Business Intelligence vs Business Analysis vs Machine Learning

Imagine that you are running a fruit store.

  • You start by hiring someone to keep track of the stock level, profit and loss, top-selling fruits, and churn out reports. That’s Business Intelligence (BI), where you care about an accurate account of what happened and what’s going on in your business.
  • You then hire someone to take a look at the reports and work out new marketing strategies, pricing models, and new fruits to introduce to the market. That’s Business Analysis (BA), where you care about the discovery of trends and understanding what you can improve in running the business.
  • Finally, you hire someone to build an automated system to recommend baskets of mixed fruit to loyal customers, optimize the layout of fruit rack based on different metrics, and automatically set the optimal price based on market supply and demand. That’s Machine Learning where you care about how you can improve the business through automation and modelling of the real world. The entire data modelling process from problem definition to data application is referred to as Data Science.
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