ACM Tech Packs

ACM Tech Packs are an ongoing project of the ACM Professional Development Committee.

Business Intelligence


(Updated October 2013)

This Tech Pack discusses business intelligence and the data management functions required to support BI. Bibliographic resources for further information are included from the practitioner and academic points of view.

The intended audience for this Tech Pack is varied and includes:

  • Business and IT professionals working with BI, data warehousing and data management professionals
  • Educators and researchers in the fields of BI/data warehousing/data management

Topics in this Tech Pack include the following:

  • Overview of BI
  • Overview  of Data Management
  • Individual BI / Data Management topics
  • BI Architecture
  • Data Warehousing
  • Reference and Master Data Management
  • Data Quality
  • Data Governance
  • Meta-data Management
  • Unstructured Data
  • Reporting and Analysis
  • Data Mining

Business intelligence refers to computer-based techniques used in identifying, extracting, and analyzing business data in support of decision-making. BI technologies provide historical, current and predictive views of business operations.  Common functions of business intelligence technologies are reporting, online analytical processing, analytics, data mining, process mining, business performance management, benchmarking, text mining and predictive analytics. Today, BI uses a variety of technologies, processes, and applications to analyze mostly internal, structured data and business processes, although external and so-called “unstructured” data is of increasing importance and being combined in "big data" efforts.

Data (raw facts or unprocessed bits of information) is what organizations collect, define, manage and store. Data turns into information through interpretation and context. It becomes an organizational asset when it is used for decision-making through the use of business intelligence tools and technologies. Data provides value when it is of good quality, timely and accurate.

Basic definition and history based on Wikipedia entry on Business Intelligence:, Retrieved 2011-06-02.

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