The 50th anniversary of business intelligence (BI) has passed with little notice. The lack of fanfare is in large part due to the fact that BI's nominally defining event, the October 1958 publication of Hans Peter Luhn's IBM Journal article "A Business Intelligence System," has not been widely recognized.
The reality is that BI, first described by Luhn before business operations were computerized, developed in directions he did not foresee. BI tamed information sources Luhn didn't anticipate, even if in service of goals he did articulate. Today's most commonly used BI tools and methods owe more to the 1960s' development of computerized quantitative modeling--underpinning the theory and practice of decision support systems--than to Luhn's work.
In recent years, BI's focus has broadened from number crunching to Luhn's mid-20th-century vision of automated knowledge analytics. At 50, BI is finally poised to become the comprehensive business asset Luhn first conceptualized in 1958.
Source: Intelligent Enterprise
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