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        David Menninger's Analyst Perspectives

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        TIBCO Information Builders is Named an Innovative Vendor in 2021 Value Index

        We are happy to share some insights about Information Builders’ WebFOCUS Business Intelligence and Analytics Platform drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements.

        VR_VI_Analytics_and_Data_Logo (2)Earlier this year we published the Ventana Research Value Index: Analytics and Data 2021, the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts. We then developed three additional Value Indexes on analytics and business intelligence focusing on mobile, embedded and collaborative capabilities. Because each is a critical aspect of successful BI, we developed specific criteria to provide an in-depth look at features geared specifically to mobile, embedded and collaborative use.

        In all of our Value Indexes, we utilize a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal and vendor selection process for analytics and business intelligence. We evaluated Information Builders and 17 other vendors in seven categories: five relevant to the product – Adaptability, Capability, Manageability, Reliability and Usability – and two related to the vendor – Total Cost of Ownership/Return on Investment and Vendor Validation. To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and on data derived from our Benchmark Research on Analytics and Business Intelligence.

        Ventana_Research_Value_Index_Analytics_and_Data_2021_Vendor_Overall_Chart_InformationBuilders@2xInformation Builders, recently acquired by TIBCO, has been providing BI capabilities for decades. It was categorized as an Innovative Vendor and ranked third overall in this Value Index evaluation. Information Builders performed best in Manageability, and was a Value Index Leader in Adaptability and Capability.

        The product, WebFOCUS, runs on premises and has recently been expanded to include a cloud offering. Data resides in source databases with an in-memory caching layer available to enhance performance. The product supports a wide variety of data sources and offers a broad set of capabilities across the data, analytics and communications criteria in this index.

        More information and tools to help prospects project costs and benefits would help with TCO/ROI. Additional information about Information Builders and partner services would help improve Validation. And Information Builders could perform even better in Capability with additional planning analyses and collaboration.

        Capabilities that support the sharing of — and communication on — output from analytical processes are important because they help organizations maximize the value of their analytics investments. Information Builders’ WebFOCUS supports sharing and emailing analyses, alerts and notifications, commenting on analyses and posting to discussion groups. Some of these features are provided via integration with third-party products. Information Builders’ Capability ranking would be improved with support for assigning and monitoring tasks as well as providing social recognition for contributions.

        Once analytics are embedded in business processes and applications, analyses are easier to perform and more accessible to line-of-business personnel. More than half of organizations (53%) report their users of analytics tools cannot perform their own analyses without IT involvement. Information Builders’ WebFOCUS offers embedding content using REST APIs via the Java Portlet Specification support or iFrames. WebFocus also exposes its data models to other visualization tools via open database connectivity and Java database connectivity. The user interface and branding can be modified for white labeling. Custom visualizations can be implemented using JavaScript. Information Builders could perform better in Capability with some additional visualizations, more natural language processing and more machine language assistance.

        A mobile workforce expects to conduct business in any location at any time. Workers today expect mobile capabilities, so organizations must make choices to provide analytics platforms that can deliver. The WebFOCUS mobile applications are installed as native applications on iOS and Android devices. Other devices can access content in the web programming language known as HTML5 via the browser. Information Builders is one of the few vendors evaluated that provides interactivity on mobile devices even when offline. More information and tools to help prospects project costs and benefits would help with TCO/ROI.

        This assessment was based on Information Builders’ analytics products available at end of December in 2020 ̶ WebFocus 8.2.0.7. Since our assessment, Information Builders has released several updates to WebFocus including:

        • Advanced searching for analyses and objects in the content repository rather than a simple, string-based search;
        • Bookmarking to capture filter settings and return to a display in its modified form;
        • Hosting of the help system on Information Builders’ servers, which provides smaller installations, making the product easier to install and maintain;
        • Licensing changes that make it easier to access all of the features of WebFocus across an entire organization.

        Additional information about the latest releases is posted here.

        Organizations should evaluate data and analytics requirements including collaborative, embedded and mobile capabilities to ensure the existing solutions are meeting the organization’s needs. If existing solutions are not satisfying those requirements, consider whether Information Builders and a relationship with its new owner, TIBCO can help meet data and analytics requirements.

        This research-based index is the most comprehensive assessment of the value of analytics and BI software in the industry. Technology buyers can learn more about how to use our Value Index by clicking here, and included vendors that wish to learn more can click here. Read the report here.

        Regards,

        David Menninger

        Authors:

        David Menninger
        Executive Director, Technology Research

        David Menninger leads technology software research and advisory for Ventana Research, now part of ISG. Building on over three decades of enterprise software leadership experience, he guides the team responsible for a wide range of technology-focused data and analytics topics, including AI for IT and AI-infused software.

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