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Business Intelligence (BI), an essential growth lever now

Business Intelligence or Business Intelligence (BI) means the set of technologies and methodologies that allow the collection, analysis and presentation of data, to help business managers or any other member of an organization to identify business opportunities and to make the most relevant decisions. Over the past decade, BI has established itself as a key function in all industries.

Business Intelligence should be seen as an IT tool for decision support, which relies on a large set of data from various channels. In the era of Big Data, these channels are always more numerous, so it is difficult to extract the most relevant information from them to have an overview of your activity at a given moment. This is where the tools of BI intervene:from all the raw data of a company (past or current), they generate information supports easily understandable, in only one place.

What data are we talking about exactly? BI tools are based, for example, on data from CRMs (customer relationship management systems), accounting data, human resources, marketing analyses, logistics data, etc. It should be understood that the purpose of BI is not to interpret this data, but to render it in a way that makes it easier for users to interpret it; it can also highlight market trends or internal company issues.

Collect, integrate, disseminate and present

BI tools thus ensure four fundamental functions:the collection, integration, dissemination and presentation of data. Collection consists of detecting, extracting and filtering raw data from various databases; these being most often heterogeneous, the BI solution is generally based on an ETL tool (extract transform load ), which is responsible for cleaning and converting the data into the appropriate formats for use.

Data integration then consists of centralizing the data collected within a single system, which is called a "data warehouse" or data warehouse (they can be sorted on the way, according to pre-established filters). Then comes the dissemination stage, i.e. making the data available to the different user profiles; everyone can access the data that corresponds to their specific needs according to their role in the company (management, accounting, production, etc.). The last step is to present this data in synthetic form (most often in the form of graphs).

Most BI solutions on the market thus offer an overview of the company, in the form of a real customizable dashboard (we speak of "data visualization"). The Microsoft Power BI suite, for example, offers a wide choice of modeling and visualization options and even offers the possibility of creating custom charts. These solutions make it possible to create reports, based on the key performance indicators of a company.

Very popular certifications

BI therefore stands out today as an essential tool for collaborative work and decision-making. Consequently, skills in this area are currently in high demand, as are the profiles of data science experts. Mastering the sector's flagship solutions can make the difference on a CV and this is why several organizations have embarked on BI certification; if you have the basic knowledge required, you can for example pass your DA-100 certification thanks to a Power BI training, which will allow you to learn to master the fundamentals before taking the exam.

Note that the DA-100 is the highest level of certification issued by Microsoft for this tool. The exam is broken down into five modules:Data Preparation, Data Modeling, Data Visualization, Data Analysis, and finally, Deployment and Maintenance of Deliverables. Suffice to say that if you pass the certification successfully, the data will no longer hold any secrets for you!

Microsoft's Power BI solution — which is the most widely used in the world today — brings together many features and options. It is therefore strongly recommended to follow a dedicated training to fully master the tool and know how to exploit its full potential. Note that the Power BI training offered by Datascientest, which takes place over three days, is eligible for the CPF.