Business Intelligence Blog from arcplan

Cloud BI: The Data Integration Challenge


In recent weeks, I came across a handful of articles and research reports about the public’s perception of cloud computing and how many Americans don’t seem to understand the concept, yet already use and depend on the cloud despite this lack of understanding. The good news is that business leaders generally have a better understanding of what the cloud has to offer, including the untapped potential of cloud computing to create an integrated picture of business content. Organizations are starting to develop cloud computing strategies to provide context to business operations.

Despite the hype around cloud computing and cloud BI, the real adoption of cloud BI systems is relatively low, according to Howard Dresner’s 2012 Wisdom of Crowds Cloud BI Market Study and a Gartner report earlier this year on the major drivers of BI revenue. The delay in adoption isn’t because business managers fail to see the value of the cloud; simply put, the barriers to cloud BI adoption are very practical ones – data integration and security being the most frequently cited. arcplan has addressed these concerns previously in our webinar, A Roadmap for BI Cloud Computing, but in this post, I’ll explore how businesses are proactively addressing cloud BI data integration concerns.

Business leaders who have implemented cloud BI give positive feedback, naming process efficiency, effectiveness, and gaining a competitive advantage as some of the benefits. But what takes cloud BI to the next level is uniting data from multiple data sources within their organization and leveraging external data resources to get comparable benchmarks. This last piece is only possible in a cloud environment.

Continue reading this post >>


Meet arcplan at the Teradata PARTNERS User Group Conference


If you’re planning to attend the Teradata PARTNERS User Group Conference in Washington D.C. next week, we invite you to stop by booth #309 to meet a few members of the arcplan team – our CEO Roland Hӧlscher, our Director of Strategic Alliances Jan Panthel, our Director of Sales Pete Flagella, and our Senior Pre-Sales Engineer Wayne Chambliss.

It’s our second appearance at the conference, where we’re Silver Sponsors. We’ll also be highlighting our Teradata OLAP connectivity at a reception on Tuesday, October 23rd (registration ends TODAY, so sign up now!). This event is hosted by our partner Simba Technologies. Stop by for to see how arcplan uses the OLAP Connector and enjoy appetizers, refreshments, networking with Teradata subject matter experts, and the chance to win great prizes (like an iPad and a Samsung Galaxy Tab).

arcplan is one of the few partners in the Teradata partner ecosystem to leverage the Teradata OLAP connector, which, along with arcplan’s data input and write-back capabilities, allows us to enable CPM solutions on top of Teradata. This ability was featured in this month’s issue of Teradata Magazine.

The Teradata PARTNERS User Group Conference gathers executives, business analysts, data scientists and technologists to showcase innovative and world-class methodologies for data integration, big data analytics, operations, integrated marketing management, and more.

Hope to see you there!


The Evolution of UI Design Standards Toward Metro/Windows 8


One of the hottest topics in software and user experience design right now is a concept formerly called Metro, now known as Windows 8 design. It’s a design language popularized by Windows Phone 7 and further developed in, you guessed it, Windows 8. And it’s the latest paradigm shift in technology design, which is now all about users being a click away from their most needed information and interacting with content in unique ways.

Windows 8 design differs from traditional user interface (UI) standards, whereby access to content was controlled by keyboard and mouse actions and files could only be organized in folders or subfolders.  The Windows 8 interface is a typography-based design created to speed up usage by eliminating extraneous graphics in favor of large tiles with clean typeface. It’s “content as UI.” The goal is to allow users to navigate smoothly and intuitively, even on mobile devices.

Since Microsoft came out with this design standard, arcplan has moved in its direction, favoring tiles, saturated colors without shadows or reflections, and easy-to-use navigation. We’ve incorporated “Metro” design concepts into our product demos, free trial, and arcplan Mobile BI apps. As we’ve been influenced by this new UI, many others have as well. It’s offering a fresh approach to software development that is transforming business intelligence dashboard designs, especially those for mobile devices.

Continue reading this post >>


Careers in Business Intelligence: What Makes BI an Attractive Field


Along with the demand for big data, better data, and the need for greater insight into company operations comes the need for analytic professionals who can effectively leverage this data to maximize business benefits. But it’s not always easy to find and hire these types of people. Within the past few years, we’ve seen titles such as BI Analyst, Data Analyst, Data Scientist, and Big Data Engineer emerge in job listings as companies seek out much-needed expertise to wrangle their growing amounts of information. As a matter of fact, McKinsey and Company’s often-quoted 2011 report on big data predicted that  by 2018, the US alone faces a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts to analyze big data and make decisions based on their findings. The bright side of this situation is that job seekers with analytic talent and business acumen have a tremendous opportunity to make a positive impact for business teams. BI is a growing field that shows no signs of slowing down, so let’s take a closer look at what makes it attractive to job seekers as well as students deciding what course of study to pursue.

Continue reading this post >>


Meet Us At An Exclusive Oracle OpenWorld Reception!


arcplan is holding a special reception for current and prospective Oracle OLAP users during Oracle OpenWorld. The event takes place on Tuesday, October 2nd near the Moscone Center in San Francisco. If you’d like to join us, RSVP and we’ll let you know where to meet up with us from 5-7pm for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and networking with other Oracle users.

The reception is sponsored by arcplan and our partners Simba Technologies and Vlamis Software Solutions.

Why is arcplan sponsoring this event? As the leading BI front-end for Oracle, we’re always interested in meeting Oracle users to discuss their unique needs. arcplan connects natively to Oracle data sources (as well as more than 20 others), and together with Vlamis Software and Simba Technologies, we’re also Oracle OLAP experts.

Hope to see you on October 2nd!