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August 2016, Volume 4, Number 4

Enterprise business analytics boosts BI's brainpower

Social media channels, web applications, sales and marketing systems and other sources are bursting with endless flows of consumer information pouring into corporate data reservoirs. The amount of data created annually, reports IDC, will reach a dizzying 44 trillion gigabytes in just a few years, and the storehouses to accommodate all that information are also growing exponentially. To mine gold from all those gigabytes and formulate intelligent business plans and sales strategies, organizations are turning to enterprise business analytics tools and techniques. Not surprisingly, two-thirds of companies surveyed by TechTarget plan to increase their spending on BI and big data analytics technologies over the next 12 months.

In the cover story of August's Business Information, editor David Essex examines three such organizations whose business intelligence strategies demonstrate the benefits of effective data analytics tied to key business applications, not to mention the hard lessons learned along the way. Oberweis Dairy is using enterprise business analytics software to improve the profitability of its home-delivery routes, outdoor clothing maker Arc'teryx Equipment brought two vastly different ERP systems together under one data warehouse roof for easier analysis, and the University of Michigan Health System's Fast Analytics team automated its once cumbersome, manually driven revenue-cycle reporting process.

In another feature, editor Bridget Botelho sheds light on the rapidly changing, complex world of enterprise application integration and the challenge to mix cloud apps with proprietary business apps to advance marketing intelligence and increase sales. Many companies lack a clear integration strategy and are falling behind in the race to integrate their data and applications. Yet many options are available to help them catch up, including cloud-based BI applications, third-party platforms and integration tools for non-techies.

Also in this issue, learn how a dynamic data analytics duo teamed with data visualization software to convince a traditional farm cooperative to abandon pen and paper and adopt a data-driven business culture.

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