In Microsoft-speak, "IW" means "Information Worker" and Bill Gates outlined a vision for what that might look like two years ago.
Last night, after a bit of hassle installing SQL Server 2005 on my Toshiba M7 laptop, I got a glimpse of the next quantum leap....namely empowering end-users to make much smarter business decisions through access to better data.
I installed the data-mining add ins for Office 2007 and all I can say is, in my humble opinion, the future of marketing is WAY different than the past.
(Take a look at the tutorials...though the webcast link seems to be broken)
I minored in Economics and took Statistics...and I am glad that I did, because now, I can take a spreadsheet (and combined with the great inherent visualization capabilities of Excel 2007) start figuring out the answers to questions such as:
- which customers are likely to be most profitable and where should I go to meet them
- what are the key influencers in making a purchase decision
- is there a way to segment/categorize my customer base other than how I am looking at it.
I have a guy in Redmond who is a Mathematics Ph.D who works solely on these questions, but he uses a $25k software package (and a lot of SQL Server 2005 as well) to make it work.
Now, I can do some of that myself.
This is just awesome.