I use to read an interesting spanish blog related to BI world, called TodoBI, which pointed me to an article about the importance of dashboards in Business Intelligence, written by Tom Gonzalez. In this article, Tom exposes his vision about the future of Business Intelligence. Tom believes that BI should focus on dashboards, adopting a user-centric approach instead of a more data-centric one. In Tom's words
So where does that leave us today, and what does this all mean for the future of BI? I think dashboards represent just the first step for the next major phase in BI both from a technology and a methodology perspective. For lack of a better term I will label this next phase the "BI user experience" as represented by user interfaces that information workers and business executives interact with to "experience" their data [...] Your ability to process that information and the inherent relationships within that data is exponentially higher and faster with the bar chart. This is one area where the human brain still far exceeds the power of technology-driven computation in its ability to recognize and process patterns composed of large volumes of information.
I totally agree with Tom's vision, which fits in my vision of the connection between Machine Learning, Data Mining and Business Intelligence. For me, ML, DM and BI can be seen as 3 different areas, but they can also be seen as a chain where each one plays an important role. DM is data centric as it focuses on data, BI is user centric as it should deal with users needs and ML is the intelligence behind the process (althought not every need needs an intelligent process).
In the figure, ML is represented inside DM and DM inside BI. From the BI point of view, DM is like glacé cherry, a turn of the screw from the statistical processes behind BI. ML is inside DM as it is the engine for processing all the data in DM processes.