InetSoft Webinar: Rich Reporting

This is a continuation of the transcript of a Webinar hosted by InetSoft titled "What's New in BI." The speaker is Mark Flaherty, CMO at InetSoft.

Mark Flaherty: Let’s dive into one of the BI innovations, rich reporting. First think about the benefits, the biggest one is user appeal. This is interesting because sometimes we think in BI that anything to do with making BI prettier or more engaging, it’s just fluff, all you care about is getting to the core data.

But think about BI adoption. If you want to make BI more engaging beyond those power users, you’ve got to make it look nicer. First impressions matter.

The other benefit, besides interface appeal, is that it gives interactivity within a report or within a dashboard in a very simple way. It might be a simple sort or filter. This is good way to get to that iterative approach to self-service BI versus giving users a blank screen and saying “build your own query.”

What are some of the things that you want to look at that make up rich reporting. The first one is which technology? A rich reporting might use Adobe Flash, like InetSoft's does, which gives animation within a report or a dashboard. That can also include menus, the way you navigate particular content.

The most widely used approach is HTML5. So you get that really nice animation. AJAX, or Asynchronous Java Active XML, is another technology that some vendors use since it doesn’t require that plug-in so it’s less browser dependent and performs better across the network.

Other vendors have argued against that. So you might have to evaluate which performs better in your environment. Even though these two approaches are fairly mature, there’s always innovation and competiveness in the industry. Microsoft, of course, doesn’t like Adobe Flash, so they push SilverLight as their way of delivering animation inside other applications. No BI vendors that I am aware of support SilverLight, yet. Ironically that even includes Microsoft’s BI software. Apple wants HTML5 because of iPads. They don’t want to concede too much market share to Adobe. We have chosen HTML5 for our BI software's visualization engine.

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InetSoft Viewpoint

“It’s not uncommon for us to hear the question, ‘What exactly do you mean by easy, agile, robust?’ First, it’s easy because it has been designed for quick drag-and-drop development. Next, it’s agile because you have the ability to create multi-source data mashups. Finally, it’s robust because it offers a rich blend of customization, professional authoring, and automated reporting capabilities. It’s a complete BI platform, and any size organization should take advantage of our free evaluation to see for themselves.”- Mark Flaherty, Chief Marketing Officer
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