Function in BI context refers to both people and machines. People – business managers, data analysts, quantitative analysts, data scientists – analyze data in the BI system, as a function of their human intelligence. Machines function as processing power to make BI efficient and effective. Combined, function results in business value.

Managers and analysts must be able to function together in order to go from ideas to data analysis to conclusion. They must understand problem framing and alternate framing, statistics, available data, BI tools and more. Business and data analysts must also maintain a functional working relationship to ensure they understand each other very clearly when time comes to make presentations to business decision makers. Lack of understanding among managers and analysts can result in disastrous decisions.

To make all of this possible, an organization must have a functional Business Intelligence system that is quick, flexible and has reliable data.