Answer: When you speak of the best business intelligence (BI) tools for financial services, my answer would be devoid of industry/application consideration since the tools are not industry specific. The most critical factors to application success are the data design, the quality of the data and the interpretation of the data.
One data architecture that works well with financial data is multidimensional OLAP. Oracle/Hyperion Essbase and IBM Cognos are examples of this. Oracle/Hyperion Financial Reporting is an example of a specialized financial tool that borders on an application.
If you're looking for some intellectual property consideration around financial and not looking to build it all yourself, you may look at an application instead of just a tool. Oracle/Hyperion Financial Management is an example of an application in the financial services market.
However, for pattern matching, I can't help but wonder if after-the-fact reporting is good enough. Your needs may fall into the category of complex event processing, which is more geared to real-time pattern analysis. I would recommend looking at Coral8 and Progress Software. Good luck.
This was first published in May 2009