Monday, August 4, 2008

Intelligent Dimensions

I recently read The ‘intelligence’ in Business Intelligence solutions, written by a Sanjay Shah, who I believe to be the Sanjay Shah who is CEO of Skelta Software, a Business Process Management software and services company.

I'm sure that Mr. Shah was trying to make the case for his firm's consulting services that are able to implement the "intelligent dimensions" that business users need. When I read it, I was thinking in terms of eliminating the middle man and providing these simple data manipulation capabilities directly to the user.

Yes, I'm talking again about End User Data Mashup and I am going to shamelessly describe how my employer's products address the idea of "intelligent dimensions".

The 3 points Sanjay lays out are:
  • Create Intelligent Dimensions by Observation
  • Combine Data from Related Functional Areas
  • Combine Traditionally Different Reports into One
The first is quite simply defining your own grouping. In our product, these are either range columns, simple named groups, or complex named groups. Range columns are just how they sound, a column that groups a range of a scalar value. Simple named groups allow you to drop the distinct values of a field into custom categories you define. Complex named groups allow you to mix these capabilities, and go beyond, defining custom definitions for each bucket.

The second is Data Mashup. I keep saying that you don't need sophisticated ETL for the majority of situations that span data sources, so I won't dwell on it here, again.

The third is the idea behind the interactive visualization dashboards you can build with Style Intelligence. You can use the first two points to prepare sophisticated and actionable datasets, and then build a dynamic interface that allows you to slice and dice this data in various intuitive ways.

Thank you, Mr. Shah, for describing how companies can get the most out of business intelligence. I apologize if the use of our product means you see less consulting revenue.

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