In this issue, we're pleased to introduce the first IM 50 list, our snapshot of the top revenue producing vendors in the information management tech sector and how they fared through a challenging year. The numbers help us understand at a high level how the industry has adjusted to shifting customer needs as well as the economic downturn. But, as you'd expect, among the largest vendors we found that only a few prospered while most merely held on. Check out the list and read more on page 16.

Among the shifts we see in the IM 50 list is the maturing of master data management, and Aaron Zornes digs deeper into the topic with 10 trends in MDM in his article on page 26.

Looking down the road, as organizations strive toward success and growth, a new type of corporate planning is necessary to ensure that businesses can address changing conditions with flexibility, accuracy and consistency. Our cover story discusses a sophisticated analytical approach that is being adopted by organizations to do just that.

Very few would dispute the importance of analytics within an organization, but recognition alone does not ensure a successful analytics initiative. In conducting research for their new book, "Analytics at Work," authors Tom Davenport, Jeanne Harris and Robert Morison met with industry practitioners to identify seven obstacles to embedded analytics implementations. They share their insights on how to overcome these sticking points.

Even the most sophisticated analytic capabilities and approaches won't get far if they aren't based on good data. The Data Warehousing Institute's Philip Russom studied 179 respondents that have identified the value and need for unified data management to wrangle all the data silos that create information overload.

Russom noted that the leading benefit of unified data management is better business decisions, and the second-best benefit of unified data management is data quality. That's pretty much how we see it too. Read more findings in our Snapshot of the report.

Enjoy the issue,

Julie Langenkamp

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