You hear it a lot, the need for businesspeople to have business intelligence, it sounds obvious, but what exactly is it? In this post, we discuss what business intelligence is, what it entails and how our business programmes are especially designed to enhance it.

Essentially, business intelligence is delivering accurate information to the right people at the right time in order to make effective business decisions. It is the ability to analyse data and results to form clear, critical and informative management interpretations, based on evidence.

Employers want graduates who have business intelligence and are skilled in information handling, project management and decision-making. Our ‘Developing Global Management Competencies I and II’ modules, compulsory for our postgraduate business programmes, develops your business intelligence in a number of ways.

Data modelling

Dealing with large data sets, both the internal data on performance or operations, as well as external data on the industry your organisation competes in, requires a degree of expertise in data analysis and modelling. There are a number of tools available for business, known as Soft Systems Methodology (SSM). These include hard data analytics software such as MS Excel and SAS, but also includes modelling methods such as Balanced Scorecard and Strategy Maps.

Problem solving

When applying business intelligence in managerial roles, you’re going to have access to a lot of data and trends, whilst being presented with competing opinions on them. You will need to utilise your business intelligence by offering solutions, based on the data, to complex business issues.


To be a well-rounded manager with business intelligence, you will need to make decisions based on data. You should know your industry, taking into consideration the current trends and the competing firms in your industry during your decision-making process. Having your decisions rooted in data and industry awareness will give you confidence to decide an option and present your rationale to other business professionals.


Being a great analyst with an extensive amount of data that offers huge potential for problem solving and identifying opportunities in business contexts is pretty useless without effective communication skills. When you make your decisions in managerial roles, you’re going to have to present the data which led you to that decision, whether convincing Directors or leading your team, so communication skills are essential.

Project management

Finally, culminating in all of these skills, you will be required to deliver your final decision, meaning you will need project management skills to execute it. These skills and techniques allow you to implement business intelligence and analytics solutions, and are highly sought after. There are several techniques, tools and processes for businesses, namely PMBOK and agile approaches, again you will need to make the decision which model is most suitable.

Postgraduate Business at Northumbria University London

Mastering these skills, and the process it creates, from initial data analysis to making and communicating an informed decision through to managing the implementation of your solution, enhances your employability by giving you the skills of a well-rounded managerial professional.

Our ‘Developing Global Management Competencies’ modules develop these skills through practical, hands on teaching. They are both compulsory modules on our postgraduate business programmes, where you can specialise with our ‘Business with’ programmes or specialise in the global supply process with our MSc Global Logistics, Operations and Supply Chain Management.

To view our ‘Business with’ programmes please visit our Business Programmes page.

For more information on our MSc Global Logistics, Operations and Supply Chain Management, please visit the course page.

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