Business Analysis vs Business Intelligence

There is significant difference between Business Analysis (BA) and Business Intelligence(BI) because BA has larger scope as it is application to all types of projects (including BI) where as BI covers only software applications used to analyze an organization’s raw data (data mining, analysis and reporting related project) to make effective decisions.

Business Analysis:

“A set of task and techniques to understand products, services, operations, organization structure, policies, and culture to recommend a solution to the stakeholders to achieve their business goals.”

The business goals could be generate additional revenue, reduce operational cost, to implement new regulations, to reduce operational roadblocks,  faster and effective decision making process, improve customer services, improve brand value, to increase customer base…

These goals can be achieved either by enhancing existing solution by adding feature or functionality, fixing issues or problems in exiting solutions or implementing new regulations or improving the process, building a new solution for introducing new products or services or developing new decision support system to make effective decisions.

It covers strategy analysis, requirement engineering and IT analysis to define and recommend a solution to the problem or an opportunity within the organization.

Business Analyst primarily identify and define the problem using various BA techniques and recommend solutions for that so that organization can achieve its goals and objectives.

  • Bottom up approach: There is problem identified by users/customer in existing system and it is reported to managers. After detailed investigation, there is a need to enhance the existing solution partly or fully
  • Top-Down approach: There is new opportunity idenfited by management to expand the exiting product line or implement new products/services. After detailed investigations, the appropriate solution is defined and implemented.
  • Peer-to-peer: There is productivity issue identified by mid-level managers and needed decision support systems. After detailed investigations, the appropriate business intelligence solution is need to make effective decisions. This is where BI will play a role.

The scope of Business Analysis is larger than Business Intelligence as it can be applied to any kinds of problems or opportunity including BI.

Knowledge and Skills: Business Analysis, Domain Knowledge (to collaborate with stakeholders and domain subject matter experts, and technical know-how (SDLC, Testing, Data modeling, data management and others…to collaborate with IT team)

Business Analysis vs Business Intelligence

Source: ANISAN Technologies (

Business Intelligence: “a set of techniques and tools for the acquisition and transformation of raw data into meaningful and useful information for business analysis purposes”

Whereas Business Intelligence job is more technical role that involves several related activities, including data mining, online analytical processing, querying and reporting to analyze an organization’s raw data using a variety of software applications. The BI specialist will work towards putting up effective system to extract, load, transform (ETL) and generate reports from heterogeneous data source such as SAP, PREST, ETU, RH, ORACLE…

Knowledge and Skills: technical skills like coding and knowledge of data analysis tools/ languages like R, SaS, Python etc.

Leave a Comment