This is an article from the August 2006 issue of DM Review's Extended Edition. Click on this link for more information on DMR Extended Edition or to download this entire issue in a PDF format.Extracting information from transactional applications is a continuing struggle for businesses today. Vendors have created report templates, metadata management tools, schemas and load scripts. Collectively, these constitute a category of analytic applications tailored specifically for transactional applications. Ventana Research calls these products application BI and conducted a survey earlier this year on the subject.

Figure 1

Adoption of application BI is well established. The majority of survey respondents said they have existing deployments (44 percent) or development under way (27 percent). Few respondents cited no intention to deploy application BI. While most current deployments (66 percent) were relatively small (up to 200 users), final deployments of projects or partial others to be completed in the next 12 months were expected to be much larger: 42 percent claimed final deployments of 1,000 to more than 20,000 users.

Figure 2

Responses were divided equally for and against the idea that application BI deployments reduce dependence upon extraction, transformation and loading (ETL) systems and data warehouses. Specifics of the organization, such as individuals involved, business information needs, and the implementation and support processes involved, likely contribute as much to reliance on ETL applications and data warehouses as does the use or not of an application BI system.

Figure 3

The results of the study indicate that with the proper use of application BI, end users are more self-sufficient, administration is more fully automated and data is integrated better. For more information, please go to

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