Businesses don’t need a crystal ball to know what the future holds. Software applications that can intelligently predict business trends and aid business decisions are the way to go, according to Joel Martin, vice-president of software and business alignment, IDC Canada Ltd.

Speaking at a recent business intelligence (BI) seminar in Toronto, Martin said predictive analytics will be the future of BI as larger markets start to consolidate.

Predictive analytics is a data mining capability that takes data and views it against a backdrop of other variables – financial, social, and industry-specific – to generate intelligent business predictions.

Compared with traditional or core analytics, which generally involves data analysis and report generation, predictive analytics provides “insight and relevance” to enterprise decision-makers, he said. At present, however, core analytics still occupies 80 per cent of the BI space.

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