I'm not sure exactly why, but predictive analytics seems to be front and center for OpenBI as winter turns to spring. Existing customers, having built their BI platforms, appear ready to elevate from retrospective dashboards and OLAP cubes to prospective predictive models. And new customers are prioritizing analytics earlier now,  instead of relegating models to “phase 2 – after we've built the platform.”

IBM's “Smarter Planet” initiative and SPSS acquisition are certainly helping to move analytics to the forefront, as is the enhanced modeling attention of Oracle, Microsoft and SAP. The R Project for Statistical Computing continues to dazzle in the open source world, with exciting new leadership at Revolution Computing promising to align commercial R with business needs. And let's not forget analytics juggernaut SAS, who recently reported yet another record year.

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