ABiQ shares 10 business intelligence terms you should know. Like any industry, business intelligence has its own terminology. When you first come across business intelligence terminology, it may seem confusing. This is especially true if you’re unfamiliar with business intelligence terms. In this article we break down the top 10 business intelligence terms you should know:

1. Data silo

A data silo is a single source of data that is not connected to any other data sources. Most businesses generate a massive amount of all stored in different places. These may include: spreadsheets, on-site databases, or social media profiles. Data silos all collect and store information separately and in different ways. Business intelligence utilises data obtained from data silos to connect data with other sources, or to transfer data from one source to another.

2. Data warehouse

A data warehouse is a type of database that houses data extracted from multiple sources or silos. A data warehouse brings together all of this data to make the process of analysing the data easier and to generate actionable insights.

3. Database

A database is a collection of data and information. This can include anything from images, to numeric values, to text, and more. Databases can be accessed electronically through computers and servers.

4. ETL

ETL stands for Extract, Transform and Load. The main purpose of this tool is to extract data from multiple sources and then apply transformations to it, before transferring it to another place.

5. KPI

KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator. KPIs are metrics that help a business measure their performance. KPIs are important because they measure the overall performance of a company. Generally, KPIs focus more on key areas like marketing, finance, sales or website traffic.

6. SQL 

SQL stands for Structured Query Language. SQL is a language that communicates with databases. SQL is largely used in business intelligence to solve queries relating to databases and then filtering data according to specific criteria.


RDBMS stands for Relational Database Management System. As the name implies, a Relational Database Management System  is a type of software used to manage and administer databases.

8. Dashboard

A dashboard is essentially the end product of the business intelligence process. Dashboards are designed to be single screen reports that provide critical information to businesses.

9. Metadata

Metadata is essentially data about data. Metadata gives information about what a specific piece of data is about. For example, metadata can include information on who created it or when it was created.

10. Big data

Big data is a massive collection of data that is usually unorganised, making it difficult to analyse or display in a relevant way.

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