A new development platform from Insightful Corp. and a new service from DigiMine Inc. provide customer analysis options for the do-it-yourselfer and for enterprises that simply want to see reports with less IT intervention.
Insightful late last month released S-Plus Analytic Server 2.0, a platform for developing applications for database marketing and segmentation, customer behavior modeling, sales effectiveness, customer relationship management analytics, and credit scoring.
The S-Plus analytic engine resides on a Solaris or Linux server, while the Java-based GUI client runs on a Windows PC or Solaris or Linux workstation. Information can be delivered to users through a Web browser, said officials in Seattle.
S-Plus Analytic Server 2.0 also adds tool kits for vertical industries such as financial services, the life sciences, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing combined with consulting services for helping customers build applications.
While Insightful focuses on an application development framework for building analytical applications, DigiMine, of Bellevue, Wash., last week announced Enterprise Analytic Services, which are hosted business intelligence and data mining services.
The services from DigiMine, which was formed by ex-Microsoft Corp. executives, include a hosted data warehouse architecture capable of processing hundreds of gigabytes of data daily, analysis by business unit and entire enterprise, and DigiMine CRA (campaign response analytics) for analysis of marketing campaigns. The services include affinity data mining models to show interrelationships between customer behavior and transactions; ReportBuilder, for building custom reports; Data Slurper, for extraction, encryption and delivery of data; and consulting services.
Microsofts bCentral small-business portal service uses DigiMines services and recently expanded its use to the CRA service to track how effective its marketing efforts are in attracting paying customers.
"With the CRA, we want to see how customers respond to marketing campaigns, how they go through the selling process and end up buying," said Erin Hiraoka, director of marketing for bCentral at Microsoft. A company with the deep pockets and vast IT resources of Microsoft may seem an unlikely candidate for hosted business intelligence services. But Hiraoka said it would have been a huge investment in time and money for Microsoft to build its own system.
The Redmond, Wash., company also wanted to avoid "scope creep," or getting bogged down in the massive amount of data the service generates.