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Main Differences Between Big Data And Business Intelligence

Main Differences Between Big Data And Business Intelligence: Despite the notable differences between Big Data and Business Intelligence, their joint application within organizations makes it sometimes difficult to distinguish one concept from another. In any case, there is a complementarity that induces this standard approach error. Massive data processing is essential to purify and select important data for a company.

These can be used by the tools dedicated to BI to make the right decisions that make it possible to seal deals intelligently and increase the performance of any initiative.

Big Data And Business Intelligence​: What Are They

You must know both concepts to understand the differences between Big Data and Business Intelligence.

What Is Big Data?

Big Data makes it possible to manage and process large volumes of data, whether structured, semi-structured, or unstructured, through innovative algorithms and at high speed. This information is obtained through various sources, such as smartphones, sensors, GPS, social networks, the Internet, pollsters, or specialized companies. In this way, it allows companies to identify those that are beneficial for their proper functioning.

What Is Meant By Business Intelligence?

To understand what Business Intelligence is, or business intelligence in Spanish, one must start from the basis that it is a linguistic sequence that refers to computer applications, the necessary infrastructure, and the practices that make it possible to access and analyze information—collected by companies. It is used to improve decision-making.

This analytical specialty creates the optimal conditions and provides the essential tools to conduct a qualitative analysis of the data obtained with Big Data.

Therefore, this technology helps companies efficiently manage and classify the information they can obtain through different means to predict potential conflict or problem areas. As well as the best solution methods and optimize decision-making or suggest new products to customers.

Differences Between Big Data And Business Intelligence

Both resources provide added value to devise appropriate business strategies. However, they differ in the following aspects.


Solutions belonging to Big Data execute processing functions on the data, which allows for managing a greater volume of information. Instead, business intelligence feeds the data into the roles.

Solutions based on Business Intelligence work with structured data previously stored in a central database server or an environment called a data warehouse. In this way, they operate with the data offline. On the other hand, with Big Data, large amounts of data are handled quickly regardless of the format they have or their source.


The technology of massive data processing is based on the conceptions of massively parallel processing to optimize the speed of data handling. To do this, it executes several instructions simultaneously, the results of which are compared, grouped, and analyzed before presenting the final solution to the user. On the other hand, with BI, you operate through queries to your database.

Data Storage

With Big Data, data is pooled across multiple servers in different spaces. Thus, they have several physical addresses. With the use of distributed file systems to store the information, it is guaranteed, among other things, that the environments are more flexible and more secure. However, with Business Intelligence, the data has to be previously stored on a server so that its processing and corresponding analysis can be carried out later.

Analysis Of Data

With Big Data, it is possible to analyze valuable data for companies, even if they have different formats. This is a great advantage if one considers that most information on the Internet is classified as semi-structured or unstructured. It is estimated that only 20% of it is structured.

In addition, the data managed using Big Data can be from the past or operated in real-time. However, with Business Intelligence, you can only access data that has been previously classified, converted, and stored.

Professional Profiles

Different profiles operate both technologies. As a rule, the positions linked to the DB are users with a solid technical background: engineers, statistical experts, or mathematicians, for example. On the contrary, the teams focused on BI have careers such as ADE, Economic Sciences, marketing, etc. From the departmental point of view, the former report to the CTO, while the latter inform the CSO or the CEO if the latter is involved in data analysis.

Despite the differences between Big Data and Business Intelligence, these technologies allow proper information management and automate and predict numerous actions. Such actions favor an increase in profitability in companies.

Also Read: Do You Know What Is Business Intelligence And Why It Is An Advantage For Your Business?

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