REVIEWER: Andy Palmer, chief information officer for Infinity Pharmaceuticals.

BACKGROUND: Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a drug discovery company that is developing and integrating unique approaches and capabilities in synthetic chemistry, chemical genetics, informatics and biological screening. Infinity is deploying a Web services-based drug discovery platform using DecisionSite 7.0 as the analytic engine that facilitates analysis of large amounts of structured information generated inside and outside of the company.

PLATFORMS: Infinity is running Spotfire DecisionSite with an Oracle database running on Windows 2000.

PROBLEM SOLVED: There's a sea of data in the scientific community – genomic, chemical, public, private – available to scientists on any given day. Our Web services architecture, combined with Spotfire's analytical capabilities, helps remove the technical barriers so scientists can access and interact with massive amounts of data from disparate sources.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Spotfire's analytic software is our focal point. Tremendous amounts of data from multiple sources come together and allow scientists to ask questions that they could not ask before because the sheer amount of data was overwhelming. DecisionSite lets our scientists easily manipulate large data sets. The software generates revealing, interactive, multidimensional representations of our data in real time to speed understanding and facilitate faster, better decision making.

STRENGTHS: Spotfire DecisionSite is unique. It allows our scientists to interact with their data visually and communicate with each other using sophisticated visualizations. Using Spotfire, we can sift through massive amounts of data easily and efficiently, identifying patterns and trends and changing the constants and variables on the fly. The ability to easily change variables in various scenarios is a tremendous boost to productivity and effectiveness.

WEAKNESSES: The most difficult thing about DecisionSite is deciding precisely what to do with it because it can be easily configured to do so much. Organizations need to carefully determine data and decision requirements to ensure they configure the specific functionality they need.

SELECTION CRITERIA: The key to our choice was Spotfire's ability to plug analytics into our Web services architecture.

DELIVERABLES: Spotfire DecisionSite draws upon large amounts of data, visually modeling the data into a 3-D interactive environment that supports key decisions in our scientific programs.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Our success is obviously important to Spotfire. The few times we have had problems or concerns, Spotfire has immediately come to our aid. Spotfire also provided the requisite support and training.

DOCUMENTATION: We have not had trouble running the product with the provided documentation. Spotfire DecisionSite uses a very intuitive graphical interface to allow our scientists to interact directly with their data. Spotfire is extremely dynamic; it works the way people think.

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