Business Intelligence Forecast

Slowly, but surely, I see an increase in industry- or function-specific data warehousing, data mart template and business intelligence (BI) tools. Vendors are delivering starter kits for the insurance, retail, and telecommunications sectors, and addressing sales, marketing, and financial analysis functions. Providing such tools is harder to do than you might think, and I strongly recommend that you ask the vendors or colleagues in your industry's trade groups about vertical-market versions of data warehousing or BI tools. Systems integrators, of course, are another great source of industry-specific wisdom. System integrators often embed this wisdom in the methodologies they sell and manage in their databases' knowledge management (KM) systems. For information on what Microsoft is doing in this arena, http://www.microsoft.com/industry is a good place to start.

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