Information Builders Simplifies Business Intelligence
Updated · Jan 06, 2011
Information Builders has unveiled a new business intelligence tool that the company says will allow non-technical end users to generate their own customized reports, dashboards and gadgets.
InfoMini, a tool in WebFOCUS InfoAssist, lets business analysts and end users choose the information they receive from their business intelligence system “with the push of a button,” the company said.
“The issue with many business intelligence tools for non-technical users is feature overload,” Rado Kotorov, Information Builders Chief Innovation Officer, said in a statement. “Ideally what most business users want is a way to cut to the chase with their data — getting only the information they need when they need it and filtering out the rest. InfoMini helps non-technical users do their jobs more efficiently by helping them apply the right changes to their reporting so only the information they want appears, with minimal interaction with the technology.”
Instead of viewing static reports that contain too much or not the right information, InfoMini lets business analysts build an application to customize or filter down a report into whatever format an end user needs. For example, a brand analyst who creates reports for brand managers would be able to build and send an InfoMini application that allows the end user to change the data, filters, formats and more for their particular needs.
Users can also tailor the interactive features on an InfoMini report on a case-by-case basis so conditional styling, formatting, or functionality can be applied to any report without manual coding.
Business analysts can also build and publish gadgets or mini-applications similar to an iGoogle widget that connect directly to the BI system to pull customizable information and reports. For example, if employees in the sales and finance department are collaborating on a single report, different filters on a gadget can be applied by anyone in either department to include only the most relevant information.
Information Builders claims that WebFOCUS is “the world’s most widely utilized business intelligence platform.” The company boasts 12,000 customers, including most of the Fortune 100 and U.S. federal government agencies.
While big vendors like Oracle, SAP and SAS boast greater revenue, Information Builders claims that what sets it apart in the business intelligence market is scalability, according to a company spokesperson.
“While scalability doesn’t sound glamorous, it has major implications for a business intelligence and reporting strategy,” said the company official. “If a BI system technically can’t reach thousands of users inside the enterprise and beyond, it’s impossible to deliver the kinds of high-value solutions that enable organizations to better motivate employees, renovate their business processes to reduce cost, and innovate to provide competitive advantage and improved responsiveness to customers and partners.
“We have customers with tens of thousands and even millions of users, like USBank, Pershing, U.S. Army, Administaff and many others.”
Paul Ferrill has been writing for over 15 years about computers and network technology. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering as well as a MS in Electrical Engineering. He is a regular contributor to the computer trade press. He has a specialization in complex data analysis and storage. He has written hundreds of articles and two books for various outlets over the years. His articles have appeared in Enterprise Apps Today and InfoWorld, Network World, PC Magazine, Forbes, and many other publications.