• December 1, 2006
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Tech Solution: BI Reporting and Tracking Tools

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All organizations have data, and each is under pressure to use that data to create insights and intelligence for making good business decisions. Problems arise with the sheer volume of data available, and with lack of structure: How can everyone access the data they need, quickly derive the intelligence they seek, and not create their own unique version of the truth? The answer is business intelligence reporting and tracking tools.

Cognos 8 Business Intelligence

Delivery Model: installed software

Price: Role-based licensing fees start at $640, plus a $160 annual maintenance charge, which includes all upgrades.

Business Benefits: BI and analytics reporting is a key component of Cognos 8 Business Intelligence. The reporting gives end users access to a complete list of self-service report types, is adaptable to any data source, and operates from a single metadata layer for a variety of benefits, such as multilingual reporting.

Functionality: A single authoring environment is used to create all report types. Drag-and-drop authoring allows end users to incorporate data, text, charts, graphs, and images. The user interface supports more than 10 languages; reports can be delivered in 25 languages; and multilingual capabilities automatically deliver reports in users' working language. An adaptive layout adjusts automatically when objects are added, moved, or removed and end users can embed live applications, Web sites, and non-BI content within a report.
Contact: Cognos at 1-800-426-4667; or visit www.cognos.com

SAS Enterprise BI Server

Delivery Model: installed software

Price: Starts at $15,000, based on configuration and number of users

Business Benefits: The SAS Enterprise BI Server is a suite of BI tools and integrated business intelligence architecture to provide access to data. Companies can make faster, more accurate business decisions, increase consistency, and streamline administration through data access, analysis, and reporting in a single system.

Functionality: Out-of-the-box integration with Microsoft Office provides users with seamless access to SAS BI and analytics from within Microsoft Office applications. Multiple self-service query interfaces let users access and query data on their own without having to learn new skills. OLAP data storage and a Web-based data exploration interface are combined so end users can interactively look at summaries of large volumes of data from multiple data sources.

Contact: SAS Institute at 1-800-727-0025; email at contracts_support@sas.com; or visit www.sas.com

Vanguard Business Analytics

Delivery Model: installed software

Price: Starts at $25,000

Business Benefits: Integrated query, reporting, and analytics tools enable end users to access business information, perform in-depth analysis of data, and share results throughout an organization via a single user interface.

Functionality: A key component of Vanguard Business Analytics is its Graphical Performance Series, which is designed to allow users to build views and reports and combine and compare data from multiple sources or from different business functions. In addition to ad hoc analyses, personalized information views with full OLAP, graphing, reporting, and dashboard capabilities can be automatically distributed to users on a predefined schedule, or accessed via the Web.

Contact: Vanguard at 630-545-1600; or visit www.vanguardbusinessanalytics.com

Contact Assistant Editor Colin Beasty at cbeasty@destinationCRM.com

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