n Mousaion - A descriptive framework of business intelligence derived from definitions by academics, practitioners and vendors

Volume 30, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



Although it is widely agreed that business intelligence (BI) plays an important role to ensure that information is available consistently and disseminated to organizational decision-makers, many authors point out that there is little agreement in the literature on a common definition of BI. This is not unusual for a field that is still being established, but a shared understanding would contribute to advancing the field. For this research, definitions of Pirttimäki (2007) and Chee et al. (2009) were used to identify themes that are used to qualitatively analyse a selection of 27 BI definitions by researchers from the academia and industry, in order to derive an integrated descriptive framework of BI. Consequently, the implications and limitations of the definitions and the resulting descriptive framework are discussed. It is hoped that the framework can contribute to increase the shared understanding and counter the confusion arising from multiple definitions found in the literature. The descriptive framework also provides researchers with categories and descriptors for use in future qualitative research. Through further research, the framework and descriptors can be confirmed, expanded and refined by independent confirmation of coding, comparing further definitions to the framework, and by using the Delphi method to consult a panel of experts.

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