The Acronym MARCKM describes the steps and the overall goal of a BI system:
Measurement: this piece of the BI process gives managers the metrics to measure, benchmark and evaluate business performance. It provides the methods to compare a business’ established goals with real-life performance statistics.
Analytics: this is where the bulk of BI’s processing, including data mining, modeling and statistical analysis occurs. Here, data is processed by developers and their applications for informed decision making. Analytics refers to the process of standardizing data and organizing it for easier consumption. Reporting: data visualization occurs at this step, including generation of a reporting infrastructure for business management. The organized data is presented to users at the reporting phase.
Collaboration: here data sharing and data interchange occurs; business segments work together to share knowledge and process the results of the BI output. Collaboration is important because each business segment has its own important set of data. Only by comparison of their specific BI results can different departments get a true, global look at "the big picture".
Knowledge Management: this is the true, real-world application of Business Intelligence. At the knowledge management stage, data is actually applied to decision making and planning.