What’s the difference between AI and BI?

In a business world that’s powered heavily by technology, most of us have heard of both AI (artificial intelligence) and BI (business intelligence). But we may not yet know exactly what they are and how they interact. Are they opposing options that businesses must choose between? Do they work together? And what can each one do for your enterprise?

The bottom line? AI and BI are different concepts that can complement each other if a business knows how to leverage each to their advantage. 

Business intelligence

Business intelligence solutions are technologies and strategies that help enterprises look at data on a large scale. They help businesses set high-level goals, make large-scale decisions, and establish large-scale strategies for both short- and long-term growth. These solutions help inform business decisions at an aggregate level.

The central purpose of most BI solutions is to collect and analyze large amounts of data for analysis. This can include historical data, current data, and data that is predictive of the business’ future. 

You’ll often hear about BI in conjunction with “big data” because BI solutions are used to analyze and interpret big data. 

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence solutions drill down deeper into a business and allow enterprises to make decisions at a transactional level and on a more frequent basis. Whereas BI deals with large-scale goals, AI deals with daily business processes, optimizing them so that the larger goals can be reached more quickly and efficiently. 

Whereas BI enables humans to make more informed decisions, AI can actually make smaller-scale decisions without human input. When properly planned, deployed, and maintained, AI solutions used in this way can save massive amounts of human labor and therefore time and money. 

You’ll hear about AI in discussions about process automation of all kinds. 

Working together

Most businesses already rely on BI solutions whether they think of them that way or not. Anything from utilizing spreadsheets to tracking performance falls under the umbrella of business intelligence solutions. 

AI is being adopted at a rapid pace across all industries and becoming more common every day. In conjunction with previously established BI practices, implementation of AI can help businesses reach their goals with less reliance on slow, error-prone human resources and with increasing cost savings over time. 

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