Business intelligence (BI) has been around for a long time, and over the years has taken on many different forms – reporting, OLAP, ad hoc, performance management, predictive analytics, data mining, etc. For someone who’s new to the concept of BI, these various solutions can be quite confusing. Many potential users struggle to understand the differences between the numerous technologies and methodologies and find it difficult to prioritize them. But, the fact is that each facet of BI is important, and each plays a vital role in a company’s overall information strategy. However, few organizations truly understand how these different tools and techniques should be used together to drive efficiency and effectiveness across the entire enterprise. After more than 25 years in the industry, I have learned that BI is used in three distinct ways – strategically, analytically, and operationally. These three “levels” of business intelligence, while unique in their own way, are not mutually exclusive.