Data and Databases

This chapter covers the concepts of data and databases. Businesses are becoming more and more "data-driven"; understanding how data is collected, stored, and managed is essential for anyone wanting to succeed in business. Pay special attention to the sections on data warehouses and data mining, as they provide examples of how companies use data strategically.

Finding Value in Data: Business Intelligence

With the rise of Big Data and a myriad of new tools and techniques at their disposal, businesses are learning how to use information to their advantage. The term business intelligence is used to describe the process that organizations use to take data they are collecting and analyze it in the hopes of obtaining a competitive advantage. Besides using their own data, stored in data warehouses (see below), firms often purchase information from data brokers to get a big-picture understanding of their industries and the economy. The results of these analyses can drive organizational strategies and provide competitive advantage.