Many organizations have opened up their enterprise data to customers, partners, and other third parties. Product information, delivery status, and billing details serve as the basis for many self-service business intelligence (BI) and analytic applications today.
Making information from enterprise sources readily accessible to external users provides a greater return on BI investments than back-office analytical projects. Outward-facing BI deployments that include external stakeholders offer the most significant and demonstrable ROI, regularly saving millions of dollars and increasing revenues. Value-added information services are proven to drive customer acquisition and retention, increase wallet and market share, and even create new revenue streams.
Information Builders has a strong history of supporting successful customer-facing analytics applications. Our WebFOCUS platform has been used to build some of the world’s largest self-service websites, meeting all the requirements for success with customer-facing environments:
Reliable, relevant information. WebFOCUS has the widest reach of any BI platform, and can tap into many disparate sources, while removing integration as a roadblock to success. Our integration offerings also include data quality management—the same platform that facilitates seamless information access can be leveraged to ensure consistency, accuracy, and integrity.
Simple web and mobile access. WebFOCUS’ unique features dramatically reduce development time and minimize maintenance for self-service sites:
■ Guided ad hoc technology enables the creation of simple, self-contained web forms, which provide intuitive access to information
■ Users can retrieve information in any format, including HTML, PDF, and Excel
■ Content can be deployed as a service inside another application, so data retrieval is easily blended into any website. This enables implementation outside of the BI infrastructure, resulting in applications that deliver optimum performance, with a small technology footprint.
Scalability and reliability. WebFOCUS includes built-in load balancing, fail-over, and autonomic functions that ensure the highest performance. Multiple servers can be chained together, guaranteeing back-up operation in case of a hardware failure. It also ensures that service loads are balanced across multiple machines, so sites run consistently during both peak and off-peak hours.
Customizability and branding. Unlike other BI tools, branding a BI application in WebFOCUS is fast and easy. Organizations can mirror the look and feel of other company properties, including logos and color schemes, so the customer-facing application becomes an extension of its offerings, supporting brand identity and serving as a market differentiator.
Information security. WebFOCUS provides a multifaceted infrastructure that works seamlessly with and synchronizes multiple levels of security including website security, data and application security, and high levels of encryption.