Big Data versus Business Data Intelligence: Key points of difference and similarity

You must have often come across the two terms: Big Data and Business Data Intelligence. They are frequently used as synonyms for each other. Concept wise speaking, both the terms has few similar benefits that tend to overlap pretty often. But if we consider the technicalities, we see quite a broader gap that existing in between the two terms.

Some consider Big Data to be a successor of Business Intelligence.

How much truth is underlying the above-mentioned point??

To answer this question, we need to explore the various differences and have a proper understanding of the two terms. Allow me to take you across the key differential points and few like features lying between the two.

So what do you understand by the terms- ‘BIG DATA’, and ‘BUSINESS DATA INTELLIGENCE’???

In general words, we can give a rough overview of the above-mentioned terms.

Big Data:

This particular term refers to the wide range and variety of data and information sets which are in huge quantities and complex in nature. The traditional data processing application software is not apt enough to analyze and draw valuable insights from them.

In other words, Big Data refers to the combined act of generating, capturing and processing huge volume of data on a continuing basis.

Business Data Intelligence:

This particular term refers to the technical driven processes that analyses complex data and present usable information that help corporate, business managers and other end users to make important business decisions based on real-time and authentic facts and figures.

Don’t Miss: Small Enterprises Benefit From Business Data Intelligence

Business Intelligence, on the other hand, stands for the collective term that comprises of many software and systems that import data streams of any size and use them to generate essential information that aids in specific decision-making process.

What are the key points of difference and similarity underlying the two terms???

Now let us see the major points that lie between the two terms which characterize each term specifically.


1.Types and variety of data:

  • Big Data- Structured, semi-structured and unstructured data such as proprietary databases, region-specific data, voice data, metadata etc.
  • Business Data Intelligence- Structured data presented in spreadsheets.

2.Volume of data:

  • Big Data- Large and distributed database which is a compilation of simple, complex, related and unrelated information.
  • Business Data Intelligence- Application that draws relevant information from the sea of data fed into the system and supplies only those data that are fitting the enterprise’s requirement.


  • Big Data- Knowledge extraction from the large and varied datasets.
  • Business Data Intelligence- Monitoring indicators such as Price, Value, Temperature, Total Cost etc. which are required in real-time business data oriented decision making process.

4.Nature of analysis:

  • Big Data- Data is not always specific in nature and some of them are predictive in nature. What kind of inferences need to be drawn and where the inferences will be applied, depends on the professionals who are working in collaboration with the data scientists.
  • Business Data Intelligence- Mainly focuses on past records and also draw real-time information such as current market trends which are specific in nature as per the specification mentioned which does not involve any system intelligence to analyze and draw conclusion. This is done by the professionals.
  • Similarities: They are similar to each other in more ways than one.

5.Velocity and frequency of data generation:

  • Big Data- They collect real-time or near to real-time data that covers from emails to real-time monitoring, to online financial transactions and many more.
  • Business Data Intelligence- The speed with which Business data intelligence application receives data is pretty much similar to Big Data.

6.Data source:

  • Big Data- Data sources are multiple such as GPS Data, phone records, text messages, social media platforms, RFID tags and sensors on products.
  • Business Data Intelligence- Data is received from similar sources and they are then fed onto the application that filters out the related information and make it available to the concerned party.

Summing Up

Thus we can draw conclusion from the above-mentioned factors of difference and similarities, that Business data intelligence mainly cater to any specific enterprise, helping them in drawing real-time data-centric decisions at tactical level that befit the specified topic. On the other hand, Big data is not business centric at all and has a wider scope, which can be safely applied to discussions regarding information sources and strategic directions. At the end Big data is plain and simple Data, some are relevant and some are irrelevant, that gets a proper shape with data analysis only.

However, both the terms are equally important. You are likely to benefit by successfully combining the key features of the two technologies which will eventually widen your data view and thereby enabling much more detailed data to be analyzed.