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Since we started Boston Hale back in 2014, we have specialised in Technology recruitment. Playing a fundamental role in all industries, technology is at the forefront when it comes to business development. And with the digital market forever changing, businesses need to evolve alongside technology and capitalise on new advances in order to ensure sustainable growth.

Our Technology Practice Area has quickly grown over the years, developing a vast network of IT contractors, interims and permanent candidates. We are consulting with clients and facilitating the deployment of specialised IT project teams across a variety of sectors.

During the past year, we have seen an increase in the requirement of Business Intelligence Specialists, as companies are seeking to capitalise on their accumulated data in order to drive business value, and this is certainly a trend that is continuing throughout 2019. But what exactly is Business Intelligence?

What is BI?

Business intelligence (BI) comprises the strategies and technologies used by enterprises for the data analysis of business information. These technologies provide historical, current and predictive views of business operations, with common functions including reporting, online analytical processing, analytics, data mining, process mining, complex event processing, business performance management, benchmarking, text mining, predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics – to name a few.

BI technologies can handle incredible amounts of structured and sometimes unstructured data to help identify, develop and create new strategic business opportunities. They aim to allow for the easy interpretation of data and help to identify new opportunities and implement an effective strategy based on this insight. This can provide businesses with a competitive market advantage and long-term stability, two things all businesses strive for in the uncertain waters of the current economic climate.

Business intelligence can be used by enterprises to support a wide range of business decisions ranging from operational to strategic, but in all cases, BI remains most effective when it combines both external and internal data, as this can provide a complete picture, an “intelligence”, that cannot be derived from any singular set of information.

Amongst myriad uses, business intelligence tools empower organisations to gain insight into new markets, to assess demand and suitability of products and services for different market segments and to gauge the impact of marketing efforts.

The future of BI

It was once the case that only technology professionals and data analysts concerned themselves with BI. However, fast forward to 2019 and we can see that business intelligence has permeated organisations, with many more departments now knowing the true value that accessible, meaningful data holds. With this reliance on data increasing both on a departmental and business level, BI strategies are set to become increasingly customised. Companies are no longer asking if they need BI analysis, they are asking what the best BI solution for their needs is and how best to visualise data analysis.

We also can’t look at the future of BI without discussing the involvement of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI will transform the way in which we interact with our analytics and data management. As we now have access to live reports and analysis on nearly every aspect of a business, a need for real-time data is increasing. That is where AI is incredibly useful, saving real time and money by providing immediate data source analysis, including anomaly detection, variable comparisons, growth/trends/forecasting, correlations, key segment, and even ‘what-if’ analysis. Businesses need AI-powered BI systems to avoid being overloaded with large quantities of data that needs to be analysed before it can be actioned. In order to remain competitive in an unstable market, businesses need to ensure that their BI strategies are incorporated with the latest AI systems, especially as there is a battle between supply and demand for BI specialists.

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