Chris Reeves

Chris Reeves

Native jBase Support

MultiValue databases are found in countless industries including Point of Sale, Manufacturing, Distributing, Banking, Human Resources, Higher Education, and many others. In your day-to-day life it’s highly likely you interact with a product or service that utilizes a MultiValue database environment.

Entrinsik is proud to offer native support for the primary databases in this market, namely UniData, UniVerse, and as of recently, we are excited to announce, jBase. Supporting these databases natively means our users speak directly to their target database in the appropriate query language – and therefore enjoy functionality only available in that way. MultiValues, BY-EXPLODING, i-descriptors, LIST verbs, SB+ conversions… if these concepts mean anything to you and you are an Informer customer, then you know!

System administrators of these UniData, UniVerse, and jBase environments have long been forced to normalize their data out to a SQL-friendly type environment simply to allow for a basic requirement: reporting. The headache that goes along with creating and maintaining a database copy in a non-source format is a particularly painful one. Our Embedded Partners and Clients are quick to recommend Informer as the solution.

Informer began as a native MultiValue reporting tool and over time matured into a world-class reporting and business intelligence platform supporting datasources of any type; structured or unstructured, local or cloud sourced. As a MultiValue reporting company, we understand how critical it is to have a native MultiValue connection to achieve your reporting objectives. See firsthand how Informer and Informer Embedded provide the tools necessary to get the most out of your data by requesting a free demo.

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What is Embedded Analytics

An embedded analytics platform is software seamlessly integrated into your application providing both developers and end users real-time ad hoc reporting, visualization, data preparation, pixel-perfect templating, dashboarding, and other analytics functionality.

Time-to-market, Resources, Complete Solution

Getting to market quickly is a critical factor in the overall success of an application. Development teams spend time and resources identifying the appropriate collection of technologies to achieve their goals: which data storage strategy, logic tier, front-end framework, etc. Building your own analytics suite is possible, but not practical, and would delay product launch.

Choosing an embedded analytics platform allows development to focus on core vertical functionality. And, over time as your embedded platform continues to add functionality, so too do the analytical capabilities of your offering.

On the sales and revenue side, software buyers overwhelmingly prefer complete solution products. Embedded analytics provide seamless, integrated, simple to use analytics and business intelligence capabilities that increase product value, leading to faster sales at a higher price.

Engagement, User Experience

An ever-present, widespread, and consistent use of embedded analytics within your application tier engages users through compelling visual displays, dashboards, and interactives – all seamless and in context. Visualizations are the key for bringing data to life.

Tools for exploring data and navigating data stories yield powerful, engaging user experiences. An embedded analytics platform pins this engagement throughout your application workflows – the analytics process isn’t to export data elsewhere; instead, data discovery occurs within the application itself.

Actionable Insight, Depth

In-context analytics are invaluable for actionable insight, and an integrated platform is ideal for delivering this value. Users rely not only on the application workflows, but also on the close coupling of data in place and the associated analytics.

It is this depth of insight that offers the analytics-focused user experience. Reports are no longer simple grids of rows and columns or rigid PDF documents, but instead are interactive, context relevant visuals and interactive, drillable charts and dashboards. Embedded everywhere, seamlessly.

There Is a Better Way to Work

Informer Embedded allows your development staff to integrate a mature, modern analytics platform into your application. In turn, your users enjoy a seamless, engaging analytics environment. We built Informer Embedded to offer that full cycle experience for development and end users. Development teams focus on their core value, and end users gain data intelligence.

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USING GEOTAGS IN INFORMER

Chris Reeves, VP of Informer Partnerships, explores the benefit of using third party tools to enhance Informer 5.

Our clients and partners have found many use cases for incorporating Google Maps with geotag data into Dashboards and Reports. There are police departments looking at crime incidents and how they’re concentrated within specific locales. Municipalities can also analyze car accidents and how to better traffic patterns. Distributors can optimize the product flow of their supply chain. Informer’s pluggable architecture provides limitless potential in utilizing location data with out-of-the-box functionality and third-party tools.

Informer comes with a Flow Step called “Zip2Geo.” This allows users to reference zip codes to generate an average latitude and longitude for each row of data. This then gets plotted onto a Google Map highlighting concentrations with colors and markers. To map individual addresses with their coordinates, we looked at third party tools and created a plugin and Flow Step using Geocodio’s API.

