In the latest discussions about business intelligence, the biggest buzzwords are "operational," "proactive" and especially "real time." Thus, data warehouses -- long viewed as information repositories used to analyze long-term trends -- started looking complicated, expensive and just not all that helpful.
IBM is trying to refresh data warehouses' somewhat stodgy image with a new approach that pulls information from sources as diverse as e-mail, Web pages and audio files and analyzes it on demand to support customer-facing transactions.
A number of companies are achieving boffo results by marrying real-time analysis with their data warehouses, including Harrah's, which delivers targeted product offers to casino customers while they gamble, and Travelocity, which crafts custom offers based on details such as previous travel history and originating location.
Called Dynamic Data Warehousing, IBM's new approach will support BI applications from IBM partners Business Objects, Cognos and MicroStrategy.
Big Blue is also offering data models to help companies get started with dynamic warehousing. Two of them are designed for the insurance industry, which is mentioned as a potential big client in this internetnews.com article, thanks to the system's ability to proactively identify potentially fraudulent claims.
Expect to see more new products from big vendors like IBM, who are eager to prove their products can do more than the increasingly popular -- and far less expensive -- data appliances.