August 5, 2008 – Actuate (NASDAQ: ACTU) recently announced their new suite, Actuate Performancesoft Views 8. This new release combines Actuate’s performance management with their BI reporting and analytics to provide a single access point to both BI and operational performance management in one application. Performancesoft Views 8 is broken down into the following sections:
- Actuate Performancesoft Views 8
- Web Services APIs – creates standards to support interoperable interaction between systems
- Information Objects – handles integration and masks the complexity of Web services
- Exposes Performance framework for operational analysis
- Integrated, Flexible, Dynamic Reporting and Analysis
- Actuate iServer – is a reporting server that manages and delivers reporting and analytics to the end user community
- BIRT (7 pre-built reports)
- Interactive Viewer
- BusinessReport Studio
- e.Spreadsheet (1 pre-built report) – provides server based access to data within Excel using a Web-based interface and embedded security
Actuate views the interoperability of performance management and business intelligence as the way to deliver operational analysis to multiple layers of decision makers within an organization. Their view is that in order to enable closed-loop analysis and decision making, each separate view of information required for this decision making should be linked, interactive, and made available to users based on the analysis required. This is accomplished by combining operational and metrics based information with Web services.
Now end-users can drill through scorecards to interactive reports and detailed information linking the BI and operational performance management together within one application. This seems to address two general gaps within business intelligence – the first being that the expanded focus on operational business intelligence isn’t actually reaching the masses yet, and the second is that gaps between business intelligence and performance management applications continue to exist even though their essential goals are one and the same.
Operational BI and performance management have the goal of reaching multiple decision makers across the organization with the ability to access up-to-date information to enable proactive action taking within the context of daily decisions. Unfortunately for many organizations, moving beyond historical trends and financial performance management doesn’t occur easily. Instead organizations remain stuck in either trends analyses or process-oriented performance management that works through the financial cycle. Consequently, the additional benefits of BI and BPM are lost on many organizations. What Actuate is trying to accomplish is to create a bridge to solve both inadequacies to push solutions towards an integrated approach, where end-users only have to access one application for all of their analytics, performance management, and reporting needs.
Actuate Performancesoft Views 8 is definitely an interesting product to watch, especially with respect to how organizations will deploy the solution and whether this type of internal integration will expand to other solutions within the industry.
About the Author
Lyndsay Wise is an industry analyst for business intelligence. For over seven years, she has assisted clients in business systems analysis, software selection and implementation of enterprise applications. Lyndsay is a monthly columnist for DMReview and conducts research of leading technologies, products and vendors in business intelligence, marketing performance management, master data management, and unstructured data. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please visit Lyndsay's blog at myblog.wiseanalytics.com.
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