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Information Builders Gives WebFOCUS the Big Data Analytics Treatment

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Posted February 28, 2013 By Pedro Hernandez     Feedback

New enhancements bring a real-time, Big Data-fueled edge to Information Builders' WebFOCUS business intelligence offerings.

Business intelligence (BI) software provider Information Builders today unveiled three updated offerings aimed at simplifying Big Data analytics for companies struggling to turn their growing stores of data into actionable insights.

Social media has emerged as a big source of that data. So the company's mobile-friendly WebFOCUS BI platform now takes information from the unstructured data of social media channels and combines it with data from customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms.

This level of integration gives decision makers an edge over traditional business intelligence approaches and ensures that "companies can better understand social conversations in real time," claims the company.

WebFOCUS Magnify, Information Builders' enterprise search platform, also got a significant upgrade. New data relationship and sentiment algorithms allow knowledge workers to dig deeper into their findings by linking content from searches and analytics processes back to their source.

Finally, the company is spreading the love to end users that can't get enough charts and graphs.

Information Builders' already graphically-rich WebFOCUS Visual Discovery product has been given a big shot of interactivity for average workers. New features include an upgraded analytical workbench and interactive visualizations for diagnostic and text analytics.

Today's Big Data is small potatoes compared to what lies ahead.

Information Builders CEO Gerald Cohen expects a "tenfold" increase in Big Data challenges for the foreseeable future. He claims that the enhancements to his company's BI portfolio will help customers get ready for the impending crush.

"The ability to integrate unstructured data with more traditional source systems, conduct real-time searches, and deploy the findings to multiple enterprise departments is essential for making informed decisions. By providing these capabilities and more, Information Builders is equipping our customers with the tools they need to be successful in the age of big data," said Cohen in a company statement.

In prepared remarks, Ventana Research CEO Mark Smith noted that a majority of businesses have a grasp of how Big Data can benefit their operations. However, few have the tools to exploit opportunities.

"According to our research on Big Data, 62 percent of organizations indicate importance of Big Data for their organizations, but most lack effective analytics to take advantage of the information," said Smith.

Big Data dominates the BI scene, and some heavy hitters are rushing to satisfy demand. Earlier this month, Teradata made some significant enhancements to its Big Data visualization capabilities.

In January, storage provider EMC delivered a shot across the bow of its rivals, namely Oracle and IBM, with an analytics appliance that runs both Greenplum's MPP database and a Hadoop distro. Meanwhile, SAS released Visual Analytics updates, placing enterprise-grade Big Data analytics within the grasp of work groups and mid-sized businesses.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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