS).

Now, Big data can be summarized according to the three V’s: volume, velocity, and variety.


The size of the data is a very important characteristic to catalog data as Big Data. Although it does not exist an establish numerical reference, Big Data is the amount that approaches 1,000 terabytes of information.


Refers to the speed in which data is produced and serves to measure the efficiency to generate and process useful results.


Data can be presented in under many schemes. In that sense, they can be structured, not structured, numerical, etc. In principle, it was considered that spreadsheets and databases only entered within the definition of data. However, with the constant evolution of the capacities of the Internet and its applications, e-mails, documents in pdf, audio, video, among others, are also counted and taken for analysis.
Once the parameters of what is Business Intelligence and Big Data have been established, we can establish the differences that we need so clearly to advance in our business plans.

Differences between Business Intelligence and Big Data

The BI systems became the ideal solution for companies that needed to structure their data accumulations. It was the most convenient first response and close up to manage data from different sources trough useful panels, and with reporting capabilities.
Being the first option offered to give a practical solution for a necessity, many companies chose and still follow this option. Nevertheless, both the focus and the amount of data have been mutating to the rhythm of current technological demands.
Consequently, a new approach was required to address the same problems of the past, but this time with a fresh new approach. That’s where Big Data was conceived. In other words, Big Data represents a paradigm shift in the way the information is handled nowadays.

Now, can Business Intelligence and Big Data applications can coexist in the same system?

The answer is yes. In fact, both approaches provide us with complementary information to strengthen our business strategies. Nevertheless, it is convenient to have a couple of premises very clear:

Business Intelligence and Big Data handle large volumes of data. The difference lies, particularly that Big Data manages larger amounts and more diverse data sources.  

Likewise, BI and Big data respond and explore previous uncertainties related to business objectives. Then, the difference lies in making the right questions to the company’s own operational data to classify and use them correctly.

Likewise, BI and BIG Data generate reports to offer management indicators that serve to measure the achievement of business objectives. However, the BI processes do not explain what happened with the data while it was being compiled.

Likewise, Big Data integrates the analysis to the operations while the events occur. In this sense, Big Data responds directly to the commercial results of operations.

As experts in Business Intelligence, we can offer you varied systems based on both options, Business Intelligence, and Big Data. Also, we have all the integrations and approaches for you to adapt them to your IT systems; and help you take a step towards excellence in business strategies that give you the results you are looking for.

Contact us here to devise a plan tailored to your needs.

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