The term “business intelligence” (BI) refers to a diverse set of tools and techniques used to transform raw data into actionable information. BI is not new, but its strategic importance in a variety of industries has become particularly apparent in recent years as the volume of available data has exploded. Broadly defined, BI includes both traditional forms of data collection, analysis and reporting as well as complex computational techniques. While simple reports can be quite useful, the most valuable forms of BI include the essential characteristic of disparate data source linkages that otherwise might not be connected. Uniting data sources can lead to new insights and greater “intelligence” that may ultimately result in better business decisions. BI is now widely applied in health care settings, where “business” refers to both operational and clinical domains.

BI includes a variety...

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