Rx for dashboard-driven analysis

Last month, business intelligence start-up AppFusion announced Advanced Modeling, the newest deliverable for its BI & Collaboration platform. It's an in-database, in-memory ROLAP engine that--AppFusion officials say--could be just the Rx for many dashboard-driven analysis efforts.

ROLAP's advantages include faster load times, standard SQL accessibility, better support for textual descriptions, and more flexible data modeling. Such advantages are typically offset by a host of (mostly symmetrical) disadvantages, including slower query performance and more demanding processing and system memory requirements. In-memory ROLAP is one way to offset these shortcomings.

That's just what AppFusion's new Advanced Modeling deliverable purports to do. It allows business users to perform hierarchical or customized aggregations, time series analyses, iterative calculations (such as simultaneous equations) and financial modeling (such as budget and sales forecast variances), right from the AppFusion BI & Collaboration Dashboard environment.

AppFusion officials have a somewhat hyperbolic take on the potential advantages of the new tool. "Advanced Modeling eliminates the need for writing pages and pages of SQL statements, or maintaining a complicated SQL abstraction layer or OLAP cubes that have to be designed, populated and continually processed," said AppFusion CEO Arshak Navruzyan in a statement. "By...lowering the threshold for creating Actionable Dashboards, we're enabling business users to open up different parts of their business to the use of our Actionable Dashboards for a true Enterprise-Wide adoption of BI."

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a contributing editor. He can be reached at [email protected].