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Memo to the CEO

In its most basic form, Business Intelligence (BI) is a strategy, not a piece of software. Companies have accumulated vast stores of transaction data over the decades. In the wake of this information deluge, ERP, CRM, and other applications generate even more information about a company and its relationship with its customers. Most of this information remains dormant, residing in unused databases. BI applications let companies put this dormant asset to use as a valuable resource. BI's competitive advantage lies in its ability to analyze large amounts of data, determine the personalized preferences of customers, and then contact these customers with the information relevant to them, wherever they may be.

Next-generation BI applications are now freeing up the underused data assets and making them accessible to large corporate audiences, down to the line-level employee. The extensive deployment of PCs and connected servers has fueled the demand for easy-to-use BI applications and for access over the network to key corporate data previously locked away in the company's mainframe. BI can deliver efficiency gains by making information assets open and visible to any constituency a company selects.


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