Coglin Mill And Help/Systems Tag Team For Analytics
April 23, 2012 Dan Burger
It’s fair to say business analytics on the IBM i platform has a more serious business attitude compared to some of the lightweight activities that get lumped into this category on less robust systems. And you’ve probably heard the complaints about insufficient analytical capabilities that do little or nothing to solve real business problems. The failure of deployments to achieve the hoped for objectives shakes the confidence of CEOs contemplating business intelligence projects at all levels.
It also raises questions about the wisdom of taking data from the IBM i platform and feeding databases on other platforms when the decision to do the analytics on the IBM i box could often be the better choice. Strategies guided by a lack of information–or an abundance of misinformation–about IBM i have been known to lead companies down a crooked path.
Stepping into this arena where nothing less than quantifiable business benefits are expected are two IBM i ISVs, who are combining efforts to provide what they think organizations need to crunch data more effectively than ever before.
Coglin Mill brings the data warehouse and data mart expertise while Help Systems adds the graphical query tool. Together, the companies claim they can “optimize business intelligence for organizations seeking to optimize DB2 for i.” Both Coglin Mill’s RODIN and Help Systems’ SEQUEL have referential histories in IBM i shops, although it’s unknown how often they have been paired for purpose the two firms are now promoting. It’s much more likely they have been deployed independent of one another.
For those who favor the RPG and DB2/400 method of creating data extracts, transformations, and change data capture (CDC) routines in production IBM i databases, RODIN was made to do just that. It also has extract, transform and load capabilities with graphical representation of mappings, business rules and transformations and is integrated with the native IBM i environment, which gives it a key performance differentiator compared to other ETL tools.
In shops where folks with biases toward setting up business intelligence projects on other platforms, this kind of comparison and this kind of thinking is often dismissed or it is never even put into a discussion by those most familiar with the IBM i environment but unfamiliar with business analytical potential on the box.
RODIN sources data from local and remote DB2 for i tables, DB2 databases on other platforms, and Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, and other databases; it also has built-in change data capture capabilities lets users identify and load new and changed data.
SEQUEL is paired up with RODIN because of its strengths in data access, visualization, and analysis. It handles ad hoc queries, is the basis of executive dashboards and executive information systems, and has multi-platform database access and reporting, while bringing data to desktops, laptops, web browsers, and mobile devices. It is a multi-purpose utility that excels at executing queries and generating reports from DB2/400 as well as other relational databases.
Alan Jordan, executive vice president at Coglin Mill, characterized one of the value propositions of the bundled software package is “a secure, reliable and auditable solution for supporting the business analytics process. . . . Instead of having to deal with data from disparate systems, in mismatched formats, with all sorts of usability and data quality issues; SEQUEL developers will be . . . able to produce any desired report. SEQUEL provides the dashboards and various views that perform with RODIN’s data warehouse on-demand. Our automated BI integration platform complements the business intelligence environment and improves the rapid development and predictability of accurate information, and the efficient delivery of reports, resulting in savings in time and costs.”
One other thing for those of you who are in a hardware buying cycle, the IBM i Solution Edition machines offers a discounted price on Power Systems boxes preconfigured with RODIN software. You can find information on the Solution Edition boxes at this IBM website.