A BI RFP Template: Seeking Self-Service Reporting

This BI RFP template was received from a major nonprofit looking to improve its decentralized business intelligence capabilities with modern self-service reporting. InetSoft's responses are provided.

Requirements for the BI Platform

1. Be hosted in the cloud or on-premises

InetSoft's Style Intelligence Solution can be deployed as a private cloud solution or deployed internally. In either environment, ease of deployment and ease of use are chief development principles that help lower the time investment and total cost of ownership - and make the solution attractive to organizations of any size, with or without BI expertise.

2. Have native multi-tenant cloud or multi-tenant-enable architecture

InetSoft's Style Intelligence Solution provides native multi-tenant architecture with built-in granular security, multi-tenancy support, and multiple integration points. It serves both enterprises and solution providers.

3. Include function-identical on-premises option

Installed on premise or in the cloud, the small footprint, service-oriented architecture (SOA) and Java architecture delivers an embedding and integration ready platform that delivers analytic business intelligence within business processes. Regardless of whether running on premise or hosted in the cloud by InetSoft or your chosen hosting partner, the application's versatile analytics engine is built to scale from a stand-alone server to a limitless big data cluster based on Apache Spark/Hadoop.

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Read how InetSoft was rated #1 for user adoption in G2 Crowd's user survey-based index.

4. Provide ETL or ETL capabilities

InetSoft's solution has built-in data block technology that transforms data and produces a high performance cache. This can be used in place of an external ETL tool.

5. Need only a browser for end user access to consume reports

All popular web browsers are supported - e.g., Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari

6. Include data security and architecture planned into the fabric of the system: Support for encryption of data in transit and at rest

We make use of existing secure protocols such as VPN and SSL to transport data to/from common data store. Data store is represented in binary format and can be hardened accordingly.

7. Provision of backup and disaster recovery services

We use industry standards for DR scenarios such as the standards provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS), assuming a cloud implementation and depending on needs, a hot standby can be provisioned. For a data warehouse option, there will be a shadow database with copy/replication for backup purposes. For the big data option, redundancy and high availability is baked into the big data framework for DR scenarios. The on-premise implementation's DR scenarios will be similar to AWS and augmented by utilizing and expanding on open stack on-premise cloud computing infrastructure.

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8. Support for authentication mechanisms such as SAML or OAuth, support for SSO, LDAP integration

Native support for SSO and LDAP integration in the solution and token-based/multi-steps authentication mechanism is supported through extensible modules

9. Ability to guarantee that data stays within a specified data center

Proposed data stores will only allow upload/import of data through established ETL process in 1c. Data retrieval and access will be provisioned only to the BI application server. Even exports can be controlled to prevent data download.

10. Compliance with standards and frameworks such as SSAE 16 SOC 1 2 3, ISO/IEC 27001, HIPAA, US-EU Safe Harbor, NIST, PCI DSS, and FedRAMP; certifications obtained; and ability to support data sovereignty requirements

The InetSoft platform is scanned with an IBM security scan software that has over 40 compliance standards built-in. Data sovereignty is easily accomplished.

Provide data access and integration capabilities

11. Read from common data transmission formats(XML, JSON, CSV)|

Native support for common data transmissions in all above formats.

12. Support industry standard query languages, DBMS types, and data access mechanisms

We support standard query languages., DBMS types and many mechanisms, A few examples are SQL, JSON, REST and SOAP.

why select InetSoft
“Flexible product with great training and support. The product has been very useful for quickly creating dashboards and data views. Support and training has always been available to us and quick to respond.
- George R, Information Technology Specialist at Sonepar USA

13. Support other types of data (e.g., SAP ERP)

Yes, built-in SAP support and many other sources through extensible modules.

14. Read data from relational databases (MySQL, SQL Server)

Support standard query languages, DBMS types through JDBC drivers provided by DBMS vendors based on industry SQL standards.

15. Integrate with Microsoft SharePoint

We can use SharePoint as a data source and also easily embed our user interface, reports and dashboards into the SharePoint portal.

