As companies acquire more and more enterprise software systems, they often accumulate huge piles of data.Often, though, much of the information that companies collect sits idle because of the difficulties theyface in accessing it. That's the starting point for business intelligence. Although each vendor has a slightlydifferent product, the general idea is to get all the information into a data warehouse and then provide powerfultools for analyzing it and reporting on results. After all, if you weren't planning to use all that data, why on earthwould you let it pile up in the corporate attic?

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