Informatica releases product to consolidate analytics

Informatica on Monday released data integration software it said enables companies to send their data to one geographic location from where it can be analyzed.

The company said its product, PowerChannel, extends the data integration capabilities of Informatica's PowerCenter analytics software.

Using the software, companies can pre-process their data before transferring only the applicable information to one location. In addition, they can send their data across the Web or a WAN, and run analytics on it from one central location, said Joe Nicholson, vice president of marketing at Informatica, in Palo Alto, Calif.

"It's data integration on a global scale from disparate locations," Nicholson said.

He added that the software enables companies to transfer securely encrypted data at terabyte speeds.

Nicholson explained a retail chain could send pre-processed data from CRM (customer relationship management), financial or supply chain management datawarehouses to its corporate headquarters every night, where PowerCenter can analyze it all in one place.

After the analysis is run, the data can then be pushed back out to local data stores to support localized decision-making.

Mark Smith, an analyst at Full Circle Strategies, in Truckee, Calif., said PowerChannel is a logical extension of Informatica's product line.

"Customers are using FTP, batch programs, mainframe transfer programs that are not integrated into Informatica PowerCenter, which is additional management and issues in their information architecture," he said.

"Enterprises have data scattered in so many different places that they have trouble getting anything resembling a consolidated view," said Josh Greenbaum, principal analyst at Enterprise Applications Consulting in Daly City, Calif.

Greenbaum added that most large companies have data scattered across so many different locations that getting anything resembling a consolidated view is difficult.

The integration of corporate data for analytical purposes is increasingly finding traction with consulting firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and SPSS, which both launching business units to specifically handle it. Likewise, enterprise application vendors SAP AG, PeopleSoft Inc., Siebel Systems Inc. and Oracle Corp. are either partnering to add analytic capability or building it themselves.

"As the complexity and interdependency of business processes increase, the need for analytics that can track those complexities and interdepencies increases with it," Greenbaum said.

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