15 business intelligence vs data science
Data Solutions

The differences between Business Intelligence and Data Science you need to know

date: 24 February 2022
reading time: 5 min

Business intelligence (BI) and data science (DS) are such hot buzzwords these days! But are you still using them interchangeably, like so many others? If the answer’s yes, then it’s time to stop and re-evaluate the way you understand these terms in the first place.

Because even though BI and DS overlap to some extent, there are still significant differences between them. Just like there is a difference between making everyday decisions and future plans, or between exploring data and describing it.

So, let’s go back to the basics and see what business intelligence and data science are all about.

Business Intelligence: Definition

Business intelligence is an umbrella term that covers the technologies, applications, methods of collection, analyses, and visualisation of any information with business value. It provides a clear understanding of a company’s current and historical data, and prioritises descriptive analytics.

BI also includes a set of tools for data analysis and visualisation which displays insights on interactive dashboards and performs ad-hoc requests.

Much emphasis is placed on the process of automation, making it easier for non-technical business users to interpret the information that has been delivered to them.

In short, business intelligence is geared towards providing companies with valuable data insights in order to facilitate their current decision-making processes and improve their operations on a daily basis.

7 benefits of BI for your company

1. Identify trends

Thanks to better data processing and the continuous monitoring of the administration and effectiveness of your activities — as well as the external environment — you can identify trends and patterns, and quickly spot any inefficiencies.

2. Make better decisions

BI solutions offer high levels of customisation, access to accurate data, and the ability to compare data from different sources — all of which allows you to see the big picture. This way, you can make better decisions in no time.

3. Improve your performance

ETL procedures and automated business processes allow you to work with greater effectiveness, helping you save a great deal of time and reduce costs. Plus, ETL ensures data integrity, availability and security.

4. Customise your BI solution

Business intelligence solutions provide you with the possibility to build complex reports and high-quality dashboards that clearly present the insights and knowledge gained from your data. Everything can be customised to serve your specific needs and requirements.

5. Access your data anytime, anywhere

Cloud-based BI tools allow you to access your data immediately, anytime and from anywhere. You can also grant other team members access to relevant information, so that they can utilise the data as well.

6. Govern your data more effectively

Optimise the way your database and systems work and manage your data better, so that you can get rid of the parts that are irrelevant and just focus on the information that brings real value to your business.

7. Be more agile

Finely-tuned company data and optimised data flows bring better operational agility. Your systems will be able to work faster and handle more processes.

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Data Science: Definition

Data science focuses on aggregating, analysing, and optimising data – which has been gathered and stored by data engineers – and then presenting it to the company.

It revolves around hypothesis testing, delivering predictive models that support forecasting, and making plans for the long-term future.

Of course, both BI and DS fall under the umbrella of data management and data visualisation, while also providing actionable insights. However, data scientists would rather take more of an exploratory approach to both structured and unstructured data, saving descriptive analytics for the BI experts.

Simply put, data science is great at recognising present and future opportunities, and serves business owners and decision makers as a foundation for strategic planning.

7 benefits of DS for your company

1. Transform data into knowledge

Data science provides information in real-time, so that you can quickly make decisions and implement necessary changes to your future plans.

2. Build solutions that are truly data-based

Data scientists will lead you towards the appropriate solution by utilising the data possessed by your organisation.

3. Reveal what is hidden

DS delivers comprehensive analytical models that not only facilitate decision-making and strategic planning, but also help you discover and understand trends and find unseen patterns.

4. Make use of comprehensive IoT platforms

A well-designed IoT platform will collect and organise data from various devices, and engage artificial intelligence algorithms in order to increase both the customer value and business value of your present operations and future strategies.

5. Be more productive and reduce downtime

Machine learning models enable the continuous monitoring of the effectiveness of your activities, and also support predictive maintenance and anomaly detection in your products and processes.

6. Address modern challenges

You can handle segmentation, categorisation, recommendations, and natural language processing problems by means of artificial intelligence application.

7. Look to the future

The nature of data science is about moving forward, so you can make pre-emptive decisions and steer your company in the right direction, staying one or a few steps ahead of your competitors while also meeting the future needs of your customers.


There’s a rather blurred line between business intelligence and data science, and the responsibilities of BI and DS teams may sometimes overlap. This can also vary from one IT company to another.

But one thing we know for certain – combined, BI and DS become a powerful weapon against informational chaos, insufficient knowledge, ignorance, and flimsy prediction-making. BI and DS offer complementary perspectives while serving one goal, which is to support both long-term and short-term decision-making processes.

At Future Processing, we offer business intelligence as well as data science services. We realise that it is sometimes difficult to determine who is needed without knowing the problem in depth.

Regardless of whether you are looking for specific people or you have a problem and you wonder if it is possible to solve it and what the costs will be – you can get in touch with us, and we will see how we can help you.

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