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Information Builders Showcases New Release of WebFOCUS

Over 100 updates drive the expanding scope of BI

Information Builders announced new products and updates to its WebFOCUS portfolio, including more than 100 functionality enhancements focused on driving the expanding role of BI at leading enterprise and government organizations worldwide.

According to the 2009 Gartner Executive Programs CIO Survey, BI remains a top-five technology priority for the fourth year in a row (see Note 1), yet many organizations are still struggling to get BI into the hands of the people who need it. BI technology helps organizations drive value from IT investments in tangible ways like making business processes more efficient and information-management processes less complicated.

Information Builders is adding new components to WebFOCUS to bolster essential BI capabilities without the need to buy add-on products. By adhering to standards and leveraging open source software, Information Builders has incorporated search, predictive analytics, electronic publishing, performance management, and mobile BI, to give customers BI applications that are pervasive, inexpensive, and easy to deploy. Key highlights include enhancements that help organizations understand what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen through BI.

Active PDF and InfoAssist: Insight on What Has Happened

Part of the latest version of WebFOCUS, Active PDF extends the platform¡¦s current Active Technologies capability to give users the ability to quickly and easily navigate and filter large documents and complex analytical dashboards. Rather than scouring hundreds of printed pages, users are able to consume and print only the most relevant business information from anywhere, on any smart device, saving time and money.

End users who currently leverage Active Reports and WebFOCUS Enable for Adobe FLEX can now access custom interactive and animated analytic dashboards in PDF format for free. This new interactivity builds on the coordinated, print-ready PDF capabilities that WebFOCUS already provides. In addition to dashboards, Active PDF can be used for bank and investment statements, inventory reports, invoices, and more.

Introduced in November 2008, InfoAssist is an intuitive ad hoc reporting solution that provides business users with a robust query and analysis tool that helps them make faster business and operational decisions. Information Builders has added more than a dozen enhancements to make report building even easier, including:

  • Compose View combines the features of query building with the ability to style and present customized documents, and allows users to build multiple reports and charts on the same canvas

  • New Cube Browsing capabilities allow users to browse any cube or database in the InfoAssist Interactive Design view and see a live preview of the query output as they add and remove s and formatting in the Layout Canvas

  • Configuration of global preferences and default values for things, such as record limits or choosing to remove functionality

WebFOCUS Activity Monitor and Magnify Search: Visibility into What Is Happening

WebFOCUS Activity Monitor provides visibility into automated business processes by integrating business activity monitoring (BAM) and business intelligence. This BI/BAM solution captures end-to-end transaction and workflow data across multiple applications and business units, summarizing and displaying trading partner metrics to help managers make informed decisions. Using a multitude of iWay adapters, WebFOCUS Activity Monitor can now channel real-time events, like cash register transactions, directly to an in-memory database. There they connect to display and analysis facilities as well as to the Information Builders performance management console for real-time KPI comparison with prior data.

Enabling users to query, report, analyze, deliver, and display electronic trading data in any way they choose, WebFOCUS Activity Monitor delivers dashboards with ded BI capabilities to help administrators quickly troubleshoot problems, detect anomalies, and conduct capacity planning exercises. WebFOCUS Activity Monitor can alert individuals to changes and exceptions that may require action, as well as provide aggregated insight for strategic planning.

WebFOCUS Magnifyƒz a search navigation tool that dynamically categorizes search results and supplements them with analysis and reporting capabilities, has been updated with new features designed to enhance both usability and security. Highlights include:

  • Collections, enabling users to select a collection that narrows their search to a specific part of the index, prior to their submission

  • Magnify iWay Wizard, helping users to quickly set up a Magnify environment, instructing them how to handle each field when transforming a record into a search result

  • New security features including single sign-on integration, multiple credential support, the ability to hide entire results and parts of results, and present alternate-result rendering as well as a security API

WebFOCUS RStat: Predicting What Will Happen

WebFOCUS RStat is the first BI platform to enable data miners, statisticians, BI developers, and analysts to collaboratively build predictive applications for field and operational employees. Now shipping with WebFOCUS, RStat extends the value and accessibility of predictive analytics in production BI applications across the enterprise. RStat now offers even more predictive models and robust statistical sampling routines, including random and stratified sampling with user-defined strata. Its easy and intuitive user interface also includes a built-in calculator for sample sizes. RStat allows data miners and BI developers to work collaboratively with the same tools to access, manipulate, or transform data; develop predictive models; and create and deploy Web applications to any worker within their organization.

More information is available at

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Note 1: Gartner, Inc., "Meeting the Challenge: The 2009 CIO Agenda, by Mark P. McDonald, January 1, 2009

About the Author

James E. Powell is the editorial director of the Business Intelligence Journal and BI This Week newsletter. You can contact him here.

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