One business intelligence vendor has characterized data access as potentially fragmented when viewed in a systems context. This is especially evident when tracking transactions across many functional business areas. The vendor goes on to point out that their system, Cognos 8, offers a powerful array of access hooks that may be useful to potential buyers of BI reporting software. They are:
∑ ETL – Extract, Transform, Load – Integrates data from multiple sources to a common repository location.
∑ EII – Enterprise Information Integration – connects to multiple disparate data sources in near real-time.
∑ Direct Access – If your organization has some rudimentary level of BI with some tools in place, this capability can provide seamless access.
∑ Common Metadata – Structures data regardless of source and format into a common foundation using rules, calculation, and filter technologies.