Analytics & Reporting

The past year's lapses in corporate governance give new importance to the category of Analytics & Reporting.

The past years lapses in corporate governance give new importance to the category of Analytics & Reporting, in which enterprise architects can hope to find the tools for constructing better decision-making systems. Companies particularly need these powerful aids as they move into mixed-vendor data warehousing projects and increase their reliance on standards-based technologies and outsourced services.

WINNER

Encase Forensic Edition 3.22

The winner in this category combines courtroom-quality rigor with remarkable ease of use in the increasingly critical process of auditing and analyzing IT data trails. Any number of business issues may turn on the question of what the digital records said, when they said it, and who knew it or might have done something to change it. Guidance Software Inc.s EnCase Forensic Edition makes it possible for an investigator to capture an integrated, provably unaltered snapshot of a set of digital records—spanning multiple storage devices or units of removable media—and navigate through those records based on many different relevant criteria. The product still has room for improvement—one judge expressed particular disappointment with the lack of provision for incorporating records from magnetic tape—but its an effective tool for situations ranging from intellectual-property disputes to harassment complaints.

FINALISTS

Cognos Metrics Manager 1.0

From a browser-based interface, this member of Cognos Inc.s Cognos Business Intelligence Framework gives managers access to an arsenal of past and current measures, supporting any desired assessment or score-carding method rather than imposing a particular model or philosophy. Judges in this category praised this products ability to show relationships among different metrics, assisting managers in avoiding surprises when efforts to improve one aspect of performance lead to undesirable side effects in other measures. Metrics Manager also avoids the common flaw of creating a parallel universe in which real-world data lives in one space while special data collections for the enterprise "digital dashboard" live in another. It draws data directly from operational databases, spreadsheets or flat files via an automatic data loading utility, maintaining its own standard-form relational database.

Informatica Poweranalyzer 3.5

Any analysis tool must compete against the low-cost, easy-to-use and flexible analytic and presentation capabilities that arguably made the graphical spreadsheet the first and most long-lasting "killer app." Category judges found Informatica Corp.s PowerAnalyzer 3.5 a worthy contender. Its server-based deployment and pricing and J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition) architecture satisfy corporate concern with controlling infrastructure costs, while its combination of full-spectrum packaged analyses plus a Java/ XML-based software development kit will satisfy end-user groups with varying needs and expectations.

Excellence Awards Winners and Finalists: