BI Tools Ease Collaboration

Hyperion, ProClarity, MicroStrategy enable joint analysis of e-biz data.

Business intelligence software unveiled last week by Hyperion Solutions Corp., ProClarity Corp. and MicroStrategy Inc. can enable user groups to collaborate in analyzing business data.

Hyperion announced a BI platform built on its Essbase online analytical processing server as well as a business performance management application also built on the platform. The BI platform, called Essbase XTD, is an extension of Essbase 6.5.

The centerpiece of Essbase XTD is its support for a single data access point for internal users, customers, suppliers and partners. This platform can foster collaboration among those users by allowing them to sync data from the applications they use.

The platform provides reusable metadata, business rules and events to provide the proper context for determining business performance management process and workflow, said Hyperion officials in Sunnyvale, Calif. In addition, Hyperion announced Business Performance Management software, which aids managers in measuring business performance and anticipates results of business activities. It includes financial performance and organizational performance management applications. By years end, Hyperion will add applications for measuring the performance of customer relationships, the supply chain and the channel.

Separately, ProClarity, of Boise, Idaho, rolled out Release 5 of its namesake Analytics Platform, which focuses on improving collaboration among decision makers. ProClarity Release 5 does this by allowing them to pool data they collect and share previously defined best analytic practices and business processes, officials said.

A new application in the suite, called Selector, adds comparison, filtering and selection capabilities to help users find useful information. It builds step-by-step scripts to capture the analysis process so it can be reused.

Meanwhile, MicroStrategys namesake 7i BI platform also supports collaboration, allowing users to send reports to other users at the click of a mouse. MicroStrategy 7i allows users to schedule reports for regular delivery; publish reports to their workgroups; and export reports in XSL, PDF or HTML formats, said officials in McLean, Va.

This version also supports printer-friendly formats, a low-tech capability that, nonetheless, meets the collaborative needs of users.

"People need to check out those reports, go to meetings and talk about them, so the reports need to go on paper," said Randy Mattran, IS leader at Best Buy Co. Inc., in Eden Prairie, Minn. "Its something [MicroStrategys] users have been banging them over the heads for, for a long time."