In the current difficult economic climate, corporations are looking to business intelligence (BI) to help them reduce costs and improve business efficiency. One new BI technology that promises to be of benefit is business activity monitoring (BAM), a term used to describe a BI approach that "provides real-time access to critical business performance indicators to improve the speed and effectiveness of business operations."1

BAM extends business intelligence system usage beyond strategic and tactical business decision making to the management of day-to-day business operations. Gartner, Inc. predicts that "by 2004, in enterprises where faster reaction is key to operational effectiveness, BAM will be one of the top four initiatives driving IT initiatives and strategy." There is, however, a lot of confusion about exactly what BAM is and how it relates to current BI approaches and methodologies. In this article, I'll try to clear up the confusion by providing an overview of BAM and its business benefits and describing how BAM technologies and products are integrated into an existing BI framework.

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