REVIEWER: Christian Faulconer, chief operating officer for Sharp Analytics.

BACKGROUND: Sharp Analytics has a rich history in data mining, statistical modeling, and data mart creation and management. We provide our customers with traditional business intelligence (BI) solutions. Sharp Analytics has offices in New York and Salt Lake City, and works with some of the most respected companies in the world.

PLATFORMS: Intel platform and Linux Red Hat advanced server.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Sharp has seen a recent upsurge in the number of clients requesting a solution that would deliver accurate, timely and relevant data to decision-makers in a format which is instantly understandable. The result is called "visual analytics." Simple visual representations of complex problems can be created with CORDA CenterView in the form of charts, graphs and maps that are easier to comprehend than static charts and graphs.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: In an effort to deploy sleek, powerful dashboards populated with world-class BI and analytics, Sharp is able to make static information visual and immediately accessible. Sharp collects marketing and other business data for its clients, cleanses and standardizes the data and uses CenterView to provide immediate visual access to Sharp's predictive analytics. While Sharp utilizes some very complex processes behind the scenes, the user is shielded from that complexity with a sleek, customized dashboard that displays BI information in a way that lets him or her focus on understanding the information without the clutter.

STRENGTHS:  With CenterView, we are able to see in advance potential problems, current standings and hidden trends. We gain an intuitive understanding that could only come from a visual representation of the data. CenterView Builder, which Sharp utilizes to actually create the dashboards, is very easy to use. The ability to visualize BI analytics outside of spreadsheets or even rudimentary charts and graphs cannot be underestimated. CenterView is based on a true interactive data visualization model and is pervasive enough to gather data instantly from unlimited sources in virtually any data model. It provides a real-time and detailed view of each situation, eliminating the need to monitor information from old spreadsheets or reports. Drill-down capabilities on each key performance indicator (KPI) compare up-to-date operations with prior performance. Information is aesthetically portrayed according to each user's preferences. Facts, statistics and figures are readily available for users via Web-enabled laptops, PDAs or even cell phones.

WEAKNESSES: CenterView does not have direct analytic functions. While CenterView has a sophisticated set of filters for data manipulation and it can connect to multiple data sources, it does not deal well with the inherent complexity of data from disparate data sources. We have found that CenterView works best when the data is integrated into a data mart prior to visualization.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Sharp was in the market for flexibility and speed. We initiated a search for a solution that would create dashboards to complement our predictive analytics. We were searching for a solution that would smoothly integrate with our system and remove the technical limitations from users who are not tech savvy. In addition, we needed a solution to quickly provide visually appealing and customizable reports in real time.

DELIVERABLES:  With CenterView, there are unlimited options for visualization. Easy-to-use, customizable charts, graphs and maps deliver mission-critical information for decisions-makers. All information has extreme drill-down capabilities as well as options to export to Flash, JPG and Excel formats. The most valuable function Sharp found is that CenterView has decreased development time significantly. It formerly took Sharp eight weeks to create a BI portal. Today we can do it in two weeks.

VENDOR SUPPORT: When we have had to use CORDA's support, it has been excellent. CORDA's support team offers first-rate quick-start tutorials for its solutions as well as technical overviews, developer references, and free support and upgrade services for one year after maintenance purchase. The online developer forum provides a secure and interactive location for customers to easily communicate.

DOCUMENTATION: Occasionally the explanation is overly simplified. If examples were included, the documentation would be much more user-friendly. Overall, the documentation is very easy to understand.

CORDA Technologies, Inc.
350 S. 400 West, Suite 100
Lindon, UT  84042
(801) 805-9400

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