Speaking of snake oil – no, wait, that’s a bit harsh. But it’s fair to be skeptical of companies that say they’ve solved long-standing problems, and Proof’s headline of “first business impact analytics for marketing and communications” seems to do that. On closer reading, they don’t actually make any claims about accuracy or value, just that they’re first. Anyway, Proof has built a statistical correlation engine that it says is better than any previous system at finding time lags and complex interrelationships among marketing, communications, sales and other business data. Outputs can be used to estimate the impact of marketing efforts on business results, apparently in ways that Proof’s managers have found are convincing to senior business leaders: the company says “we built the system, and later the software product, in collaboration with more than 600 Fortune 1000 business leaders over a ten-year period,” including HP, BMC Software, and Honeywell.