A decade ago, the term “analysis” in a business context typically meant one thing: online analytical processing, or OLAP. Properly speaking, OLAP wasn't – and isn't – an “analytic” technology, if by “analytic” is meant a machine-driven, lite-interactive, typically iterative kind of analysis. Traditionally, analytics was the demesne of statistical and predictive analytic tools from vendors such as SAS Institute and the former SPSS, which specialized in that kind of thing.
Increasingly, analytics as a category encompasses everyt
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