Business Intelligence Blog from arcplan

The BI Survey 10 – Your Opinion Counts!


We know that many of our readers are BI users, so we’re asking for your help in disseminating the annual ‘The BI Survey 10: The Customer Verdict’, the world’s largest survey of business intelligence and performance management users. If you have 20 minutes, we’d greatly appreciate your participation.

This annual survey obtains input from a large number of organizations in order to better understand their buying decisions, the implementation cycle and the business benefits achieved.

Both business and technical users, as well as vendors and consultants, are welcome to participate. If you are answering as a consultant, please answer the questions (including the demographic questions) from your client’s perspective; the survey will ask you separately about your own firm.

The BI Survey has always adopted a vendor-independent stance. While arcplan only assists by inviting users to participate in the survey, BARC,- the publisher – does not accept vendor sponsorship of the survey, and the results are analyzed and published without any vendor involvement.

You will be able to answer questions on your usage of a BI product from any vendor. Your answers will be used anonymously and your personal details will never be passed on to vendors or other third parties.

As a participant, you will:

  1. Receive a summary of the results from the full survey.
  2. Be entered into a draw to win one of ten $50 vouchers.
  3. Ensure that your experiences are included in the final analyses.

Click here to complete the survey online.

Thank you for your participation!

* BARC (Business Application Research Center) is a leading independent software industry analyst specializing in Data Management and Business Intelligence. For more information on BARC, click here.


arc|planet Virtual Conference is Tomorrow!


You may have checked out our last post, which was a recap of arc|planet Germany, and wished you’d been able to attend. Well…I’m hoping that’s the case. You’re in luck because we’re bringing arc|planet to you tomorrow at noon Eastern. We’re holding our English-language arc|planet as a virtual conference for arcplan users, partners, and new friends and you can register here:

You’ll see an in-depth review of our product line and a first look at arcplan 7, our latest group of software releases. Experience arcplan Mobile and arcplan Engage, our next-generation BI search and collaboration tool. It’s unlike anything you’ve seen in the business intelligence space before and we’re excited to show it off!

Throughout the event, we’ll we’ll be sharing customer stories and ideas you can use to improve reporting, reduce planning cycles, and increase your BI ROI.

Registration for this one-of-a-kind event is free, but you must reserve your spot!


Event Recap: arc|planet & arc|platform 2011


We just wrapped up our annual partner conference, arc|platform, and our annual user conference, arc|planet, which both took place in Dusseldorf, Germany last week. More than 300 arcplan aficionados from around the world came together for these events, making them the largest conferences in our company’s history! Click here to see pictures from the events.

Customers, partners, analysts, and industry experts gathered with the arcplan team to get insight into our vision, strategy and products. We demo’d our latest innovations, including arcplan Mobile and arcplan Engage, our next-generation BI search and collaboration tool. We thought this blog would be the place to thank all of our speakers and to share some of what was presented.

A Multitude of Best Practice Presentations Over 3 Days

In more than 25 keynotes, expert sessions, workshops, and best practice presentations, analysts, customer representatives, and arcplan experts showcased how arcplan software has helped create best-of-breed BI solutions.

Among the sessions were Daimler and Merck, which introduced their arcplan-based mobile BI solutions to an excited audience. Our partners Deloitte and Ernst & Young presented best practice customer solutions for real estate management and integrated reporting based on arcplan software. Logistics supplier Hermes provided insight into their daily use of arcplan BI.


Continue reading this post and see more photos >>


Wisdom of Crowds Data Collection Extended


Calling all BI users! You have until Friday to participate in Dresner Advisory Services’ BI Market Study! Originally, data collection was slated to end on April 2nd, but the fervent response has led to calls for more time. So if you want your voice heard about your BI software, click the link below to participate:

It just takes 10 minutes! You’ll receive a copy of the study once it’s published later this Spring.


Persistence in Your BI System – Does It Always Pay Off?


In an earlier entry, I talked about using Excel as an integral part of a budgeting and planning application. In that example, Excel was connected to the database of record and presented the users with the ‘actuals’ data (YTD #s) they needed to enter the budget for the upcoming cycle. Although this is a simple use case for Excel in a BI application, it opens the doors to many more sophisticated deployment strategies.

One way of categorizing an application deployment is persistence, defining the way users are actively attached to your application at any one time. A purely browser-based application must keep track of all the users attached to the system at all times. While this isn’t as big a deal in a reporting environment, it becomes resource-intensive when the application allows write-back (e.g. budgeting and planning systems). One possible solution is to bulk up on hardware or create server farms that can balance the increased demand for both application and DBMS connections. This type of persistent connection will eventually become too expensive. Persistence doesn’t always pay off.

An alternative solution is to implement non-persistent connections to the system which allow users to only take up space on the application when they need the resource and disconnect when finished. In fact, many budgeting and planning users prefer to massage their budget and come up with optimal numbers before they submit them to the system. Many of these users would rather not be stuck at their desks through the entire budgeting process and they are more comfortable navigating and crunching their numbers in Excel. On the other hand, their organizations would like to keep the central and consistent management of these users’ activities.

Of course, I wouldn’t be thinking about the advantages of integrating persistent and non-persistent connections in a business intelligence system if arcplan didn’t have a product to meet this need. To keep it short, arcplan Edge allows both types of connections to allow users to do their budgeting and planning ‘offline’ in Excel and then connect back to the system when they’re ready to submit their numbers.