Diving in to the thick of business analytics, IBM acquired Cognos, one of the leading makers of business intelligence software, and SPSS, a predictive analytics and data mining company, to grow its tools for organizing data into useful information. As noted in this Forbes report, one of the fastest growing areas for analytics is with the midsize customers.
"Cognos ( COGN - news - people ) was one of the leading makers of business intelligence software, and IBM ( IBM - news - people ) paid $5 billion for it. IBM wrote another check last year for $1.2 billion to add SPSS, a predictive analytics and data mining company, to what was becoming a growing family of tools for organizing data into useful information. Ashe said IBM's services arm is also working with 4,000 consultants, getting them to promote better analytics by IBM customers.
"What is behind this growth in business analytics? Ashe says it reflects a demand from customers who, after spending years creating systems to record data and transactions, want to get more mileage out of that information. Businesses want information that is more timely and useful, particularly if it can feed directly into growth and profitability."