Izenda Series 7 – Embedded and Self-Service Analytics

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Izenda Series 7 is a major new release introducing a BI Portal configuration and a powerful Administration User Interface (Admin UI). The BI Portal means Izenda can be used as a stand-alone BI environment, in addition to the well-established embedding capabilities, for which it is well known. This opens up new opportunities for Izenda, and places it in direct competition with many of the more recent visual analytics platforms such as Tableau and Qlik. As such Izenda should see increased interest from businesses that wish to implement self-service analytics. The traditional market for Izenda has been the OEM, building systems that needed embedded analytics within their applications, and similarly for businesses that needed embedded BI functionality.

To complement the introduction of the BI Portal, Izenda has beefed up its Admin UI, to the extent that all administration functions can be executed via an easy to use interface. This opens up the use of Izenda to departments and other groups who might wish to deploy their own BI Portal, and diminishes reliance on IT considerably. The functionality of this UI is extensive, addressing such needs as data set up, license management, preparation of data in the form of connections to database, calculated fields, and aliases to give attributes user friendly names; access to tables, views and stored procedures, relationship definitions – and so on. Complex multistep calculated fields can be created, adding considerably to the extensibility of the platform. User and role set up is very sophisticated, with the ability to define the data permissions, and functionality available by role. The user set up includes features such as language and date and time preference.

Izenda has traditionally been closely tied to Microsoft platforms, but over the last eighteen months the product has been largely rewritten. The front-end is Javascript and HTML and is therefore framework and environment agnostic. The platform runs as a web application, so the user simply accesses the functionality they need through a web browser.

Clearly Izenda is broadening the appeal of its platform by offering a stand-alone environment, in addition to its better-known embedding capabilities. It is also appealing directly to the self-service analytics market through the very friendly user interface and the Admin GUI, allowing skilled business users to pretty much control their own BI environment.

Functionality

Izenda offers a broad range of functionality – broader than many competing BI platforms. The notable addition is production reporting, often neglected by many visual analytics platforms. Charts, graphs, maps, gauges and dashboards provide the visual environment, and the user interface is primarily drag and drop – as offered in many competing products. What does differentiate Izenda, is the ability to programmatically generate these artifacts.

Other functionality includes alerts, report scheduling and distribution, and as mentioned above, the new Admin GUI.

Architecture

A three tier architecture forms the framework for Izenda – presentation (i.e., visuals), function (e.g. custom functions, code etc), and the data layer. The last of these serves to join data sources together and create a semantic layer so users see a business-friendly interface to data. While Izenda does support caching, it relies on source databases to serve up data. This contrasts with many BI platforms that include some form of database of their own. While these databases are optimized for certain types of query, they are not general purpose. Relying on source databases does mean they must be configured so queries can be executed with acceptable levels of performance.

Multi-tenancy is a strong feature of Izenda, something that is obviously of value to OEMs and others offering SaaS. This extends to the new Admin GUI, where administrators can control all aspects of tenancy without having to drop down to code.

Izenda is a small footprint product – the complete platform is only around 250 MB, and for embedded BI it only requires 45 MB. These modest requirements are characteristic of the platform.