Business Objects, which was just brought into SAP's orbit, announced BusinessObjects™ XI 3.0, which the company said "breaks the barriers of traditional business intelligence (BI)." Every BI company makes a similar claim--promising to provide the key to making better business decisions and more profit.
According to the company BusinessObjects XI 3.0 has a claim to fame as the "first and only BI platform with integrated text analysis, allowing the thoughts and opinions of customers and other people found in unstructured sources such as the Web, notes fields and emails to be easily incorporated into business intelligence and decision making."
Business Objects' great discovery is basically integrating the search and unstructured data discovery tools, with text analytics, federated search, and data visualization, from its acquisition of Inxight Software in July of 2007. This allows Business Objects to harness the approximately 80 percent of corporate data, such as email, document and other unstructured content.
Business Objects isn't first with the concept of making unstructured data intelligible. In 2006, Cognos (now part of IBM) and Autonomy created a solution that converged unstructured and structured data for business intelligence. Search engines from FAST (acquired by Microsoft), Google and IBM working in conjunction with BI products provide similar facilities, although not as a native layer within the platform.
"We have been working with the SAP organization to put together a mission and vision to truly change the way people around the world work," said Marge Breya, executive vice president of SAP's newly acquired business intelligence platform. "We are taking the full power of BI and having it available with the kind of user experience that allows mere mortals to get access to the data, not just for specialized analysts."
"We address how to take information and share it and make it available across a extended enterprise, with a repository for replicated reporting across various companies in the ecosystem. And, it's quite clear we can publish to hundreds of thousands of users, and extend beyond the firewall," she added.
Business Objects XI 3.0 presents both structured and unstructured data as part of the analytical interface (below).
Breya described the data glut and opportunity for Business Objects--according to the company only 15 percent of employees (and Breya thinks the percentage actually is lower) have access to BI tools and 90 percent of executives are don't get the information they need to make informed decisions.
In addition, BusinessObjects™ XI 3.0 also includes Crystal Reports 2008 and the Polestar interactive search tool, mobile access to BI data, integration with Microsoft Live Office (embedding Microsoft Office documents within the platform) and improved federation capabilities, the company said.
BusinessObjects XI 3.0 will be available this quarter. The mobile edition and BusinessObjects XI 3.0 Polestar are due later in the year, the company said.