The need for new and established companies to measure, predict and optimize business performance is fueling demand for analytic applications. In fact, IDC, a Framingham, Mass., research firm, projects that world-wide revenue for analytical applications will accelerate at a compound annual growth rate of 28 percent. The market will grow from $2 billion in 1999 to more than $6 billion in 2004.

"To succeed in today's business and e-business environments, companies must look at ways to optimize financial performance, customer relationships and the production and delivery of products and services," says Henry Morris, vice president for IDC's data warehousing and information access program. "Analytic applications software automates the planning, forecasting, and predictive modeling activities for companies, giving them the edge they need over the competition."

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