SPSS and Business Objects sign OEM pact

Deal will give Business Objects predictive analytics capability

SPSS, the predictive analytics software company, will announce on Monday that it will enter into an OEM agreement for the first time with Business Objects, a business intelligence software provider.

SPSS will make its predictive analytics data mining technology accessible through the Business Objects XI platform.

SPSS's platform, Clementine, will be able to access the heart of the Business Objects Universe platform, its data repository.  

By combining the tools from each company, Business Objects adds predictive functionality for its customers.

"The complexity of predictive analytics is hidden from the user. Now they can look at an existing report and with a right-click of the mouse view predictions," said James Thomas, vice president of business intelligence at Business Objects.

Josh Greenbaum, principal at Enterprise Applications Consulting said that while predictive analytics is still BI, it does give users more than the typical rearview mirror analytics that most analysts and company executives may be used to.

The real impact of the OEM partnership will be on the average business user of business intelligence in terms of providing more value.

"Assuming that this doesn't force analysts to become statistical programmers, the end result will be a much higher value of analytics arriving at the desktop," said Greenbaum.

Thomas said that no one expects the average user to understand the complexity of algorithms used in predictive analytics, and so while the deal is not intended to give Business Objects customers the full spectrum of what SPSS offers, it can add value by taking data and showing an analyst what it will look like two or three quarters out.

It can also be used to gain a better understanding of emerging trends, sales patterns, and anomalies.  

The OEM agreement will go live by the first quarter of 2008.