se of business information systems is to predict certain patterns or trends that might otherwise escape the attention of management because of the difficulty of assessing such a big amount of raw data. This is where business information systems can provide their utility.
The new term to designate this specific type of computer software is business analytics that is taking the world of business by storm. This new very potent tool has been called as the science of winning (Davenport & Harris, 3). Analytics has been used for a variety of ways to enhance a distinctive capability usually overlooked before due to the sheer mass of data and the difficulty of making sense out of it without the help of sophisticated quantitative analysis.
In general, analytics (the newer term) goes a step further than old business information systems (BI) by producing quality data-driven insights that can be used by astute management in producing impressive performance not otherwise attainable before. The amazing power of analytics can be leveraged in a number of ways limited only by the imagination of the owner. Among these possibilities are identifying the most profitable customer segments and how to serve them best, introduce new products, improve the service or offer a better price.
SYSCO was founded in Houston, Texas back in 1969 and today is the largest US food distributor. Its main customers are institutional clients such as hotels, restaurant chains, health care-related institutions, educational facilities and lodging establishments. As a measure of its size, company has 420,000 customers, 8,000 marketing associates and some 9,000 delivery associates. Overall, SYSCO has 45,000 employees as of December 2002. In a way, SYSCO is just sort of like any distributor that needs to manage its supplier relationships in a meaningful and tight way that ensures prompt deliveries at less cost. Due to its expertise and efficiency, it can unload a billion cases of product per year without major