16. Support for offline working(mobile or desktop) and embedding reports or dashboards in portals or applications

The BI solution provides web browser driven access for end user design capabilities as well as a desktop version for dashboard design if offline usage is desired. The user portal can be driven by the default one provided or through layered integration including direct embedding of dashboards and reports individually. This portal integration would be through iFrames and would be configured to have seamless security integration.

17. Request data from external systems (Web Services and other connectors)

REST, SOAP and many sources are built-in. Any systems that provide an API or Web Service can be connected through our extensible modules if not built-in.

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18. Provide standard functional reporting features and capabilities

InetSoft's solution contains a full paginated reporting presentation layer. This includes charts, tables (summary, detail, and pivoted), static or dynamic text, grouping of components, page break controls, table of contents, and other additional components that can be designed into functional reports and reusable report templates.

19. Support a rich set of alerting, ranking, filtering, grouping, expending/collapsing and formatting capabilities

Components on the dashboard and report presentation layers support highlighting, which is business rules driven, automated dynamic formatting to create a visual alert as preferred. This alert can also be tied into the scheduling capabilities, when a report or dashboard is scheduled. There is an option to only email the recipients if that highlighted condition or conditions are met. The ability to include ranking, filtering, grouping and formatting capabilities is present throughout the reporting and dashboarding presentation layers. These functions are available to both designers and end users.

20. Provide report operation features and capabilities (e.g., scheduling, distribution, etc.)

Both interactive dashboards and reporting support the same data view components of charts and tables (summary, detailed, and pivoted) with built-in interactive capabilities. Export to Excel, PDF, PowerPoint and text files are also standard features. Emailing in HTML format or as a zip file is another standard function. Both dashboards and reports support empowering the users to schedule their own tasks to have reports or dashboards generated and emailed out to recipients.

Our software also supports having that scheduling be restricted through security. The reports not only support paginated output with controls over the exact layout but also allow batch report generation. Report bursting allows a report being segmented for different users so that a single pass report generation can be distributed to a large number of people.

Read the top 10 reasons for selecting InetSoft as your BI partner.

21. Enable users to easily create queries based on their own defined set of criteria

Users have multiple ways to create their own queries because of our data block architecture and data mashup engine. Data is made available as data blocks. Users can modify, transform and mash up data blocks like Legos. Users can also use the report wizard as a guided, step-by-step query tool to define a query with their own criteria.

Include advanced analytical capabilities

22. Provide a rich set of dimensional operations, time series, predictive, text, and geospatial analytics out of the box

Dimension and measures are fundamental attributes for our tabular data. They drive interactivity of many visual components. End-users have full access to dimensions to slice and dice data. Time series, predictive and text analysis are available as built-in functions. Our big data Apache Spark/Hadoop based platform opens up even more open source community options. Geospatial and mapping capability are extensive and extensible. Maps have built-in zoom, tooltip and highlights. The levels of map can be easily defined. If built-in standard maps are not 100% fitting, the maps set can extended by dropping in widely available shape files.

23. Allow for data mining

Users should be able to aggregate and consolidate via roll-up functionality and "drill or slice and dice data" Users can aggregate or drilldown with ease. Charts and tables have native interaction for users to change the level of detail and aggregate functions, along with dimensional control. Users can utilize color, shape, size and other visual properties to slice and dice the data into intuitive understandable views.

24. Perform analytics such as linear and multiple regression analysis for any data available in the data warehouse

The BI tool provides native support for linear regression analysis. Advanced functions such as multi-regression can be access in our solution BI solution through a JavaScript. With the Big Data option, open source community's vast library of advanced analysis is readily available.

Learn about the top 10 features of embedded business intelligence.

About InetSoft

InetSoft is an innovator in transforming data into actionable intelligence with a full commitment to open standards technology. Since 1996 InetSoft has been delivering easy, agile, and robust business intelligence software that makes it possible for organizations and solution providers of all sizes to deploy or embed full-featured business intelligence solutions.

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