In my Informer instance I also have the Google Maps Plugin installed. This plugin enables full use of embedded Google Maps inside Informer. To use this plugin you must obtain a Google Maps API Key found here. Note there is a potential cost associated with the Google Maps API Key, but it only kicks in with enormous volume requests.

For this demonstration, I found a dataset containing the street addresses of nearly 2000 McDonald’s restaurants. Once loaded as an Informer Dataset, we can begin to process the addresses.

The Geocod.io plugin injects a new Flow Step into Informer. Simply add the new Geocode Flow Step to your Dataset and identify the column containing full street address data. The Flow Step will POST those addresses to the Geocod.io API and in return populate your Dataset with new columns containing associated latitude and longitude.

The Geocod.io Plugin injects a new Flow Step into Informer
The Geocod.io Flow Step populates the dataset with new columns, one of which is the latitude and longitude of the provided address

Informer recognizes the latitude and longitude column as being a datatype of Location, and the Google Maps visual accepts the Location datatype to generate a Google Map with Location markers. You can now zoom into a Google Map, click a marker, and choose to view with Google Street View!

Have a look for yourself and find your local McDonald’s. Drill down into the dashboard, click on a marker and select “Street view” for a fully interactive street view of that location. I’ve created the visual and included it in a dashboard:

The Google Maps Visual accepts a Dataset field with a Location data type
The Geocod.io Plugin and Google Maps Visual produce a Google Map with street view level accuracy

Geocodio is one of many such geotag services available online. We chose to use it here because they offer a reasonably high volume of free lookups per day – currently 2,500. So it works well for demonstration purposes. But Informer can easily support other services in the same way and achieve the same result. If your organization is interested in learning more, get in touch with the support staff at i5support@entrinsik.com and we’ll discuss details.

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Partnering with the IT organization

Many prospective customers say creating complex reports is challenging. What challenges them the most is getting data out of their systems and asking the IT staff to write the necessary queries to pull a report or create post-query filters and visuals. If the report isn’t quite right, they need to go back to IT and submit another request.

For companies with only one person who knows the database language and who can code, the dependency on that person can cause roadblocks to productivity. Unfortunately for end users, IT staff is often busy juggling many projects, so it can take a while to get a report.

IT departments have a legitimate concern with users accessing data because reports can easily become inconsistent with each other when they are created by different individuals within the organization. For organizations with an IT staff whose policy is to control the data, Informer delivers the perfect solution by enabling IT to create connections to all their different data warehouses while maintaining data governance and security over who has access to the data by using Informer Datasets.

Since the data within Datasets has been curated through the data governance process, a huge burden can be lifted from the IT staff whereby they can allocate more time to focus on critical projects. By designating a few technical people to be data owners within their respective departments, IT managers find it easier to offload more reporting responsibility to users. And, with Dataset access being granted by IT, users can create self-service reports that meet their needs.

To learn more about the functionality mentioned here or any other Informer functionality, please contact Informer Support with questions or to schedule training.

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IT World Canada delivers success using Informer

It’s always great to hear directly from customers describing how they are using your software and where they are recognizing value. In the attached white paper, Arlo Murphy, Director of Business Intelligence and Audience Services at ITWorldCanada.com, the leading source of IT news in Canada since the 1980s, describes how instrumental Informer’s data analysis and business intelligence is in delivering highly successful marketing campaigns on behalf of IT World Canada’s clients looking to promote their products and services to targeted segments within its subscriber base.

“We rely on Informer’s powerful reporting and dashboard functionality to keep us on top of all of our campaigns so that we can deliver every registration to every client on time”, said Arlo Murphy.

In this white paper, you’ll hear Mr. Murphy describe how IT World Canada uses Informer to do Report Generation, Decision Support and Business Process Management:

  • Report Generation. Informer is used to generate both the lists of people to target, based on demographic information, past history and other data that is stored across several databases, and to generate lists of qualified registrations for clients.
  • Decision Support. An Informer Dashboard provides near-real-time status on all campaigns. This enables IT World Canada to determine which campaigns are healthy and which require intervention to fix problems with campaigns before they fail.
  • Business Process Management. The Dashboard is also used as a task manager to see what needs to be done and as a hub to manage access to all other tools”.

Click here to download a copy of the white paper.

We hope you enjoy reading this highly insightful paper and gain additional insight into how you can expand your use of Informer to achieve your goals.

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