And Hughes says this is what his company does. DDB Matrix hosts the complex data transformations and coding on their own servers. Clients get a point-and-click HTML interface so they can run marketing forecasts, simulations and optimizations through a browser.
Implementations like these could shake up the BI market. With the release of SAS 9 in March 2004, SAS made clear its intentions to move into the BI space. Past success in advanced analytics has frustrated the company's efforts to take on BI leaders such as Business Objects and Cognos. It is a problem of image. "People still tend to think of us as 'that stat package,'" says Taylor.
BI, however, is growing up and into the advanced analytics space, where SAS is dominant. With 96 of the Fortune 100 of as customers, Coolidge thinks this could be the year when SAS finally sheds its stuffy image and, more significantly, gains some BI market share.