Informatica Corporation announced a significant release of its PowerAnalyzer business intelligence (BI) platform with ease-of-use enhancements, delivering on the industry's long-standing promise to bring BI to the masses. The result of an 18-month development process, PowerAnalyzer 4 (code name "Wildfire") features innovations that further extend the power of BI beyond the traditional group of power users and business analysts to the everyday user.

In its PowerAnalyzer 4 release, Informatica introduced five significant technology innovations: overall usability enhancements, integration with Excel, guided-analysis capabilities, integrated performance- management capabilities and true real-time awareness. All new features are geared toward extending BI capabilities to a much broader base of users within an organization.

  1. Extreme usability. In an approach that is common within the consumer packaged goods industry but unique to enterprise software, Informatica used a "persona driven" design methodology in its PowerAnalyzer 4 release to greatly enhance usability. Using the results from extensive interviews, Informatica developed features and functionality tailored for a core group of personas, or user-personality profiles that are common to almost all companies.
  2. Embedded Excel. PowerAnalyzer is a BI platform that allows users to leverage the full functionality of their Excel installation while remaining within the BI interface. Data can be refreshed live from PowerAnalyzer directly into Excel templates or Excel pivot tables.
  3. Guided analysis. With its patent-pending Analytic Workflow technology, PowerAnalyzer bridges the gap between identifying a problem on a dashboard and understanding its root cause in the underlying data. Users clickthrough a visual decision tree that easily guides them through the analysis of business metrics such as profitability, employee turnover or sales performance. Users can create and save paths using existing reports for greater enterprise collaboration and decision making.
  4. Integrated performance management. PowerAnalyzer has added new features such as scorecarding, dashboards, six sigma metrics, metrics management, ad hoc query, analysis and report bursting all within a single-server, single-product architecture. PowerAnalyzer's integrated approach allows users to be up and running with little to no training. Additionally, IT professionals do not have to install and maintain a mix of multiple Web and client/server products on multiple servers.
  5. Real-time enabled. Informatica PowerAnalyzer 4 incorporates a real-time architecture that can be coupled with contextual right-time metrics.

In addition to its usability enhancements, Informatica PowerAnalyzer has also added a number of architectural and platform enhancements. For example, the product has added intelligent caching to the back-end analytic engine. PowerAnalyzer also now has the industry's first Internet-centric SDK for extensibility by third-party developers.

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