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The role of search within agile BI

by Lyndsay Wise, President, WiseAnalyticsTuesday, October 5, 2010

BI-related search capabilities have been available for several years, enabling end users to use search related terms to identify business intelligence reports and information. One of the benefits of using search is the expansion of general use.  For instance, novice BI users with access to search can look for reports based on revenue and year without knowing the name or location of that information.  One of the challenges is the inability to include search results that may reside outside of the BI framework.  This means that potentially valuable information may not show up, giving searchers an incomplete view of what is going on within the company.

Enter Endeca with its new BI offering combining BI and search: Endeca Latitude.  Endeca comes from the enterprise search side and enables organizations to gain insights by finding the information they require.  Endeca Latitude moves one step further by taking disparate business data and intuitively providing BI insights based on what is being searched for.

Consequently, companies can use this technology as a way to give a broader audience access to BI, while enabling these users to interact with data they way they think through problems, instead of being limited to the constraints of a traditional BI framework.  The general uniqueness of Endeca Latitude is that it takes the concept of Agile BI to the next level by combining Google-type interaction with the ability to consolidate enterprise data and analyze that data through BI.

General implications within the marketplace are far reaching.  BI has always held the promise of being a way to gain visibility, lower risk, improve performance and the like.   The reality is that, while BI can do the things it professes, only a limited number of people within the organization ever get to interact with and reap the benefits/rewards of BI use.  By coming at BI from a different angle – i.e., asking business questions by typing text into a search box – the ability to engage all business users within an organization, not only becomes possible, but likely.  In addition, BI filled the role of being a complementary tool to the decision-making process as opposed to being looked at as a set of equations and defined business rules.

Many companies exist that want to continue to take advantage of the traditional BI solutions currently in-house.  However, the fact remains that organizations newer to BI (or early adopters of an agile approach to BI) will be looking towards solutions like Endeca Latitude to deliver the type of BI that has been promised for so long and is now actually starting to become available in the marketplace.

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 the channel expert for BI for the Mid-Market at B-eye-Network 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 lwise@wiseanalytics.com. And please visit Lyndsay's blog at myblog.wiseanalytics.com.

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