SAS and IBM Execs Talk BI, Analytics

Baseline interviewed two leading thought leaders in the business intelligence and business analytics industry to get their thoughts about the current state of these technology solutions. Here?s what they had to say:

Baseline: How would you define BI and BA?

Ambuj Goyal, general manager, business analytics and optimization, IBM: Business intelligence is a narrow technology tool that provides access to information. In contrast, business analytics gives companies a competitive advantage by optimizing every decision and process through the systemic use of trusted information over a long period of time.

How do these technologies differ?

Dr. Jim Goodnight, CEO, SAS: Business intelligence involves simple query and reporting. Some BI companies are adding analytics to their products, but they are very different from the high-end analytics software that helps companies optimize their operations.

What is driving the trend toward more sophisticated BI-BA integration?

Goodnight: The growing popularity of analytics has been spurred in part by the demise of ERP. Most large companies already have their ERP systems in place and are looking for ways to get useful information out of those systems.

What is the value proposition for using BI and BA?

Goyal: Information is a strategic asset that must be protected and utilized to make business decisions and transform business processes. With analytics, we are bringing information from the back office to the front office, where businesspeople can use it to optimize everything and create business value.

Where are BI and BA headed, and how will things likely shake out with vendors?

Goodnight: The major technology players are searching for what?s next on the horizon, and analytics is very much a growing market, with plenty of room for all the players.

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