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Are Data Warehouses as Dead as the Dodo? (LiveDashBoard and QlikView)

Written By: Jorge Garcia
Published On: July 6 2010

If you think you have seen everything in the BI space, I’m sorry, but you may be wrong. Traditional BI solutions for large enterprises consider the data warehouse to be the basis of BI solutions. QlikTech and PRELYTIS, two innovative software providers I recently contacted, could be changing this paradigm. What follows are some of the insights and interesting proposals I gleaned from our conversations…
In traditional BI software solutions, the data warehouse plays a fundamental role as the central data repository for all the data gathered from different systems. This repository has the required structure for analytic purposes, and prepares the data to be used as the basis for intensive and massive analysis processes. Some vendors, however, are agents of change in this regard, in the sense that they are taking new approaches to handling and storing data: while they still extract data from the source systems, they avoid the use of a traditional data warehouse structure, favoring instead an analytic data structure model to speed information analysis and the data visualization process. Recently I had contact with two of these vendors in the BI space: PRELYTIS and QlikTech. These vendors might be changing the way we design data warehouses, and may even render them obsolete.

PRELYTIS: The LiveDashBoard Solution
LiveDashBoard is a BI software solution offered by PRELYTIS, a vendor headquartered in Paris (France). With customers across several types of industries (insurance and finance, health care, energy, and distribution, among others), LiveDashBoard has a solid number of users, mostly from Europe and Asia, from large companies such as Barclays, Total Petrochemicals, and Groupe Kapa Santé, to name a few from its client list.

LiveDashBoard bases its success on an innovative way of developing BI dashboards. LiveDashBoard enables users to develop extensively interactive dashboards to interact and collaborate with other users. Data is gathered from widely diverse sources into data dictionaries within LiveDashBoard, at which point all data is merged to created data catalogs. Without any script, it’s possible for users to store data from all sources, store the data in a proprietary analytic database, and start the analysis and data visualization process, avoiding the complex development process of building a data warehouse.

Nothing is installed on work stations or laptops: with a single Web-based architecture, all users (from the server administrator to the data consumer) can access LiveDashBoard via a Web browser. This enables users to access all of the product’s functionality, no matter what operating system or platform they are using. LiveDashBoard also counts on a strong BI core to deliver information the way the user wants:
•    Reports
•    Dashboards
•    Alerts and conditional reporting
•    Business metrics and balanced scorecards
•    Mobile access

This variety of information vectors comprises just a portion of the functionality features that LiveDashBoard can provide to users. LiveDashBoard also has a set of business performance management functions in place, which enables it to provide functionality that is complementary to its core BI functionality. Platform-independent due to its Java-Ajax design, LiveDashBoard can be deployed on different types of operating systems, which enables Prelytis to provide a solution to a vast number of organizations of differing types.
QlikTech: The QlikView Solution

QlikTech was founded in 1993 in Lund (Sweden). QlikTech develops and distributes QlikView, a BI system based on a multi-dimensional database, with an innovative patented in-memory technology. Based on its in-memory approach to BI, QlikView has gained increasing popularity among a large number and different types of customers around the world, including Campbell’s, Toyota and Panasonic.

QlikView’s innovation lies in its in-memory data storage and analysis technology. Information is gathered from multiple data sources and stored into memory; then, analysis takes place in-memory, which speeds up the analysis of large volumes of data (just seconds as opposed to minutes or hours). Along with its in-memory technology, QlikView offers a complete set of BI tools to extract and consolidate data from different sources, as well as a complete set of data reporting and data visualization tools. In the latest version, QlikView has incorporated a very interesting set of functionality for mobile devices, which enables QlikView to provide fast data analysis to a group of mobile users.
QlikView is designed to run on Windows platforms, and it supports almost all Web browsers for its client interfaces. Its server version can be installed on 32- or 64-bit Windows servers.

And This Is Just the Beginning…
Definitely, we are far from seeing the end of the story when it comes to the development of innovative BI tools. And with the incorporation of new technologies, the BI landscape will see newer and better solutions to fulfill the needs of information analysis.

You can take a minute to compare the functionality of these two BI products using the TEC Advisor.
The initiatives of these two innovative BI vendors raise the following question:
{democracy:43}
 
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