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Enterprise Information Sources

Data management projects stand and fall with end-user success. They depend on effective delivery of data to the data consumers. Access to the right data in the right format is the foundation on which analytics and analytic applications are built.

Server-based Data Sources

By requiring your business users to perform their analysis off of centralized data stores rather than mountains of Excel spreadsheets and local flat files you can ensure that everyone is working off of the same data and that corporate security policies and access rights are not violated or compromised.

The Spotfire Server's Information Services component simplifies the process of getting data from corporate data stores to the business users while ensuring that the source data retains its integrity by:

Leverage Existing Data Assets

Information Services leverages your existing centralized, corporate data and, whether it comes from isolated databases, flat or XML files, or unified data warehouses. By centralizing access to these data stores through the Spotfire Server, the end business users do not require special rights or drivers. The complexities of securely connecting to enterprise databases are hidden from the end user and IT has only one configuration and management point.

Spotfire leaves your existing data assets as they are. There is no requirement to change the format of the data from its original form or to allow Spotfire write access to any data source. This allows business users to derive value from all of the corporate data that can improve their decision-making without jeopardizing the integrity or quality of those assets.

The Spotfire Server can retrieve data from any source for which a JDBC driver is available or can be written, including Oracle, IBM DB2, Microsoft® SQL Server, Microsoft® Access, MySQL, SAS/SHARE, PostregSQL, Sybase and Informix.

Information Services can be configured to pass end-user credentials back to the source database, ensuring that the existing data security model in your database systems is not bypassed.

Apply Additional Structure

Information Services provides administrators and analysts a framework and Information Modeler workbench for adding additional structure and metadata to the raw data sources in order to adapt and simplify it for use by business users in a specific process or context. For example, the column names in the raw database maybe need to be transformed into something intuitive and readable, columns representing first and last name may need to be combined.

In addition to managing individual data fields, the Information Model also stores the relationships between those fields… even if the fields come from two different data sources. By breaking down the silos between disparate data sources, Spotfire can be used by business users generate valuable insights that would never become apparent if analysis continued to be performed within the individual systems that generates the data.

Transformation functions built-in to Spotfire to pivot, aggregate, or organize data in hierarchies can be configured once on the server and reapplied every time the data is accessed by the end users.

In some cases additional pre-processing needs to be done to transform the data by an existing statistical engine in order reduce the quantity of data or add new values to the data. Spotfire natively reads in SAS data sets processed by SAS and other data processors can be integrated into a complete customized solution.

Modification and execution permissions can be administered at any level of the Information Model.

Simplify Data Query Building and Retrieval

The complexity of data access, querying, and retrieval is hidden from the end users behind the more familiar, contextual language of guided Information Links.

The guided Information Links provide live, pre-defined server-based queries that can prompt end users to select what data to retrieve for analysis.

They are generated on top of the Information Model and stored centrally on the server, so if the underlying data sources change they can be updated without effecting the end user application.

Merge or Replace Contextual Data

The Spotfire platform makes it easy to add new contextual data to enrich the analysis and keep the data current. The merging of new rows or columns from additional data sources can be done through the server, the client, or a combination of both.

Client-based Data Sources

Spotfire's client data import capabilities allow your users to dynamically import or merge additional data from local data sources such as text files, Microsoft® Excel files or the Windows clipboard. The combination of central and local data sources enables quick prototyping and it saves you both time and resources by not having to centrally deploy all temporary data sources.

Spotfire's interactive visualization and dynamic querying environment is self-configured based on the data set imported (US Patent 6,014,661). It does not require any development or administration for the data to be visualized and queried.

The Spotfire client is unique in its ability to combine the analysis of both local and server-based data simultaneously.

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