Business Intelligence vs Business Analytics and What’s the difference?

Business Intelligence vs Business Analytics

Business Intelligence vs Business Analytics

Companies in any sector today collect and depend on enormous amounts of data to be able to make business decisions, improve productivity and set strategies in all departments. Mastering this data, however, means understanding the differences between Business Intelligence (BI ) and Business Analytics ( Business Analytics or BA ) and how the two interact.

In this post, we try to explain the definition of business analytics and the meaning of business intelligence, and the importance of the two in the business world – something that you can learn more in depth with a Master of Business Analytics Online .


Although you will deepen studying a Course in Business Intelligence , in simple terms, BI is used to evaluate, optimize and coordinate the internal operations of a company . It is the architecture of integrated, decision-support databases and applications that enable value creation from big data . Business Intelligence tries to take advantage of the full potential of the data generated by a company in all its daily activities and analyze this data to obtain valuable information on decision making. Companies use BI to view data and understand history and evolution.

The goal is to increase productivity and improve the performance of a business using this knowledge. BI can be used to discover trends and information that would not have been known otherwise.


Like BI, Business Analytics is made up of obtaining data, analyzing and displaying the results visually. The big difference between BI and BA is that Business Analytics refers to the practice of using a company’s data to anticipate trends and results.

The BA does not study internal statistics of a company like the BI. Using various tools and databases that come from various sources, Business Analytics helps in making decisions based on trends and what is happening in the market in general.


Next, we explain what are the biggest differences between BI and BA.

  • Current Events vs. Future Possibilities: The main distinction between business intelligence and business analytics is the focus on when the events occur. BI focuses on current and past events that are captured in the data. BA focuses on what is most likely to happen in the future. This difference can be summed up in two simple questions:
    • What is happening now and why? (Business Intelligence)
    • What will happen next? (Business Analytics)
  • Descriptive or predictive: The way the data is used and the analysis it provides varies between Business Intelligence and Business Analytics . BI is designed to tell you what has happened and what is happening now. It is descriptive . BA, on the other hand, is a type of predictive analytics . Identify trends in the data that suggest why things are happening and whether similar results will occur in the future. The ultimate goal is to predict what will happen based on what has already happened and make decisions.
  • Managers and analysts: The end user is another consideration that makes the difference between BI and BA. BI tools present data so that marketers, accountants, and managers in a company with no technical experience can understand it and make business decisions. Data visualization is done automatically within BI tools. However, BA is a bit more complicated. More work is needed to analyze useful information and interpret it. It is a job that is better suited to someone who has received training in data analysis, something you can achieve with a MASTER IN BUSINESS ANALYTICS IN MADRID or the MASTER IN BIG DATA IN TENERIFE.


Both business intelligence and business analytics open the door for companies to analyze data to make more informed decisions. Whether those decisions affect current or future operations depends on which one is used . And while BI tools are increasingly powerful and offer advanced capabilities, data professionals are still needed for predictive business analytics .

For this reason, at the European University, we offer a wide portfolio of programs in the area of business and technology.

Our portfolio is tailored to your needs – we have courses, higher degree FP, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. You can also choose between studying in person or online to be able to combine your studies with your professional and personal life.

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