e.Intelligence BI Software Predicts Future

An upgrade to e.Intelligence Inc.'s namesake business intelligence software stresses its ability to look into the future, not just report on the past.

An upgrade to e.Intelligence Inc.s namesake business intelligence software stresses its ability to look into the future, not just report on the past.

e.Intelligence 3.5, which was introduced last week, provides enterprisewide analytics that focus on what-if analysis, rather than the current or historical snapshots of business performance offered by most BI vendors.

A central data warehouse in the e.Intelligence suite collects information from operational systems—customer relationship management or enterprise resource planning software, for instance—and produces demand visibility at the customer and product levels, said officials in Edina, Minn. With this, the software lets users perform what-if analysis to see how changes in demand will impact margins, product mix and price.

The new Pricing and Promotion application in Version 3.5 evaluates the impact of a promotion or price change on sales and profit margins. The New Item Introduction application predicts the impact of a new item on sales of other products.

A third application, Distribution and Assortment, analyzes demand variables such as economic factors, consumer preferences or regional differences. It then tells a retailer the right product mix or tells a manufacturer the most effective distribution strategy.

These applications make the suite more vertical in the sense that it is geared to companies working together along the demand chain, said analyst Henry Morris, of International Data Corp.

"For these [predictive analytics] applications to be effective, they need to be highly vertical; otherwise, companies need to do a lot of work with customization to get them deployed," said Morris, in Framingham, Mass.

Also new in e.Intelligence 3.5 is a Web-based client and visualization tools that allow users to create two-dimensional and three-dimensional charts to present analyzed data.

In related BI news, Hyperion Solutions Corp. earlier this month announced two licensing and reseller partnerships that should strengthen its enterprise BI offerings.

The Sunnyvale, Calif., company will embed Crystal Decisions Inc.s Web-based query, reporting and information delivery solutions for relational and multidimensional data into its analytic platform to give customers broader and easier access to that data, officials said.

Hyperion is also adding data flow and transformation technology from Sagent Technology Inc. to its platform to improve integration of data from multiple systems.