Currently I am getting familiar with Business Intelligence (BI)
When creating an application, developers always focus on the engineering problem. There is often a feeling that the business requirement is important (take Extreme Programming (XP) for example) but it always takes second place to the immediate requirement of ‘how do I solve this threading issue?’.
Business Intelligence & Data Warehousing are first and foremost about delivering business value. There is an interesting database aspect of how to form cubes (data of multiple dimensions) and optimizations, but at the end of the day it is about giving the business analyst relevant data in order that they can make real business decisions from which a real financial impact can be derived.
A good way to get into this topic is to listen to this podcast from Runasradio.com to start with. It touches on a new Microsoft product called PerformancePoint which has some very interesting possibilities.