For years, business intelligence (BI) information has been viewed as something that is tightly coupled with the BI application that generates or displays it. This affinity with a BI application, whether it be Business Objects, Cognos, Informatica, SAS, Teradata or some other software package, seems to be a hard bond to break. Nevertheless, this bond will grow weaker over time, because information is increasingly becoming a service. That is, non-BI applications are requesting a snippet of information - nothing more - that they can display in context to help a user accomplish a task.

The day that information as a service is ubiquitous is still years away. Nevertheless, it's worth discussing this shift now, as it will become increasingly common and will create new uses for business intelligence.

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