Business intelligence (BI) software is a collection of decision support technologies for the enterprise aimed at enabling knowledge workers such as executives, managers, and analysts to make better and faster decisions. The past two decades have seen explosive growth, both in the number of products and services offered and in the adoption of these technologies by industry. This growth has been fueled by the declining cost of acquiring and storing very large amounts of data arising from sources such as customer transactions in banking, retail as well as in e-businesses, RFID tags for inventory tracking, email, query logs for Web sites, blogs, and product reviews. Enterprises today collect data at a finer granularity, which is therefore of much larger volume. Businesses are leveraging their data asset aggressively by deploying and experimenting with more sophisticated data analysis techniques to drive business decisions and deliver new functionality such as personalized offers and services to customers. Today, it is difficult to find a successful enterprise that has not leveraged BI technology for its business. For example, BI technology is used in manufacturing for order shipment and customer support, in retail for user profiling to target grocery coupons during checkout, in financial services for claims analysis and fraud detection, in transportation for fleet management, in telecommunications for identifying reasons for customer churn, in utilities for power usage analysis, and health care for outcomes analysis.
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