There has been an extremely interesting, yet nascent, trend in the information industry over the past 12 months. It’s a trend that’s been enabled by new technologies, forward thinking, and good old fashioned common sense. There has been a lot of effort put forth to combine the tools and platforms that help users analyze and discover data from internal systems, with those that access content from outside the firewall.
The combination of course make sense. Probably the best way of explaining what I mean is by example. For the last decade companies have been investing in Business Intelligence platforms that help them analyze information from their internal ERP/CRM systems and the like. This allows, for example, someone to get analysis on a customer, how much they spend with a company annually, and how often they may call customer service for product support. Sophisticated BI tools can even begin to draw correlations between the number of calls in a given period, and the increase or decrease in spend from that customer, based on previous patterns.
Now, the ERP/CRM/BI vendors are looking to add more value (and grab more share of wallet) to the reports and analysis by integrating information from outside the enterprise. So in the previous example step one may be as simple as adding current news about a customer to the analysis. More sophisticated platforms are looking at using external data, such as stock price or EPS, as part of the equation when predicting future spend.