BI, or Business Intelligence, showed up as a solution for organizations that require access to have accurate, timely, and meaningful information about the condition of their market and competitors in which will be used as their competitive advantages to stay in the top. However, to get those types of data can be very challenging due to variable factors, such as availability of the resources, internal data issues and the complex sources of external data.

BI is known as a broad category of computer software solution that facilitates a company to gain critical information through report and analytics tools. So, how does BI get involve in IT development? Read along to find out.


The Development Story Behind BI

  • The Origins of BI Until 1958

Richard Millar Devens created the word of “Business Intelligence” in his work called “Cyclopaedia of Commercial and Business Anecdotes” far back in 1865. However, since the development of computer in 1800’s was still not as advanced as the one right now, the recognition of the word was very low until 1958. This was changed when Computer Scientist Hans Peter Luhn wrote an article called “A Business Intelligence System” under IBM.

  • Progression Into The Late 1980’s

Computers in business world had became more developed; therefore companies finally had an alternative method to store data on paper.

In 1956, IBM had invented hard disk tools, such as floppy disks, laser discs, and other storage tools to storage the data. So it means that more data was being created and needed more storage space. In 1970, a few BI vendors came up with tools that made it possible to accessing and organizing the data. Nevertheless, the technology was still new and only expert users that could process the data. In 1988, International conference, Multiway Data Analysis, was held in Rome and aimed to streamline data processes. This conference showed that data process has become one of the big issues in business world.

  • Evolution In The 1980’s And 1990’s

In 1989, after the 1988 conference in Rome, Gartner analyst Howard Dresner brought the phrase into common language to cover the names for data storage and data analysis. Since then, competition between vendors became fiercer and it created more advanced technology, including data warehouses. This tools improved the flow of data as it moved from operational systems to decision support. Since data warehousing was invented, it significantly cut the time to access the data and it was placed in one location because the data was previously placed in several locations. In few years later, this development phase of BI was known as Business Intelligence 1.0.

  • Business Intelligence 1.0

Business intelligence became a commonly known phrase in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, with more vendors entering the market. During this era, there were two basic functions of BI, which are (1) Producing data and reports; and (2) Organizing and visualizing it in a presentable ways. Still, there were still 2 main issues in the developing phase: complexity and time.

Since most of the projects were handled by IT department, therefore only IT users that can process and utilize the data and most users were still not capable to execute the data. Additionally, it needed the extensive analytics training for the non-expert users to be able to read the data. Because most of the decision makers could not execute the data, it took more time to formulate and deliver the reports to the decision makers. The tools began to develop to make non-expert users could execute the data, but it occurred slowly.

  • Business Intelligence 2.0

21st century becomes a turning point for BI since technologies were developed to solve the complexity and speed issues. BI was strengthened by the Cloud-based programs that are simplified to reach BI platforms. It incorporated a host of different technologies, including a real-time processing. This is integrated based on the time of the events, thus companies can decide the decision based on the current event. BI has developed the self-service access for non-expert users, so the employees can complete the project without interfere from IT department.

The development of BI can be seen from the genesis of social networking tools, such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs, where users can share ideas and opinions with easily and quickly. It allowed users to review the specific methods and broader software, therefore more people understand the different uses of BI. In 2005, interconnectivity was increasing in business world; it means that companies needed the most updated information. Therefore, the companies know their environment of their market and competitors. Since then, BI is no longer seen as an additional tool, but becoming more as a requirement for business to stay competitive and updated.

  • Allows Easy Access For End Users

There are three important traits of the next frontier of BI evolution, which are; (1) tool specification, (2) expanding self-service option, and (3) improving visualization. Besides, there is software called Software Verticalization that is made for specific industry such as, healthcare, professionals’ sport or law enforcement. Because of data development and evolution of the Internet, companies need more and more data. It requires more visualization tools to handle the demand of information from companies, which develop the tools to include the end-users. Alongside a better self-service access, the end-user can execute the data without spending time on extensive training.

  • Cloud BI and Mobile BI

Since more vendors are entering the market, it becomes a threat for previous vendors. To survive the competition, they always try to develop more innovative tools or software faster and cheaper. That’s why Cloud BI came up, which allows user to reduce storage costs and making access to organizational data conveniently. Since the mobile phone users are increasing, Cloud allows users to access the BI data on their smartphones, tablets and other devices.


All in all, BI has became one of the main requirements for the companies. Because by using this tool, decision-making process became much easier and also using the newest information regarding the environment of business world. Even though the technology of BI already fast and good enough, BI still continues to produce new approaches to keep the data process become efficient.