"Data, information, knowledge, wisdom" is a well-known hierarchy used in social science to explain how humans evolve in their understanding of the world around them, or, more succinctly, how we know what we know. When applied to the domain of modern business, this model illuminates how a business operation goes from a set of numbers to the decision to increase production 8.5 percent for two quarters, offer 15 percent price discounts to established customers and increase marketing by 10 percent.
Decision-making has always been a critical art in business. BI has been around for decades. The growing sophistication of technology solutions - such as dashboards - can substantially help executives make the best decisions possible by providing accurate, timely and easy-to-comprehend information to transform mere data into business wisdom. This wisdom is particularly critical at a time when businesses face tighter credit markets, smaller customer budgets and an unstable overall economy.
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