Business Objects, SPSS In Data Mining Deal

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Predictive analytics, also know as data mining, is used to analyze information such as sales of consumer goods to identify trends and patterns and predict future outcomes. A retail chain could analyze sales data from stores in different geographical regions and better allocate inventory based on predicted sales, for example.

Business Objects will capitalize on the SPSS relationship by linking SPSS software to the BusinessObjects XI business intelligence platform to create the "Predictive Workbench," said James Thomas, vice president of business intelligence tools at Business Objects. That will help business analysts extract data from BusinessObjects XI and perform predictive analysis on it, Thomas said. Business Objects will also develop software called "Predictive Services" that allows everyday users of BusinessObjects XI to apply SPSS data mining algorithms to their data.

Business Objects will sell the Predictive Workbench with BusinessObjects XI and offer Predictive Services as an add-on product. The company will target the data mining systems toward large companies and Thomas said most sales would likely be through Business Objects' sales force, although he said some sales through select partners are possible.

He expected the Predictive Services software to account for 80 percent of all sales from the Business Objects-SPSS relationship with the Predictive Workbench accounting for 20 percent. "We see a big opportunity in providing predictive services to a wider audience," he said.

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The two companies have drawn up plans for integrating their products and are about to begin development work, Thomas said. The new products are expected to be available sometime in the first half of 2008.