Hyperion moves to add data contrasting tools to Essbase

Data analysis software vendor Hyperion Solutions Corp. recently said that it’s developing functionality that will provide a virtual corporate memory to end users who need to examine historical business data.

Hyperion next year plans to add life-cycle management capabilities to its flagship Essbase XTD business intelligence software. The added features are being designed to provide users with insights into budgets, individual business projects and other data in an automated way, according to the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company.

The software will help customers create repositories of data related to business performance that users can access without having to fish through files and documents or seek information from other workers, said John Kopcke, Hyperion’s chief technology officer. “We’re trying to remove trial and error from the [decision-making] process,” he said.

Looking at Metrics

For example, users in sales, finance and marketing departments will be able to look into the metrics behind business plans, budgets and individual projects and then drill down to see how the data has changed over time, Kopcke said. Users will also be able to record changes and analyze why they happened, depending on the business rules that have been built into the software.

In addition, the upgraded Essbase technology will provide a forum for companies to store comments that explain alterations to historical financial data or business projections. Kopcke declined to provide a specific shipment date for the new software.

“This is a valuable capability that people don’t appreciate until they make an invalid comparison based on bad assumptions,” said Mike Schiff, an analyst at Current Analysis Inc. in Sterling, Va. The data-tracking functionality being promised by Hyperion is akin to the bills of material that manufacturers use to keep track of the different components they use to make products, Schiff said.

He added that the only other software vendor he knows of that’s doing something similar is Kalido Ltd., a London-based developer of data warehousing and business reporting tools.