The software markets for analytic applications, business intelligence (BI) and data warehousing (DW) tools are evolving and maturing. Recent trends such as database-embedded business intelligence, consolidated BI suites and a shift in focus by many specialty BI vendors from BI tools to analytic applications are signaling a new stage in the market. To capture, analyze and communicate these changes more effectively, IDC uses the term "business analytics" to refer to the overall market.

The business analytics market comprises software tools and applications for tracking, analyzing and modeling data in support of decision- making processes. The tools components of the market include data warehouse generation (i.e., extract, transform and load or ETL, and data quality tools), data warehouse management (i.e., databases and DBA tools), business intelligence, technical data analysis and spatial information management tools. The applications components of the market include customer relationship management (CRM), operations, financial and business performance management analytic applications.

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