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HOW INTERSYSTEMS’ TECHNOLOGY ENABLES BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE SOLUTIONS

A white paper by: Dr. Mark Massias Senior Sales Engineer InterSystems Corporation

HOW INTERSYSTEMS’ TECHNOLOGY ENABLES BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE SOLUTIONS
Executive Summary
The trend in business intelligence solutions is to make them more timely – to decrease both data latency and the time it takes to respond to queries.The culmination of this trend is an entirely new kind of application. “Business intelligent applications” can analyze and act upon operational data in real time. Business Activity Monitoring solutions do the same for integrated systems. InterSystems’ Caché database uses a multidimensional data architecture that provides up to 5 times faster SQL performance than relational databases. Its highperformance makes Caché ideal for traditional data warehouse solutions as well as enabling “transactional bit-map indexing” and real-time data analytics. Ensemble, InterSystems’ universal integration platform, provides the same real-time data analysis capabilities to integrated systems, making it possible to easily build Business Activity Monitoring solutions.

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How InterSystems’Technology Enables Business Intelligence Solutions
Copyright © 2005 InterSystems Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

HOW INTERSYSTEMS’ TECHNOLOGY ENABLES BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE SOLUTIONS
Introduction – the State of Business Intelligence
For most enterprises, the data processed every day by their various IT systems has enormous tactical and strategic value – provided it can be saved, analyzed, andturned into useful information in a timely fashion. That is the role of “business intelligence” applications, and many organizations put a great deal of effort into building, maintaining, and improving them. The most common architecture for a business intelligence application includes a relational database used as a data warehouse or data mart, which is periodically updated in batch mode withinformation from one or more “transactional” systems. The accumulated data can be accessed and analyzed by various reporting tools, many of which support “data-mining” and ad-hoc queries. However, many organizations have discovered that relational data warehouses have some drawbacks. One is that their performance in manipulating complex data can be poor. Another is information latency. Depending on howfrequently it is updated, the data in a warehouse may be hours, or even days, old. Thus, the trend in business intelligence technology has been toward creating faster, more frequently updated data warehouses or data marts. The logical culmination of this trend will be a new kind of application with the capability to analyze and act upon data from standalone transactional systems in real time.Real-time data analysis can also be employed in integrated systems. Business Activity

Monitoring (BAM) solutions usually take the form of “executive dashboards” that display the current value of various metrics from across the enterprise. This paper outlines how InterSystems’ Caché, the multidimensional database, can be used to build high-performance data warehouses and “business intelligentapplications”, standalone systems that provide real-time information and respond instantly to changing business conditions. It will also discuss the capabilities that make Ensemble, InterSystems’ universal integration platform, the ideal choice for business activity monitoring in integrated systems.

Caché as a High-performance Data Warehouse
Caché is not a relational database, although it offers allthe key benefits of relational databases. Caché’s fundamental data structures are sparse multidimensional arrays, which are much more efficient for storing data – particularly complex data – than the tabular structures used by relational databases. Because Caché is not subject to the “joins” and “table-hopping” that typify relational databases, it has less processing overhead and can respond to...
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