thinkAnalytics began life as a specialist using artificial intelligence
to compress relational databases and for data mining. They became skilled
at working with masses of data and embedding data analysis into traditional
applications. Purchased by Gentia Software, an OLAP (On-Line Analytical
Processing) specialist, in 1998; thinkAnalytics was recently launched
as a separate company.
company's product suite comprises a variety of analytic tools that sit
on top of common middleware and analysis functions. The middleware functions
do not replace traditional ETL (Extract/Transform/Load) functions but
rather augments them to provide intelligent data cleanup. Data cleanup
encompasses such functions as null replacement, data scaling and deduping.
These functions are driven by a number of algorithms that apply AI and
fuzzy logic techniques.
is a leading provider of IT services. With a base or about 80% of sales
in Canada, the billion dollar company is making a move to establish a
larger presence in the U.S. CGI has close ties with Bell Canada through
the BCE holding company, which accounts for almost 40% of CGI sales and
owns about 45% of CGI.
the terms of the partnership CGI will deliver consulting services to assist
its customers with thinkAnalytics' flagship thinkCRA product. thinkCRA
is an integrated suite containing four analytical applications
performs customer segmentation
predicts churn and attrition
provides product and channel analysis and target group identification
for cross-sell and up-sell opportunities
analyzes channel and marketing effectiveness
The rise of the eRetail establishment, and the growth of eBusiness within
traditional brick and mortar retail operations, has led to an explosion
in vendors of analytic software. (see Informatica
Heads for E-Business, and What
Good Is Information If Nobody Sees It?). The thinkAnalytics differentiator
is supposed to be their ability to solve difficult problems involving
massive amounts of data. While there are certainly many vendors of analytic
tools that do not seek out these challenges, there are equally certainly
established companies that do, SAS Institute (see SAS/Warehouse
2.0 Goes Live) being one prominent example.
has a vertical strength in the financials industry, a good match for their
abilities. We expect that the partnership with CGI will lead to inroads
in the telecom industry, and probably others. We believe that thinkAnalytics
has the potential to make inroads among the larger organizations. What
we believe is less clear is whether there are enough companies whose data
analysis needs are sufficiently complex for thinkAnalytics to become a
A study by the Aberdeen group that thinkAnalytics gives out as sales material
suggests that thinkAnalytics will find ready customers from among dot-coms,
click-and-mortar operations, and large technology-driven analytical enterprises.
While any of these certainly could use thinkAnalytics it is those at the
extreme of data volume and complexity, as well as those with concerns
about the quality of their data, that are most likely to find a match