Cognos Inc. and Business Objects SA in September unveiled new BI products. Cognos introduced ReportNet, a query and reporting engine designed from the ground up to support Web services, Java, and XML. Business Objects launched Enterprise 6.1 of its business intelligence suite of applications. ReportNet combines both business and production reporting into a single application, an industry first, according to one analyst. “Up until now it took multiple products to do that and they were usually somewhat incompatible,” said David Folger, vice-president of enterprise analytics at Meta. Arming reporting tools with Web services capabilities is a direction most of the BI industry is headed, Folger said, but Cognos is the first to get there. “BI products have been built before the Web and have been kluged and rekluged and (BI) companies need to redo things. Cognos has done that,” Folger said. ReportNet was also designed to extend the report-building capability to more people within an organization, which includes report recipients, consumers, and business authors, according to Michael Branchaud, director of product marketing at Cognos. By way of comparison with ReportNet, Folger called Enterprise 6.1 a good next step. Enterprise 6.1 will offer better data integration with its ETL (Extraction Transformation and Load) platform, deeper impact analysis on changes to the source system that can be displayed on scorecards and dashboards, and improved analysis capability over the Web than the previous version. — Ephraim Schwartz,InfoWorld(U.S.)

CRM market cited to lead analytic software growth

The latest study by Framingham, Mass.-based IDC Ltd. is calling for huge worldwide growth in the analytic application software market, with CRM analytics leading the way. The report, called the Worldwide Total Analytic Applications Software Forecast and Analysis, 2003-2007 predicts the market to reach US$4.8 billion in 2007. Included in the market: CRM analytics, financial business performance management and operations. IDC said that it expects CRM analytics to experience the most significant growth at 12.9 per cent annually, followed by financial analytics/business performance management at 10.3 per cent and operations analytics by 7.4 per cent annually. According to IDC, the market is poised to grow significantly because CEOs are able to justify their ROI, measurability and accountability of these project installations. The fact that CRM analytics is expected to flourish over the next five years should come as no surprise, as a large number of companies have spent vast resources to build data warehouses, explained Robert Blumstein, research director for IDC’s CRM analytics and marketing applications in Framingham, Mass. As organizations move beyond traditional CRM-type of applications and into analytics, they are beginning to understand that in order to efficiently drill into corporate data, new approaches are in order. Albert Leonardo

Privacy pilot project aims to create digital template

Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) and IBM announced in September that they are working on a pilot project to demonstrate new privacy language to help businesses safeguard consumer data. IBM and IPC plan to create a digital template of Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). A new computer language called the Enterprise Privacy Authorization Language (EPAL) will be used to create a machine-readable version of FIPPA. The template will then be tested at an Ontario ministry to demonstrate how technology can be used to apply privacy rules across internal business systems. Developed by IBM, EPAL is an XML-based language that gives developers the power to turn the legal language of privacy policies into an IT language that can be read by applications and privacy management tools. By building privacy rules into enterprise applications, organizations can then automate privacy management tasks, which can result in cost savings and introduce greater consistency in decision-making, they announce.

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