Compared to the acquisition tumult of 2003, 2004 was a year of relative tranquility in the BI marketplace. A host of small vendors were snapped up, but outside of analytics powerhouse AlphaBlox Corp. which IBM Corp. acquired this summer- no big name BI brands changed hands. Instead, BI trends took center stage, with dashboards finally coming into their own. BI vendors such as Business Objects SA, Cognos Inc., and Hyperion Solutions Inc. took the fight to the big ERP vendors, and enterprise reporting went mainstream?thanks to the efforts of Microsoft Corp., among others. According to many industry watchers, the coming year should bring more of the same, although several trends?including an expected uptick in the offshoring of BI tasks, a surge in uptake of data mining solutions, the continued commoditization of ETL technologies, and a long-expected backlash against ad hoc BI?could loom large in 2005. Bron: www.tdwi.orga>

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