Analytic applications are filling a need in enabling organizations to measure, analyze and optimize business performance. IDC created the analytic application category in 1997 to call attention to application software that supported activities beyond the scope of transactional systems such as ERP. Today, analytic applications represent a market that is approaching $3 billion in total worldwide software revenue.

It is important not to confuse analytic applications with business intelligence technologies or tools. There is a long- standing market for business intelligence tools such as OLAP, query/reporting and data mining. Analytic applications incorporate such technologies, but are fundamentally different in terms of specialization, segmentation and structure.

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