by John Chan, ISM Software Lab Director
Business Intelligence Analytical tools, or predictive modeling, now can predict the monetary value and profitability of a particular customer: from profiling customers based on their behavior to segmenting markets, from predicting customer purchases based on past purchase information and psychographic/demographic data and from determining cross-selling opportunities. Business Intelligence Analytics will remain an important part of the corporate agenda as companies find that they face a 10-fold increase in the amount of data generated by their IT systems. The expansion of social networking will lead to a tremendous increase in unstructured data, leading to an increased demand for business analytics software that combines text analytics, sentiment extraction and related technologies to find patterns and trends among social networking users. In addition with the current economic downturn, businesses will use their business intelligence analytical tools to carefully scrutinize the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and sales endeavors in adding value to their firm.
The Gartner Group projects that the worldwide market for Business Intelligence (BI) platforms will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.1% through 2012, to reach $7.7 billion in 2012. The BI platform revenue will be less affected by the current economic downturn than other technologies because of the high priority that BI platforms hold with CIOs.
The Gartner Group furthermore predicts that by the end of 2012, Business Intelligence Analytics will be an integral part of 85 percent of all business applications. As a result, CRM vendors are integrating analytical tools/functionality more often into their CRM offerings. Examples include Unica (purchased by IBM), which specializes in marketing campaign software with analytical tools for market segmentation, and SAS, which has an alliance with Oracle and Amdocs to integrate the SAS data mining and statistical tools with each of their respective CRM suites. Semantra offers a major business intelligence application for Microsoft CRM. Maximizer CRM now allows real-time wireless access to business intelligence data through mobile dashboards, which enables managers to directly monitor sales performance and services activities from their mobile devices. Other examples include SAP’s SAP CRM application, PeopleSoft’s Customer Behavior Modeling application, and Infor CRM.
The key impact of this trend is that customers will have better, faster analysis of what is happening within their businesses, which will allow decision makers to make better-informed decisions.