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Business intelligence tools are a type of application software designed to retrieve, analyze and report data for business intelligence. The tools generally read data that have been previously stored, often, though not necessarily, in a data warehouse or data mart.
The key general categories of business intelligence tools are:
Except for spreadsheets, these tools are sold as standalone tools, suites of tools, components of ERP systems, or as components of software targeted to a specific industry. The tools are sometimes packaged into data warehouse appliances.