New Business Intelligence Tools Boost E-Business Strategies - InformationWeek

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New Business Intelligence Tools Boost E-Business Strategies

Companies are beginning to move business-intelligence capabilities beyond internal use and are incorporating them into their E-business strategies. Analysts expect the trend to grow, as vendors introduce technologies that make it easier to offer data-analysis capabilities over the Internet to customers, suppliers, and business partners.

MicroStrategy Inc. next month will debut InfoCenter, software that lets users develop a Web portal that enables customers to remotely query a company's data warehouse using PCs, phones, handheld computers, and notebooks. Beverage Data Network Inc. in Verona, N.J., plans to use the product to extend data-analysis capabilities to its customers, alcoholic beverage companies. The company uses other tools from MicroStrategy to develop reports that analyze information such as sales trends and distributors' sales volumes; it then E-mails these reports to clients. But, says Jonathan Fieldman, Beverage Data Network's data warehouse director, "Users have a need to get down to a real low level of detail, and you can't E-mail a data warehouse."

Also in October, QueryObject Systems Corp. will introduce QueryObject Analyzer for building Internet data marts, and will provide free browsers for accessing them.

There should be plenty of demand for such tools, as business intelligence is a natural fit for E-business, say analysts. "The Net is providing organizations with a much-less- expensive medium to transport and disseminate information to a broader constituency," says Aberdeen Group analyst Bob Moran. "Business intelligence and the Web should be interwoven."

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