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Business Intelligence Buying Guide for Small Businesses: Page 2

By Drew Robb     Feedback
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Gartner listed LogiXML's key strengths as ease of use, rapid time to deployment, the ability to embed it in other applications and low cost. The package includes reporting, analysis and dashboarding. It has done well by partnering with various SaaS firms who embed it into their other offerings for BI. Reporting is also included.

"Cost is one of the primary reasons customers choose LogiXML – it is chosen more often than most other vendors for overall TCO, license cost, and implementation cost and effort," said Sallam. "Although LogiXML tends to focus on reporting and dashboards with less complex deployments in terms of user and data size, global deployment, and breadth and complexity of use than competitors, it has one of the lowest license costs per user in the survey, even lower than any of the open source vendors."

On the downside, she questions its ability to operate well with large numbers of users, large data volumes and complex deployments. But for SMBs, this may well be good enough. 

Salient Business Intelligence

Salient's BI offering grew out of an analytics package for certain areas of the retail industry. It has expanded this into a business intelligence platform for broader use. Gartner surveys indicate it scored well in areas such as business benefits, product quality, customer support and performance. It offers the ability to model different scenarios for use in planning.

"Salient's underpinning in-memory technology (which it calls UXT) switches processing across an array of servers to deliver rapid performance while handling complex calculations," said Sallam. "Salient effectively meets long-standing analytic use cases that were previously met by the use of OLAP technologies."

However, she criticized the user interface as outmoded and said it contains less overall functionality than the more established names – reporting and querying are weak areas. That was before an update was issued earlier this year, so it may longer apply.


Targit is another of the SMB brigade pushing ease of use. Sallam said the interface design "delivers a consistent user experience, integrating all components of the BI platform and so reducing the need to move between different tools."

Overall, Targit's BI tools are easy to deploy with few installation headaches likely – a major reason why SMBs might be attracted to it. Similarly, features such as report generation, drilling down into the data, dashboarding, search, alerting and basic data mining are easy for inexperienced users to figure out.

"Targit's prediction-based rules capability, called Sentinels, enables an end user to very easily set up and monitor alerts," said Sallam. "Through the combination with Targit's desktop alerts, an end user gets an early-warning notification when a predefined rule has been violated. This capability adds to Targit's attractiveness for end users."

SMBs should note that this is another platform that is closely tied to Microsoft. The majority of its customers utilize Microsoft ERP products and have added Targit to gain greater insight. However, integration with Microsoft Office is said to be limited.

Beware the Young Guns  

Many of the firms covered in this guide are little-known players. Yet some are really giving the big players a run for their money. That's because they make their tools simple to install and easy to use, and eliminate much of the complexity that often prevents the bulk of potential users from harnessing BI tools. Those very features make them well suited to SMB deployments.

"New vendors are leading the way in innovation with new tools that are designed to behave more like Google," said Sallam. "The big vendors are now trying to build these capabilities into their products to block the young guns."


This article was originally published on August 11, 2011
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