When mega vendors such as Microsoft, SAP, IBM and Oracle started to buy off pure-play BI specialists Business Objects, Cognos and Hyperion, industry analysts and remaining independent vendors warned that innovation in business intelligence would be lost.
But according to an analyst report from Technology Evaluation Centers, new technology developments in BI prove it is only getting more exciting.
“It is time to take a down-to-earth look at a few recent advances that are making BI more accessible, affordable and relevant to businesses than ever before,” said the author of the report, Anna Mallikarjunan.
She pointed to how innovations in the search space allow companies to search unstructured and disparate data sources and cut down on data warehouse and ETL processing costs.
For example, Endeca has revolutionised search with its Guided Summarization experience, added Mallikarjunan. Endeca’s BI search capabilities allow people to ask open-ended questions, such as “How can I consolidate purchasing?”
“The approach widens the BI audience in an organisation, as the user does not need to have a detailed understanding of underlying metadata or data models,” noted Mallikarjunan, before listing Fast and Information Builders as other BI firms with particularly innovative search technology.
The growth in software-as-a-service applications is also changing the BI horizon, eliminating the need for businesses to build data warehouses and online analytical processing (OLAP) cubes, and making it easier for companies that already have BI solutions in place to add on new functionalities, said Mallikarjunan.
In the report she mentioned SAS, Business Objects, Oco and Host Analytics as vendors hosting high-quality on-demand BI services.
The report also noted operational BI is allowing users to access data immediately.
IBM and Informatica are pioneering BI solutions that allow user access to data in real time, Mallikarjunan said.
“BI is at the forefront of innovations that take full advantage of recent advances in hardware and software technologies,” Mallikarjunan concluded. “Google’s revolution has touched several areas of the software industry – BI is no exception.”
Business intelligence hots up
By Rosalie Marshall on Sep 1, 2008 6:27AM