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Business intelligence can be characterized as the software-based automation of a huge collection of best practices drawn from all corners of the business world. These techniques are differentiated from traditional data retrieval and manipulation in that they cut across all functional business areas and serve all potential users in the enterprise. If you are trying to decide whether to recommend that your company invest in a BI system, try a manual test run for one familiar business function.
After researching the various offerings of a number of BI vendors, apply the principles you've learned to a typical, everyday problem. If you zero in on a particularly knotty, yet common task set that significantly impacts your effectiveness, your manual data retrieval, manipulation, analysis, reporting and decision-making steps can produce a glimpse of why BI may be right for you and your business.