Technology-assisted, hands-on analysis of business data goes back at least 30 years. The terms describing this activity have changed as business needs evolved and as technologies advanced, but the core essence of the practice has remained the same.
Analytic services gave way to end-user computing as fourth generation languages (4GLs), and the first wave of dimensional tools replaced hard-core statistical packages on the mainframe. End- user computing morphed into decision support while client-based graphical tools took hold and data stores proliferated. Decision support was subsumed under the more ambitious label of business intelligence as the second wave of dimensional tools (now called OLAP) joined the growing plethora of reporting and analytic options.
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