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Business Intelligence Buyer's Guide for Enterprises: Page 2

By Drew Robb     Feedback
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Oracle Business Intelligence

Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11g delivers a range of analytic and reporting capabilities. It unifies Relational OLAP (R-OLAP), Multidimensional OLAP (M-OLAP) and enterprise reporting on a common technology foundation. Users can access and navigate hierarchical data stored in Oracle Essbase and popular relational data sources from a common interface. Other new features include better reporting, and Oracle Scorecard and Strategy Management to track metrics and key performance indicators.

"Oracle's newest BI release is massive, spans multiple product categories, and raises the bar for competitors in dramatic fashion," said Merv Adrian, analyst at IT Market Strategies.

Gartner notes that Oracle offers the widest range of BI capabilities, but gave it low marks on innovation.

Microsoft Business Intelligence

Business intelligence is part of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM package and has just been enhanced in the beta version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. New business intelligence capabilities include an end-user reporting wizard, advanced report scheduling and cross-entity views of system data.

Gartner gives the company kudos for developing a mature BI product relatively rapidly and investing heavily in it. Coupled with its low pricing model, this tool is now firmly placed among the top BI vendors. Weak points, according to Gartner, include ad hoc analysis and the lack of a unified metadata layer.

MicroStrategy Mobile BI

MicroStrategy 9 has been designed to make BI faster, easier, and more user-friendly. Enhancements were aimed at higher performance, faster deployments, better dashboards and easier administration.

This has been added to recently by Microstrategy Mobile. It enables companies to extend graphs, grids, enterprise reports and information dashboards to Apple's iPhone and iPad. It takes advantage of the native capabilities of the iPhone and iPad to deliver BI to users. Features include integrated Google maps, Apple multi-touch gestures (such as swipe, tap, flick and rotate), BI-specific gestures for data exploration, App Integration, sensor-based query and mobile information capture.

"Mobile BI applications can be deployed within several days," said Wendy Cover of MicroStrategy. "We believe the Mobile Internet will dwarf all previous Information Technology waves with its sheer number of users and convenience, and that mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad will become the de facto way that companies access business information."

Gartner notes that the platform has a steep learning curve but that it has a high rate of customer satisfaction.

SAS Leads in Analytics...For Now

SAS Enterprise BI Server has features such as Microsoft Outlook integration, BI Search, Mobile BI, grid computing, visualization, dashboards, portal, integrated analytics and more.

Gartner said SAS focuses on advanced functions such as forecasting, predictive modeling and optimization, which are then embedded into cross-functional and industry-specific analytical applications. This makes it the king of the analytics and data mining sectors. It has developed strong relationships with the likes of Teradata, Netezza, IBM, HP and Greenplum/EMC to add sophisticated analytics to these data warehousing platforms.

But IBM is gunning for its territory. IBM's acquisition of SPSS means it has a product in its arsenal that can potentially unseat SAS as the top predictive analytics vendor — SAS can't compete with the sheer marketing might of IBM. Additionally, Gartner said SAS lacks the breadth of other products.

Information Builders

Information Builders' flagship WebFOCUS Business Intelligence product delivers dashboards, portable analytics and ad hoc reporting, as well as performance management, advanced analytics and integration with Excel, Adobe PDF and other desktop tools.

"Information Builders specializes in building highly parameterized enterprise reporting for report consumers," said Sallam.

On the downside, Gartner feels WebFocus lacks strong OLAP capabilities and lacks the brand awareness of the big five.


This article was originally published on October 12, 2010
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