The end of the year inevitably brings reflection and anticipation of another busy year with new challenges and opportunities. As we plan for the future, we proceed with awareness to trends as they unfold and watch for the insights and wisdom that will help us adjust and keep moving forward.

In the business world, successfully predicting what lies ahead is directly related to the quality of our data and our ability to apply analytics to the data to make sound, forward-looking decisions that support the business strategy. The theme of analytics is laced throughout this issue in articles exploring different business needs and applications of data analysis, such as social media assessment and decision management strategies.

Fern Halper shares insights from the latest Hurwitz & Associates market assessment of predictive analytics vendors across four dimensions: vision, viability, validity and value. Based on this research, Halper observes that companies recognize the need for more than a "rearview mirror" look to remain competitive and discusses the extensive and growing trends and uses of predictive analytics.

Another trend that has evolved significantly over the past year is the use of mobile technologies for business intelligence. Howard Dresner discusses the latest adoption trends and developing technologies in mobility based on his latest study. Notably, the business side seems to be learning and creatively adapting to the potential of mobile BI.

Creativity is another theme in this issue, and the Information Management editorial team is pleased to highlight stories of the winners of our 2011 Innovative Solution Award. These companies have demonstrated groundbreaking ways to provide business value. The editorial team vetted many exciting entries for the award this year, and on our website in coming months we're looking forward to sharing a deeper look at the winning submissions and additional stories that stood out for well-executed application of information management to real business needs.

And speaking of our website, we're excited about what next year will bring as we roll out a new digital strategy and online initiatives in 2012. Watch for more news after the first of the year.

Enjoy the issue.

Julie Langenkamp, Editor in Chief

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