Doug Henschen, Intelligent Enterprise Editor-in-Chief, in a recent blog post, provides his usual insightful analysis of the market as he cuts through the dizzying spin of IBM exec Ambuj Goyal. The general manager of IBM’s information management division questions the value of business analytics in an interview with Intelligent Enterprise. Goyal declares that advanced analytics are far too blunt an instrument for many business apps.
Doug suggests that such comments are more likely a matter of “sour grapes given that Cognos, IBM's core business intelligence platform, has not been competing on analytics."? I find it interesting that IBM invests heavily in analytics research -- perhaps they deride the value because they haven’t been able to monetize the analytics in their research labs even as others achieve significant returns.
When SAS says "analytics" we don't just mean our statistics (which, by the way, include Markov models), we mean data-driven insight for better decisions. Business Analytics include a range of techniques dealing with the collection, classification, analysis, and interpretation of data to gain insight, reveal patterns, anomalies, key variables and relationships.
To take it one step further, analytics should support continuous learning and improvement. That said, statistics (which is just one flavor of analytics we provide along with constraint-based programming and other operations research capabilities) is about more than prediction. It's all about delivering business value.