Business intelligence crowd extends data reach

Cognos, SAS Institute and Comshare are all introducing technology enhancements that enable companies to pull business...

Cognos, SAS Institute and Comshare are all introducing technology enhancements that enable companies to pull business intelligence data from different departments to monitor overall performance.

"There is a movement from people buying a standalone budget package to buying budgeting and performance management," said IDC analyst Henry Morris.

"The idea is to look at metrics in other parts of the business to get an indication of where you're going financially. If you look at something like customer satisfaction, that is a leading indicator of performance."

Cognos will detail Metrics Manager, its next-generation score-carding solution designed to provide access to visualisation, reports and analysis so that users can share and distribute information tied to key performance indicators.

SAS will unveil a Windows client application with an interface designed to allow companies to deploy analytics across the enterprise rapidly, using existing platforms and data sources. Enterprise Guide 2.0 will provide a single point of access to SAS capabilities, thereby omitting the need for programming by business analysts.

New features in Enterprise Guide include additional guided tasks to lead users quickly and easily through analyses and reporting and role-based task display to decrease the complexity of the user interface. Integrated scheduling is designed to allow users to refresh and disseminate reports automatically at regular intervals to reduce the load on IT departments.

Comshare's MPC 5.0 will allow companies to meet Securities and Exchange Commission requirements such as senior management certification and shorter reporting periods. Added features include enhanced financial consolidation and detailed budgeting capabilities to allow companies to budget for employees down to the individual and by activity, product or project.

The release will feature additional Microsoft BI platform support such as Microsoft's SQL Server Analysis Services functionality, such as currency and forecasting.

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