The Boulder BI Brain Trust


Information Builders is Launching WebFOCUS 8

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IBI logo2.pngInformation Builders Inc (IBI) is presenting with Kevin Quinn, VP of Product Marketing, and Mitchell Nitzan, Director of Analyst Relations. Mike Corcoran, SVP & CMO, was not able to attend.

IBI was founded in 1975, 35 years ago! Their original 'focus' was 4GL (Fourth General Language) with their FOCUS product and has retained that focus over those 35 years. As the second largest privately owned software vendor, IBI has 1,450 employees, and 12,00 customers sites. Lots of partners, such as Netezza for high-performance apps. In 2009, their revenue was $283 M consisting of $47 M from services (17%) and $236 M from software sales (83%).

IBI arch.png Tagline for IBI is... "Because everyone makes decisions" implying an emphasis on pervasive BI. Kevin asserted that  BI only taps into 20% of data resource and touch only 20% of corporate users. He continued by showing their overall architecture, showing a battery image that combines WebFOCUS information analysis with I-Way information integration, both supported by a common platform.

Kevin showed a couple of nice demos of "Active Reports" as ordinary HTML and normal PDF to do an impressive array of functions on the report data. This allows widespread dissemination of rich analytics. Later a demo of Visual Discovery tool showed simple clicking can surface complex relationships quickly.

IBI has released a version of RStat as part of WebFOCUS, as described here. A developer studio license is required; however, the RStat software is free. When an application is deployed, a fee is also required.

Kevin ended with an overview of WebFOCUS 8, which is shipping in this summer with portal enhancement in December. New features include data profiler, data quality, master data management, customizable portal, better dash-boarding, in-memory visualizations, R-based predictive analytics, etc.

I had to smile when seeing 8 cartoons about "when you need a better BI". Great content (with attribution) for your next talk.

My Take...

IBI is a long-term, established vendor in the BI market. The FOCUS lineage is impressive, having solid global customer communities. The product continues to evolve, expanding its features into a full BI suite...a long way from simple reporting on tape files. IBI tends to be omitted from discussions of BI suites. You would be smart of include them on the list. 

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