Word of the Day: Tech Definitions from WhatIs.com

May 4 2010   12:50PM GMT

Overheard talking about business analytics

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

Business intelligence is sort of a marketing term that was made up to say, well, we can’t call ourselves a query and reporting company, we need to call ourselves something different. Let’s call ourselves “business” … um … make it ‘business intelligence.’

Dr. Jim Goodnight, SAS data analytics offers much more than BI from IBM, SAP

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the day is business analytics.

This is an interesting term because nobody seems to agree whether there’s really a difference between business intelligence and business analytics — except the vendors.  Is BA just marketing hype to convince people to start buying software again?  Are BA products so different that they deserve a new name — or are vendors just rebranding a new and improved BI product?

An interesting observation from Dr. Goodnight has me thinking:

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.

The demise of ERP? Another buzzword bites the dust and out of the ashes rises Business Analytics?

I sort of picture BA as a service that would aggregate all the unstructured data from disparate sources and hooks up to your traditional ERP so you can see both structured and unstructured data and create queries on the fly.

The promise of having this magical power is truly awesome. I think they should have picked a different name though. If I were a BA vendor, I’d call my new magic software “Actional Analytics.” It has a super-hero vibe.

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