Early in his book The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell cites two tipping point examples: Paul Revere's ride to warn the locals of the impending arrival of the British and Hush Puppies. I'm not old enough to remember Paul Revere. I do remember the Hush Puppies phenomenon. I never wore Hush Puppies, but I remember them. We've all lived through numerous tipping points. But do you recall being in one while it was happening?

I believe business intelligence (BI) is at the tipping point right now. Quantitative evidence abounds. A recent report from AMR forecasts software sales of $6.6 billion in the general BI tools segment in North America (NA) this year. They further forecast $5.5 billion in NA software sales for dashboards and scorecards and $4.1 billion in NA sales for planning, budgeting and forecasting solutions. Add in forecasts for hardware and services, and we're looking at a very substantial market for BI. AMR forecasts growth of nine percent, making BI one of the fastest-growing software and services markets.1 That is hefty growth for an already-large market segment.

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