Business Intelligence vendorsbeef up analytics

Business intelligence (BI) companies are manoeuvring to boost their analytic solutions so users spanning the enterprise can use...

Business intelligence (BI) companies are manoeuvring to boost their analytic solutions so users spanning the enterprise can use data for corporate performance goals.

Hyperion Solutions, Ascential Software and OneChannel all launched products this week designed to propel BI data throughout the enterprise.

Hyperion rolled out an intelligence platform while unveiling a business performance management suite designed to help companies measure performance and drive profitability across the enterprise.

Hyperion chief executive officer Jeff Rodek said the emerging business performance management products, which marry BI with process-oriented applications, are very similar to enterprise resource planning applications.

"In addition to ERP, you need a solution set of business performance management solutions. [Customers] have a desire to contain their ERP vendor to transactional processes and process automation data collection," said Rodek.

"On the financial side, they want their ERP vendors to be contained to ledgers, accounts receivable, and payroll. They don't want them to do management reporting, scorecarding and profitability analysis."

The performance management suite will feature five packaged applications, with financial performance management and organisational performance management the first to become available.

Future products will include CRM, supply-chain management and channel management performance applications.

In related news this week, Hyperion unveiled its BI platform, Hyperion Essbase XTD, which now offers query and reporting from multidimensional and relational data sources for increased access to multiple data sources for reporting, modelling and planning.

Many organisations now have multiple and overlapping business intelligence environments as a result of mergers and acquisitions and decentralisation, said Frank Buytendijk, research director at analyst organisation Gartner.

Before organisations can move BI to the "enterprise level" and be ready for the next step, they need to consolidate and reduce the number of tools to form a BI platform, Buytendijk added.

Ascential Software announced this week that it has enhanced its data integration platform with new MetaBrokers designed to give companies a complete picture of what their data means across their diverse IT systems.

Ascential added new MetaBrokers to its DataStage XE enterprise data integration platform for popular business solutions and tools, including Computer Associates COOL:Biz, Hyperion Essbase, Microstrategy 7i, and Magna Solutions Silverrun.

The MetaBrokers are designed to ensure consistency of metadata automatically between Ascential's DataStage data integration platform and third-party business intelligence, analytics, and data modelling tools.

Ascential's approach to metadata integration provides a much more comprehensive, automated mapping capability than other approaches, said Jeff Boehm, Ascential's executive director of product marketing. This not only ensures enterprise-wide metadata consistency, but provides the ability to understand both where data came from and the potential downstream impact of making changes, he added.

OneChannel has also announced Enterprise ChannelMetrics 4.0, designed to enhance demand visibility by integrating sales and distribution information into a complete set of common metrics while exploiting domain expertise for demand analytics.

Metrics and reports quickly illuminate true demand, inventory buildup, product performance, channel performance, profitability and margin, returns and warranty, and much more, according to company officials.

With instant access to that common pool of information, employees can optimise the product mix, identify revenue opportunities, reduce channel inventory buffers, and enhance partner performance, among other benefits.

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