IDC recently tapped collaborative decision management as one of three key trends that is driving change in companies’ information access and management strategies. IDC says companies are interested in deploying analytic software tools that enable the documentation of decision processes, provide contextual collaboration, and improve not only the sharing of information but of experiences, all of which can help shape a decision.
Business intelligence provider arcplan wants to capitalize on this trend with Version 2.0 of its Engage solution, introduced yesterday. According to a news release, Engage is fully integrated with Spotlight, a self-service tool that allows users to save and display search results in personalized widgets.
The tool’s search function returns results from a company’s internal knowledge pool. Employees can then sort and save the search results on their personal “BI Wall” in widget form. Colleagues can add ratings and comments to reports, and even send them by e-mail with annotations. Users can also perform ad-hoc analyses and save results to their BI Wall as widgets.
A new feature called the “My Content” zone retrieves relevant data from back-office systems and displays new reports, ratings, and comments in real time. The company plans to add personalized recommendations to the My Content zone in a future release.
In addition to these new features, arcplan has enhanced some of the software’s existing functions, so now original reports can be opened straight from a widget that passes current filter settings back to the report itself. Users can also visualize data in widgets differently than the original reports, thus personalizing the content of their BI Walls while adhering to corporate security guidelines. Integrated role-based access control is used to grant the appropriate rights to various users; as long as users can see a particular report, they can customize it to suit their purposes.
“The software can be used as a stand-alone solution, no matter what BI infrastructure is implemented. Open Web standards make it easy to connect to Oracle, Microsoft and SAP, for example,” said Hans Peter Wolff, arcplan’s CTO. “This new version takes us further along the road of collaborative BI by linking relevant corporate information to traditional BI reports with contextual, unstructured information from third-party systems.”
Arcplan was one of seven business intelligence providers featured in Enterprise Apps Today’s Business Intelligence Buying Guide for Small Businesses, published in August.