Organizations rely on insights derived from data to make informed decisions, drive growth, and stay ahead of the competition. The distinction between Performance Intelligence (PI) and Business Intelligence (BI) is crucial for business leaders to harness the full potential of their data analytics efforts.

In this blog post, I’ll delve into the nuances of PI vs. BI, explore their respective roles, and highlight why organizations should prioritize Performance Intelligence, and how Waymaker.io performance intelligence can help leaders close the accountability gap.

performance intelligence

Data closes the accountability gap

Every organization has an accountability gap.

A gap between what we say we will do, what we’re doing, and what we’ve done. This applies to both the organization and the individual within the organization.

In a typical organization there are two documents that outline what is accountable for the whole and for the individual.

  1. The business plan should establish the accountability for the organization.
  2. The role description should establish the accountability for the individual.

Data is the connection between these two planning instruments.

However, fragmented data and a lack of real-time insights leads to an accountability gap.

Can you easily look your organization and know you’re going to deliver your plan with confidence? And, can you look at any individual and know they are going to deliver on their role with confidence?

If you can’t answer these questions, it is more than likely your team is missing targets, you’re experiencing unexpected increases in costs, and there is decreased productivity per employee.

Business and performance data intelligence

You need data intelligence. Both business intelligence and performance intelligence.

Organizations must take proactive steps to close the accountability gap.


Define success metrics clearly, align individuals and teams with performance outcomes, track actual performance against budget forecasts in real-time, and empower employees to prioritize the delivery of outcomes.

That is going to require organizing data.

For the SME that will mean connecting multiple data sources together to create a performance architecture.

For the Enterprise that will mean organizing data into a data warehouse from which to draw data points and establish a performance architecture.

It doesn’t really matter for Waymaker, whether connecting to a data warehouse or directly to the source of truth in an app or a spreadsheet, we can connect plans, people, and performance to provide real-time insights on forecast data.

What’s the difference between performance intelligence and business intelligence?

Business leaders often find themselves grappling with the challenge of distinguishing between Performance Intelligence and Business Intelligence.

While both concepts involve leveraging data to drive decision-making, the specific focus and capabilities of each can be blurred, leading to confusion and suboptimal utilization of resources.

Performance Intelligence

Performance Intelligence focuses on providing real-time insights into key performance metrics owned by an individual, enabling organizations to monitor, analyze, and optimize their performance in real-time.

Effective change in an organization always happens through people.

Waymaker.io stands out as a leader in the performance intelligence space, offering a comprehensive platform that empowers organizations to align performance metrics with strategic goals and business plans, foster accountability, and drive proactive decision-making at any level of the organization.

Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence, on the other hand, primarily deals with retrospective analysis of historical data to identify trends, patterns, and insights. Popular BI platforms include Tableau, Power BI, and QlikView, which excel in providing in-depth reporting and visualization capabilities based on past data.

Here is a summary of performance intelligence and business intelligence.

Performance intelligence

Use this table as a summary of the benefits and use of both kinds of organization intelligence.

AspectPerformance IntelligenceBusiness Intelligence
Real-Time InsightsProvides real-time visibility into key performance metrics.Offers insights based on historical data.
Strategic AlignmentAligns performance metrics with strategic objectives.Focuses on reporting past performance.
Predictive CapabilitiesUtilizes advanced analytics and predictive modeling.Typically lacks predictive capabilities.
AccountabilityTracks individual and team performance against targets.May not emphasize accountability as strongly.
AgilityEnables quick adaptation to changing market conditions.May not facilitate agility to the same extent.
ActionabilityDrives proactive decision-making based on real-time data.Provides insights for informed decision-making.
Performance ManagementFosters a culture of accountability and ownership.May not emphasize performance management as explicitly.
Resource OptimizationOptimizes resource allocation for maximum efficiency.Optimizes resource allocation for maximum efficiency.
Strategic PlanningSupports strategic planning with predictive insights.Assists in retrospective analysis for planning purposes.
Competitive AdvantageHelps stay ahead of competitors with agile decision-making.Helps stay ahead of competitors with agile decision-making.

Should an organization have business intelligence and performance intelligence?

Ideally, yes. A business should leverage both Business Intelligence and Performance Intelligence to gain a comprehensive understanding of its operations and performance.

However, prioritizing Performance Intelligence can yield greater benefits, as it enables organizations to monitor and respond to performance metrics in real-time, driving agility and proactive decision-making. This will help establish the right business intelligence frameworks.

Too many organizations start with business intelligence first, as this is prioritized for board reporting, and then leave performance management lagging.

This is a mistake.

The business will perform better, and with less effort, when leaders use people to drive specific business changes in performance.

What type of data comes first?

For organizations embarking on their data analytics journey, prioritizing Performance Intelligence before Business Intelligence can be advantageous.

By first establishing a robust framework for real-time performance monitoring and analysis, organizations can then mature their Business Intelligence capabilities to conduct retrospective analysis and long-term strategic planning.

Eventually, aligning Performance Intelligence and Business Intelligence from a single source of data truth like a data warehouse can provide a holistic view of organizational performance.

What’s the role of a data warehouse?

Central to both Performance Intelligence and Business Intelligence is the role of a data warehouse as the source of data. While not essential it can simplify the source of truth once established.

A data warehouse aggregates data from various sources, cleanses and transforms it, and stores it in a structured format for analysis.

This centralized repository serves as the foundation for deriving insights and making data-driven decisions.

Below is a simplified diagram illustrating the role of a data warehouse in supporting BI and PI.

data types performance intelligence Performance Intelligence vs. Business Intelligence: Understanding the differences

For a comprehensive picture, Waymaker can embed data from BI tools like Power BI and Tableau alongside performance data to give a full picture.

Business intelligence in waymaker performance intelligence.

Performance intelligence is a competitive advantage for growth organizations

Agility and responsiveness are essential for growth organizations. Performance Intelligence offers a competitive advantage by providing real-time insights, fostering accountability, and enabling proactive decision-making.

Organizations that prioritize Performance Intelligence can adapt quickly to changing market conditions, optimize resource allocation, and drive sustainable growth.

While both types of intelligence revolve around leveraging data to drive decision-making, Performance Intelligence offers a competitive edge by providing real-time insights directly connected with people’s behavior that fosters the agility and proactive decision-making.

With Waymaker.io leaders can close the accountability gap and deliver higher growth with lower risk. 

Book a time with our team here to walk through a demo.

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