|By Maureen O'Gara||
|December 12, 2012 04:05 PM EST||
It seems it was a heck of a lot easier when an auger simply plunged his hand into the steaming innards of a sacrificed goat or lamb and yanked out the liver to figure out what was going to happen next.
Now we have predictive analytics, even real-time predictive analytics, and fancy algorithms, which is a lot less colorful and maybe less accurate. One way or another it's still a matter of faith.
Anyway, Birst, the agile business analytics folk, has come out with a new version of Birst for Sales Analytics. It figures it can tickle a user's margins.
It claims the launch marks an industry first in delivering deep predictive analytics into sales performance and combining sales force automation (SFA) data with other data sources.
The new predictive capability uses historical data to model and predict the behavior of an organization's sales pipeline and opportunities. It claims the widgetry can predict sales pipeline movements and identify sales opportunities at risk of getting lost.
Birst said it will allow for the kind of micro-targeting that Obama used to win the election.
It tightly integrates with SFA applications and supports the leading SFA applications, including Salesforce.com, Siebel, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, SugarCRM and NetSuite.
Specific to the mighty Salesforce, the new release delivers in-context analytics and collaboration capabilities via Chatter for more actionable business insights.
The integration options are supposed to deliver a seamless and collaborative experience across the entire organization.
Besides letting users share Birst insights via Chatter, Birst takes advantage of the VisualForce framework to embed visualizations and report tables directly into Salesforce.com screens like Opportunity or Account.
CEO Brad Peters says rather than looking into the rearview mirror and telling an organization what's already happened, "Our new predictive capabilities give management and business analysts the ability to look through the windshield and see what is ahead, providing the ability to better plan and make better, more informed business decisions."
Birst says every organization has unique sales processes specific to its industry and customers, with multiple operational systems supporting these processes. However, existing sales analytics solutions are inflexible and too narrowly focused on a specific SFA application and its data to fully unlock insights into sales performance across an entire organization.
Lack of time series and trend analysis on snapshots of data over time limits the richness of analytical insights.
Birst for Sales Analytics is supposed to solve these challenges by providing a complete data warehouse that enables answers to what are said to be the most sophisticated analytical questions posed by complex sets of data spanning multiple disparate data sources.
The widgetry works across both public and private clouds. Birst reckons it's one-third the cost, time and staff of traditional big BI.
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