In order to serve this group of people, we didn’t spend a lot of time analyzing the different BI vendors and looking for their weaknesses. We just found in general they tended to lack some fundamental capabilities.
So we focused on these to drive our own development. We came up with an “ICE” approach. “ICE” stands for “I” for integration, “C” for collaboration, and “E” for exploration. Those aspects are the ones we found typically lacking in both groups of vendors in different ways.
So first of all, let’s talk about exploration. The analytics function, which has been the focus of traditional business intelligence software, was aimed at the analyst, who needs that deep type of analysis capability. But it didn’t let other types of users explore. We found that a point we wanted to attack.
Then the second point of attack is collaboration. Most BI tools and reporting tools have treated information needs as individualized activities – “I need this report.” But the experience we have had with our users, a lot of them work closely with each other, helping each other out, reusing the data, reusing the work of others.
So to make an analogy to other recent technology shifts, it’s like going from the Encyclopedia Britannica to the Wikipedia in terms of collaboration around information publishing.
Then the third point is about integration. Integration - before BI or enterprise reporting - typically was an afterthought. You could not easily drop reporting solutions into other applications or processes. That, actually, is a strong point for InetSoft, something we’ve focused on since the beginning of the company. We have learned how much customers value this. They really want reporting and information access to be well integrated into their business. So our software architecture’s design is based on this principle of easy integration.