If you look at how enterprises have traditionally done analysis over time, there is a definite shift in both the input and output content of how enterprise information is being used today. Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPPA and Basel II have now forced a much tighter relationship within the world of an enterprise's data repository.

Traditional analysis started by allowing an enterprise to take historically stored information and explain to management what had occurred. Data was used to create management reports that gave a vision of what a business had done. Financial information consisted of sales, booked income, inventory and other pertinent data. The issue is that these reports gave only information on what had occurred and no insight into why or what may occur. Any type of extrapolation or predictive trending required that a data knowledgeable individual look at the reports and interject management assumptions and specialized knowledge about the business in order to formulate conclusions, goals and objectives that would be considered useful to drive the business forward.

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