Actuate Loads Static Data into BI Suite with X2BIRT
Published: April 12, 2011
by Alex Woodie
Actuate last week announced the availability of X2BIRT, a new offering that enables customers to load static data sources, such as statements, bills, and mainframe reports, into the BIRT business intelligence suite, where it can be used with in-memory data cubes and dashboard displays.
BIRT is an open source suite of BI tools that began as an Eclipse-based reporting tool project back in 2004. Today, the BIRT suite has gone far beyond ad hoc reporting, and now provides more advanced BI functions, like in-memory analytics and Web-based dashboard capabilities, which are sold under BIRT's fee-based products, called ActuateOne.
The new X2BIRT offering is based on software that Actuate obtained with last year's acquisition of Xenos, a developer of document and data transformation software that's used to augment enterprise content management (ECM) systems. The new offering basically provides a bridge that enables BIRT-based products to tap into documents and data managed by the Xenos Enterprise Server platform.
One of the exciting potential uses of the new offering is creating a personalized and interactive experience that could augment printed statements for consumer services, such as cell phone plans. Instead of just viewing account details once a month via the mailed statement, the new X2BIRT offering could allow the cell phone company to deliver personalized Web dashboards that allow users to monitor and analyze elements of their account, such as phone usage.
Other uses include enabling business users to analyze archived data, such as those originating in mainframe, CRM, sales force automation, HR, and financial management systems. X2BIRT sees applications in the financial services, telecommunications, utilities, healthcare, and manufacturing industries.
"Simply put, X2BIRT enables analytics and BI to be performed on non-traditional data sources to provide end users with unique insights," says Actuate CEO and president Pete Cittadini in a press release. "X2BIRT escalates the breadth and versatility of ActuateOne to tap into data sources never before leveraged for BI, while retaining the simplicity of a single server, a BIRT-based design and a unified user experience."
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