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Analytic applications are the business complement to enterprise applications, although they have always taken a backseat to their operational brethren until recently. While enterprise applications run a company's back- or front-office operations - for example, tracking accounts receivable, accounts payable, and general ledger activity in a finance department - analytic applications shed insight into the status and effectiveness of those operations. For example, a financial analytic application might help financial managers track performance against plans or assess the profitability of the company's customers and products, among other things. In short, companies use enterprise applications to run the business, but they use analytic applications to make sense of it.
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