February 26, 2001, 4:24 PM — BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE (BI) vendors are updating their offerings to emphasize the analysis of data from a greater number of sources.
Underscoring the point, Oracle is set to introduce expanded BI capabilities at its user conference next week in New Orleans.
Analysts said that incorporating data from a variety of sources provides companies with the most complete view possible of the information critical to their success. This in turn leads to better decision support across a wider range of the enterprise.
"The world's data is not confined to one database," said Mike Schiff, vice president of BI and e-business at Current Analysis, in Sterling, Va. "Companies have to integrate that data from disparate sources and link it together to get the total view," Schiff added.
To that end, Oracle, the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based provider of BI, data-mining, and warehousing tools, will preview technology at Oracle AppsWorld that extends the reach of its BI tools into its e-business applications suite, said one source close to Oracle who requested anonymity.
The company will preview a framework for gathering all the data collected by the various e-business applications, pumping it into a prebuilt data warehouse, analyzing it, and shipping that back across the enterprise, the source said. The source said that although Oracle has not internally decided on a final release date for the technology, availability will be relatively close to the forthcoming 9i database release, due in the first half of this year.
In addition to Oracle, three other vendors released products this week with the same goal in mind.
Through a new software development kit, Vienna, Va.-based Microstrategy, for instance, extended the reach of its BI platform by adding support for Java and Unix. The kit is a Java-based Web API that developers can leverage to build custom applications on multiple platforms. Microstrategy said Java and Unix support were added to make the BI platform accessible to a wider range of applications and partners.
Another company, nQuire Software, in San Mateo, Calif., released Version 3.0 of its nQuire suite and introduced a new component, nQuire Delivers.