CATEGORY: Data Mining & Visualization

REVIEWER: Levi A. Sorrell, director of advanced analytics for Janssen Pharmaceutica Products, L.P.

BACKGROUND: Janssen Pharmaceutica Products, L.P. is the sales and marketing affiliate company for prescription drugs of a major healthcare company.

PLATFORMS: Inxight VizServer is running on Compaq AP 700s with dual-processor 500 MHz Xeons under Windows 2000.

PROBLEM SOLVED: We wanted to know information such as what factors differentiate the high-performing salesperson from low performers, which types of accidents are most likely to occur, which types of cars are involved and the characteristics of the driver.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Inxight VizServer's Table Lens functionality provides simultaneous rapid-fire testing of large numbers of variables and large volumes of data. If at least one critical variable has categorical data (it makes analysis easier), Table Lens allows us to study 5 to 25 variables at the same time. (While it may handle more, visually I can not discern differences if there are more.) Unlike other visualization tools I have used, the tool does its job without requiring me to imagine multiple dimensions in space. I can hold one or more factors constant and sort on another variable anywhere it is located on the screen. Instant generation and testing of potential relationships points me in possible directions for further data mining.

STRENGTHS: Inxight VizServer's strengths are its ease of use and its simple elegance for visualizing large numbers of variables simultaneously, without the legwork of other products I have used.

WEAKNESSES: I have primarily used Windows editing commands (copy/paste) to get data in; and even though I am working with large prescription databases, I have seldom choked it. However, when I have used its import commands, I have appeared to overwhelm it. Moreover, some of these functions are not as intuitive as the rest of VizServer's Table Lens.

SELECTION CRITERIA: VizServer's Table Lens provides the unique ability to simultaneously examine frequencies for a large number of variables.

DELIVERABLES: The primary output I use is onscreen graphics and their reproduction in PowerPoint.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Inxight has been immeasurably easy to work with and has provided access to the product manager when needed. (No, I have never been more than a commercial customer.)

DOCUMENTATION: The product is so easy to employ that I have never used the written documentation and have rarely used online help. It is extremely intuitive right out of the box.

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