When yesterday's data isn't good enough, you'll need to investigate real-time reporting tools. Real-time data access and real-time reporting are determined by the speed at which information changes and when it becomes available for the user to manipulate. Users often equate "real-time" with something that occurs immediately, although in many cases, near-real-time systems (systems with just a slight delay in accessing data), are good enough. If you want to know how many units of a particularly hot item have sold today, a near-real time system may be fine. But if you need to know how many items have sold this minute, then a real-time system is what you need.
Providing data in real-time remains a key challenge for organizations that want to maximize the value of their application and business intelligence investments without impacting the performance of operational systems. Real-time information requirements also force administrators and architects to make serious decisions about the architecture and design of an information system. If you provide reporting access directly to the same system that you use for order-taking, you might get delays in your e-commerce software that are significant enough for prospective customers to give up, abandon their shopping carts, and look eslsewhere.
Fortunately, Information Builders' WebFOCUS lets administrators manipulate data on a timeline that makes the most sense for their environment and their user requirements. All the power of the native data and applications adapters of iWay Software, Information Builders' integration subsidiary, can be used by WebFOCUS for real-time data integration and transformation from over 300 different information sources and databases. These native adapters support sophisticated manipulations such as:
- Aggregations, sorts, and joins on the source data before it leaves the source platform
- Data-set level transformations with multiple roll-up levels, summations, and more – with a single pass of the source data
- Field-level transformations that can later be selected as if they were standard database fields
In addition, real-time process flows can feed your business intelligence system with data from Web services, EDI documents, XML messages, flat files, and almost any other document format.
Meanwhileour ETL tools allow you to build data warehouses and data marts optimized for reporting for those applications that can accept a slight lag in data access and reporting. And when you really need up to the second data access, but want to make sure that your data is accurate, our real-time data quality tools can be employed to clean your data sources before they ever make it into operational systems. You can read more about that in our white paper:
No matter what your reporting requirements may be: real-time, near real-time or traditional data warehouse, Information Builders' WebFOCUS can meet them.