There are some great little infographics in the article quoted at length below. I found it in a binge of reading on Business Intelligence/Analytics, which yielded a few urls (del.icio.us anyone? ;-)
http://www.xmethods.net/ — you should visit in general if you haven’t already
http://www.sas.com/apps/whitepapers/whitepaper.jsp — needs registration :-(
http://www.sas.com/solutions/sci/index.html — supply chain intelligence
http://www.sas.com/industry/auto/warranty/index.html — failure correlation
http://www.insightful.com/products/splus/unix.asp — the company that sells S+ now
http://www.insightful.com/products/iminer/default.asp — cleanup and merge
http://www.dmreview.com/portals/portal.cfm?topicId=230009 — analytics articles (also needs reg :-(
http://www.informationbuilders.com/ — customer highlights seemed interesting
When asked which method has proven more effective in achieving real-time operation in their companies, only 16% of the 52 business and technology executives surveyed by Optimize Research cited investments in new, specialized technology solutions, such as grid or utility computing, which enable more distributed, flexible computing.
By comparison, nearly half of the respondents said the more effective method has been to increase the efficiencies of existing IT solutions. Another 19% said both methods have proven equally effective, and 17% said neither has been
But not many companies in the survey are doing much real-time monitoring or data collection. Executives were asked which processes or data types their company monitors in real time rather than by batch processes. The only response selected by a majority of the executives—58%—was Web site traffic/E-commerce activity. Fewer companies monitor real-time data on sales, customer interactions, inventory, customer shipments, output (products/services), and performance of individual software applications. Fewer than one-third collect information provided by business partners, data on incoming supplies, or product pricing information in real time. Only 19% of the executives rated their companies as extremely effective at monitoring real-time operations, while 75% said they were somewhat effective, and 6% not at all effective.
Companies that are collecting and acting on data in real time are seeing benefits. Aerospace manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corp. in Bethesda, Md., had been relying on a mostly manual process of gathering data from multiple legacy applications for the procurement of materials for certain products, says CIO Joseph Cleveland. The cycle time for gathering data and making a procurement decision took weeks, and sometimes months, he says. To speed up the process, Lockheed Martin deployed EAI software to integrate the multiple systems used for materials management. Because workers can access and act on relevant data more quickly, the same process now takes only days.