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The Net Takeaway: Nice BI Summary in Intelligent Enterprise

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Nice BI Summary in Intelligent Enterprise · 05/27/2004 09:41 AM, Analysis

There are few magazines that I can recommend to the modern analyst as “must reads”. One of them is Intelligent Enterprise. While it varies in quality from issue to issue, every one has something worth reviewing. It swings between down and dirty query modifications and modeling approaches (rarely) to more CIO-type product choosing guides and administration issues.

A recent set of articles is worth a good look: The “BI Scorecard” series by Cindi Howson.

Depending on when you read this, there may be more.

The series reviews features for a collection of OLAP and BI tools. Oracle OLAP is noticeably absent, but by knowing what the others do well, you can compare to your own knowledge of Oracle’s solution to see what offering is better. This series also helps in understanding what types of features might be necessary, desirable, and just fluff in your decision process.

What’s missing from all this? The affordable “small analyst team” OLAP solution. All of these assume that you will be making a “corporate information factory” or other huge portalized front for millions of employees. The pricing is set up so that a small team of 3 analysts would pay as much as a 100 person small business.

Sure, SQL Server’s solution is pretty darn good, but that’s still a) a database you would be buying just for the OLAP and b) not as cheap as a stand alone solution should be. Same for Oracle OLAP. In the past, ESSBASE (now part of Hyperion) was marketed as the desktop or analyst solution… but now, I guess the market is different.

Its not that I don’t think everyone deserves to see and manipulate the data… but that in many cases, an existent reporting system meets much of the needs for many of the employees, and to be fair, OLAP does not replace reporting. In this case, when only a few people have the time to play with the data to create the reports and analyses for others, there really isn’t an affordable solution to my knowledge (comments box is open if you want to recommend one).

Oh, and note that pricing is not really reviewed at all… but I’ve found that BI prices tend to be… negotiable.

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