It is a complex process by which various business processes are analyzed in detail in order to improve the efficiency of business. Business intelligence is a very broad concept although it will include various factors such as reporting, collection of data, sorting of data, performance level analysis and even predictive reporting. The prime objective of business intelligence is to provide better information that will in turn be used to make better decisions.
It is often also referred to as a Decision Support System or DSS.
For business owners who have an online presence, it is essential to have a business intelligence system or a decision support system. This will enable a Webmaster or website owner to optimize his or her online business.
This is usually done with the help of web analytics. Web analytics is nothing but a script you install on your website. This script will then collect various bits of information each time a consumer visits your website.
It will collect data such as time of entry, page of entry, bounce rate, exit page, time spent on site and so on. This data is then presented to you in a report form. There is however a delay between the actual visit from the consumer to the time that the report is generated. This form of business intelligence is passive as it gives you data with which you can analyze the past performance of your site.
There is a new form of web analytics that is quickly gaining popularity on the Internet. This is called real time analytics where the Webmaster will actually be able to see what visitors are doing on their site as and when they are actually visiting your site.
Let us say for example that you have a news site. With the traditional business intelligence system, you will be able to see what was popular on your website yesterday. However, with the active business intelligence system in the form of real time analytics, you will see that a particular story is gaining a lot of attention on your site in real time. This will allow you to modify your news page in such a manner that this story is highlighted or displayed in a prime area thereby actively involving the customer a lot more than before.
Real time analytics is thus great for website owners who want to proactively manage their sites as opposed to reactively manage them. Real time analytics will also enable you to sign up for personalized alerts to allow you to stay on top of critical factors that you might be interested in. For example, you might be interested in being notified about a sudden surge in traffic or about your server response time slowing down. With real time analytics, you can easily sign up for these alerts and be notified of the same as and when they happen so you can actually take action accordingly.