Actuate unveils Analytics and a full BI platform

Enterprise reporting company Actuate Corp., announced a new product on Monday that it claims will give power users — or users that perform complex analysis — a self-service method of accessing information beyond Web reports and spreadsheets.

Actuate Analytics is an analytic reporting product with a customizable interface that can be tailored to a user’s skill level, while also offering personalized cubes that allow users to quickly access relevant information. The product offers offline analysis for users to analyze cubes remotely, the San Francisco-based company said in a statement.

IT departments and power users have, in the past, been responsible for analytics products and the products have involved complex interfaces and functionality that requires a lot of training, Actuate said. The analytics product will improve usability and will eliminate the need for firms to purchase, manage and deploy separate analytics and enterprise reporting infrastructures.

One industry analyst said Actuate is venturing into a technology area usually occupied by Business Objects, Cognos Inc., Microstrategy Inc., and many others.

“[Analytic reporting] is a new territory for Actuate, and a very mature technology area,” said Keith Gile, senior industry analyst with Forrester Research Inc. in Norwalk, Conn. “Actuate is one of the leading enteprise reporting vendors, with a significant install base, which will help them in seeding the product.”

Gile said the real test for Actuate’s entry into the analytic reporting realm will be in a head-to-head competition with the leading vendors already occupying the space.

“By offering an analytic reporting solution, Actuate is positioning itself to be a one vendor alternative in all facets of reporting (analytic, enterprise, and business reporting), which is attractive to many IT organizations,” Gile said.

Actuate said that with the addition of Actuate Analytics, its Actuate 7 — an enterprise reporting application platform — is the first unified business intellegence platform to centrally manage and deliver ad-hoc queries, interactive spreadsheets and Web reports.

Through a single-platform approach that can be deployed on a single server or a cluster of servers, organizations are able to distribute personalized information to a diverse user base which in turn can improve corporate performance, the company said.

Actuate Analytics will be available in a limited production version on Dec. 31, 2003 and is scheduled for general availability at the end of January 2004. Pricing for the Actuate Analytics Option statrts at US$15,000 per CPU, and US$495 per developer for Actuate Cube Designers.

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