The new features within PivotLink 4.2 are aimed at organizations looking to share BI data with suppliers, customers or partners. Such collaborative analysis of information can uncover inefficiencies and potential problems within business relationships, as well as trends in purchases, support and other processes, the company said.
"Relationships with key customers, constituents and market segments must be solidified and collaboration with partners and suppliers is key to driving efficiencies," Quentin Gallivan, chief executive of PivotLink, said in a statement released Tuesday. "PivotLink’s new offering was designed to allow business to better understand and analyze their operational information across systems both in and outside their enterprise."
The upgraded software-as-a-service offering has better layout options for customizing how the dashboard is visually represented. New explorer functions enable users to preview reporting styles immediately, and new administration features allow for the sharing of dashboards, reports and graphs within the context of rules organizations can set up in advance for data access and drill-path navigation options. Information can be shared by larger numbers of people within and outside anorganization.
PivotLink is offering an online demonstration of its SaaS product on the company's Web site. The online service can be deployed for $3,000 a month.
In a recent report, Forrester Research recommends that low-cost alternatives such as BI SaaS be used in smaller organizations, departmental use or to complement, not replace, mainstream BI tools. The subscription-based licensing model ofSaaS offering make them attractive in the current economic downturn.
However, Forrester warns that at least 80% of any BI effort lies in data sourcing, data integration, data cleansing and modeling, which are steps that do not offer a cheap and quick work-around. "So while lower-cost BI alternatives will save you some dollars in building reports and dashboards, that's only 20% of your cost and effort," Forrester says.