Dimensional Insight Takes ‘The Diver’ BI Solution Up a Notch
November 17, 2009 Alex Woodie
Dimensional Insight last week launched a new release of The Diver Solution, its end-to-end business intelligence (BI) software suite that runs on i OS and other platforms. With version 6.2, the company has adopted AJAX programming techniques that it says result in a more intuitive Web browser interface and make it easier to develop dashboards, key performance indicators (KPIs), and scorecards.
Dimensional Insight is a Burlington, Massachusetts, software company that was founded in 1989. Over the years, more than 2,600 organizations have selected its suite of BI software, which includes online analytical processing (OLAP) capabilities. With last week’s launch of The Diver Solution 6.2, the company has made improvements that it says make it much easier to use.
But before getting into version 6.2 enhancements, let’s take a look at Dimensional Insight’s overall offering.
The Diver Solution
The Diver Solution refers to a range of BI products, which previously went by the name Atlantis. The first products prospective customers might use are Data Integrator and Domain Editor, which provide the extract, transform, and load (ETL) link between raw data sources and the underlying OLAP repository–the multidimensional DI Data Model. There’s also the Builder and Visual Builder applications, which are pre-processing tools for getting data ready for the DI Model, while DiveMaster and ProDiveMaster allow further customizations of data in the DI Model.
Once the data is housed, indexed, and ready in the DI Model, then users are ready to “dive in” using Dimensional Insight’s range of ad-hoc reporting and analytics tools.
Users have four options in the analytics category, including the core DI-Diver, which presents data via standard tabular report or graphical formats. Windows-centric shops may choose the client-server version of DI-Diver called Prodiver, which is a self-contained visualization, analysis, and reporting tool. Netdiver is a zero-footprint Web application for shops that don’t need the full power of Prodiver, while Celldiver allows users to dive into DI Models from Excel.
In the reporting category, Dimensional Insight offers ProReporter, which it says is an intuitive self-service reporting application that can export data in several different formats, including HTML, XML, PDF, and MS Office formats. The company also offers DivePort, a Web portal that’s designed to be the entry point into all of Dimensional Insight’s reporting and analytics tools. This product is composed of more than a dozen JSR-168 portlet applications that give users access to dashboards, KPIs, scorecards, and other data visualizations that have been developed with DI-Diver, Prodiver, or Netdiver.
A range of add-on tools help customers manage their BI environments. These include DI-Broadcast, which delivers reports via e-mail; DI-Analyst, a high-level programming language designed to process data held in DI models; DI-Scheduler, which can help automate BI tasks; Diveline, which addresses the security and performance of DI software; and Lookup Manager, an Excel plug-in for viewing lookup tables. There is also InterPort for customers that want Dimensional Insight to host the entire The Diver Solution.
Version 6.2 Enhancements
New features added to version 6.2–which has been the focus of Dimensional Insight for more than a year–are focused on enhancing and facilitating the process of creating role-based dashboards, scorecards, and actionable reports for end-users, the company says.
Many of these enhancements are delivered in DivePort, the Web portal for analytics and reporting. With version 6.2, administrators are given more intuitive access to all of the dashboard configuration functions, making it much easier to establish a consistent look-and-feel across reports, graphs, and other BI content.
DivePort plays a greater role in The Diver Solution with version 6.2, which brings DivePort more BI scorecard capabilities. DivePort users can click on any dashboard item, KPI, or report view and bring the underlying levels of details into view. This “instantaneous access” will empower employees to make informed decisions without involving IT pros to groom the data for them, the company says.
One happy user of The Diver Solution 6.2 is IT giant EMC, which uses the software in its professional services organization. Bob Petrillo, corporate technical operations manager for EMC, says the software’s capability to show actual results against forecasted numbers is a big plus. “Most users would extract the data, put it into other formats, and then manually apply their goals and targets,” Petrillo says. “Version 6.2 allows us to display current data with targets and goals all in one space, which makes DI’s dashboard and scorecard abilities several times more powerful than other methods we’ve tried to use.”
“With The Diver Solution 6.2, we’ve provided organizations with a flexible approach for adapting BI to the varied needs of their employees, which empowers business users to not only access but also, act on role-based critical data,” Frederick Powers, president and CEO of Dimensional Insight, stated in an announcement.