A descriptive framework of business intelligence derived from definitions by academics, practitioners and vendors

15 Feb 2013

Although it is widely agreed that business intelligence (BI) plays an important role to ensure that information is available consistently and disseminated to organisational decision-makers, many authors point out that there is little agreement in the literature on a common defi nition of BI. This is not unusual for a fi eld that is still being established, but a shared understanding would contribute to advancing the fi eld. For this research, defi nitions of Pirttimäki (2007) and Chee et al. (2009) were used to identify a priori themes that are used to qualitatively analyse a selection of 27 BI defi nitions by researchers from the academia and industry, in order to derive an integrated descriptive framework of BI. Consequently, the implications and limitations of the defi nitions and the resulting descriptive framework are discussed. It is hoped that the framework can contribute to increase the shared understanding and counter the confusion arising from multiple defi nitions found in the literature. The descriptive framework also provides researchers with categories and descriptors for use in future qualitative research. Through further research, the framework and descriptors can be confi rmed, expanded and refi ned by independent confi rmation of coding, comparing further defi nitions to the framework, and by using the Delphi method to consult a panel of experts.