Data Analytics vs Business Intelligence | What's the Difference

Data Analytics vs Business Intelligence. Both are essential to improving performance in the healthcare industry.

Healthcare is one of the most complicated industries on the planet. Full of complex problems with little room for error, the industry is constantly trying to find ways to improve itself and the future of healthcare services.

Many hospitals and healthcare providers are trying to mitigate errors and improve service with Big Data. Big data tools take all the information from things like Electronic Health Records, human resource data, and budget sheets and analyze them for correlations, causation, and improvements.

Two of these major tools are Business Intelligence and Analytics, and though often used interchangeably, they are not the same. Both are essential, however, to keep innovating and offering top quality service to patients, doctors, and everyone in between.

In addition, using these tools correctly can increase efficiency by up to 70%, so your teams can spend less time sorting through data and more time working on what really matters.

What is Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence is one of the most important ways to understand big data. With thousands to millions of data points being entered every day, Business Intelligence systems are essential to making order out of chaos.

Using a Data Warehouse, BI synthesizes known constraints with information from the data warehouse to create or identify patterns. Most importantly, BI analytics tools look for what the data says rather than why the pattern is expressed.

For example, healthcare business intelligence can look at all of your patient information to identify programs that are making headway in decreasing mortality rates among premature babies.  Having examined all the information in your data warehouse, Business Intelligence can go on to tell you how your current patterns are affecting your work.

What is Business Analytics?

Like Business Intelligence, Business Analytics uses computers to analyze big data and find trends; but where Business Intelligence seeks to simply organize information to adjust your current operations, Business Analytics works to answer questions that will adjust future operations.

Business Analytics requires an extra step—asking the correct questions is essential for Business Analytics questions to be useful. Business Intelligence simply says, our practice of doing X and Y together has decreased overspending by 15%.

Business Analytics goes on to investigate whether that is correlation or causation and asks how information extrapolated from that data can help make future operations more efficient. Analytics tools use predictive modeling to predict how current and past trends will change the future.

To further the above example, once Business Intelligence has identified a program that decreases premature infant mortality rates, Data Analytics can then begin to find out why those programs decreased mortality rates, and what those programs can do in the future to expand or improve.


Both Business Intelligence and Data Analytics are essential to improving performance in the healthcare industry. We recognize that we play a vital role in the health and happiness of modern society, and at EPIC systems, our data analysts work around the clock to ensure that your business and your patients are being taken care of.

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