Active business intelligence (ABI) is using BI as an active (rather than passive) component in performing the business of the corporation. It produces tangible impacts to the quality of day-to-day business transactions. It creates real differences in serving customers, delivering products, manufacturing goods and securing supplies –­ across the entire value chain.

With ABI, the shift from a passive role to an active role is the key differentiator. According to Webster's dictionary, the term "active" implies "to take action," rather than just contemplating the situation. Traditional BI, in contrast, reports and analyzes the business dynamics within operational systems. The initiation of actions was a hope, but not a design, of traditional systems. For traditional BI, responsibility sadly ends with pixels on the screen and beeps on the pager.

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