Data Analysis Tool Works on the Fly

Organizations that want to deploy data analysis and visualization tools to thousands or tens of thousands of users will find Databeacon's updated Databeacon server and analysis client easy to purchase and distribute.

Organizations that want to deploy data analysis and visualization tools to thousands or tens of thousands of users will find Databeacons updated Databeacon server and analysis client (www.databeacon.com) easy to purchase and distribute.

The updated version, now called Databeacon Collaboration Edition, began shipping last month. The client is a digitally signed Java applet and so will automatically install itself with minimal fuss as long as browsers are Java-enabled. I tested with Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 (with and without Suns Java browser plug-in) and with Mozilla 1.3 and had no problems.

New in this release is the ability to e-mail HTML versions of graphs to co-workers (see screen). The e-mail includes a link to the Databeacon server so that users can load the graph for themselves and continue the analysis. I could also e-mail or save data in Microsoft Excel or text-file format and transfer graphs in RTF or Adobe PDF files.

The Databeacon client, an impressively full-featured OLAP tool, offers four graphing views (vertical bar, horizontal bar, pie and line, with a few variants of each) plus a data table grid view. I could easily pivot, filter and drill down on data. Databeacons drill-through mode enabled me to see data points making up a data subset. I could also add computed columns such as percentage of total or percentage growth and modify the grid view to highlight unusually large or small values.

Prices start at $5,000 for a five-user license or $25,000 per CPU for unlimited users. The company also provides an API, sold separately, that plugs the client into an existing Web portal.