The term business intelligence (BI) has become a catchall for a range of capabilities, from data warehouses to dashboards, from predictive analytics to performance management. During a recent engagement with a financial services company, we drew a sharper line between the terms reporting and analytics.

Reporting is the means of delivering and presenting data. Most companies have a multitude of reports that provide information about different business metrics. In days of yore, the infamous green-bar report proffered costs and revenues. As cumbersome as it was to produce, the green-bar report was little more than a readout of data from a single system.

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