PowerOLAP Version 11 is here!

June 6, 2011

PowerOLAP Version 11 is now available. PowerOLAP Version 11 features POWeb, an exciting new development that delivers one-click publishing of a dynamic Excel spreadsheet to the Web, so that zero-footprint Internet users can connect to their data from anywhere. And there is much more: – performance enhancements within PowerOLAP models and for multi-user solutions, as well as additional features that allow more user control directly from Excel, such as an optimized bulk OLAP Paste function and a way to view an entire range of PowerOLAP formula logic from spreadsheet cells. In sum, PowerOLAP Version 11 provides more of what you expect from the best, fastest, most accessible  “Excel-Friendly” solution available for your planning, analysis and reporting requirements!

 

Click here to get all the new Technical Specifications

 

For more information:

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Business, Superstrings & Spreadsheets

August 3, 2010

Superstring theory is a branch of theoretical physics and is an attempt at a Theory Of Everything (TOE). It has been developed in an attempt to explain the very nature of the universe. The only trouble is that the mathematics required to explain any observed phenomena requires the use of up to 26 dimensions. We have all heard about the 3 spatial (width, height and depth) and 1 time dimension, but the other 22 may come as a bit of a surprise! These extra spatial dimensions are believed to exist on such small scales that we cannot perceive them.

The same is true of businesses in that they are multidimensional in their complexity. They almost always require more than 3 dimensions to accurately describe any particular business aspect. For example, a chain of flower shops may require analysis by Customer, Product Code, Branch, Sales Assistant, Numerical Measure (Qty, Revenue etc) and of course Time just to describe sales.

Most businesses are heavy users of spreadsheets such as Excel. In a recent survey conducted, 66% of respondents stated that they used Excel for budgeting and planning. Excel can only practically cater for 3 dimensions represented in rows, columns and sheets, and therefore does not seem the ideal tool to model the complex dimensionality of business. So if Excel is not an appropriate tool, what is?

OLAP technology was developed specifically to manage multidimensional data since the early 1990s. OLAP cubes offer advanced technology that now allows business users to perform fast and powerful reporting and querying of their complex business models.

BIOLAP Ltd provides OLAP expertise necessary to build the models, reporting and forecasting solutions needed to extract maximum value from business data. In doing so, we free up valuable time, create insight and build confidence in the numbers throughout organisations. For a free demonstration or no-obligation conversation about the dimensionality of your business why not call 01952 456 453 or join us for a free OLAP webinar held weekly at 3pm (UK time) on Friday afternoons.

(Written by Matthew Hipkiss – a Senior Consultant at BIOLAP)

BIOLAP becomes arcplan partner in UK & Ireland

July 15, 2010

We are pleased to announce that BIOLAP has become the UK & Ireland partner of arcplan. Headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany and with US headquarters in Philadelphia, arcplan delivers its solutions through a global direct sales force and a network of partners in over 30 countries. Founded in 1993, arcplan has more than 2,800 customers and 300,000 users worldwide.

arcplan will play a central role in enabling our clients to understand and improve their business performance through better decisions and process improvements. The arcplan software platform provides thorough visibility into corporate data regardless of where it is. It delivers key performance indicators to dashboards and scorecards for financial and operations managers, executives, and other staff.

With an integrated product platform, arcplan introduces uniform  data collection and dissemination, and implements process controls like workflow, schedules and notifications. arcplan is also often deployed to improve management processes such as budgeting, planning and forecasting; financial controlling, consolidation and reporting; sales and marketing management or HR and workforce management with proven bottom line benefits.

Interactive performance management applications have been deployed at arcplan customers such as, Bayer, CERN, Daimler, SBB, Thai Airways and UBS. arcplan customers generate rapid ROI due to quick implementation times and process improvements that lead to increased efficiency, lower costs and greater revenue. 

arcplan has built a reputation for excellence in working with industry-leading database, application and BI technologies. According to industry experts who publish the BI Survey, arcplan is the leading third-party BI vendor for SAP BI, Oracle Essbase and IBM Cognos TM1 installations. This reputation for excellence is grounded in innovation: not just the innovation in performing analysis across data sources but also innovation in interface creation, web deployment, analytical search and web services.

The arcplan product suite also interfaces with Microsoft BI and PowerOLAP solutions and we are therefore delighted that we can offer our clients even more comprehensive BI solutions than before.

Click here to see an Interactive example of an arcplan Dashboard

(note requires Java JRE installed)

 

For more information:

Zero Footprint Data Entry, Analysis and Reporting with PowerOLAP and Xcelcius

November 22, 2009

Many companies struggle to find scalable solutions to disseminate information to users without having to install software on users’ machines. Similarly, many companies struggle to consolidate information from extended sources such as a branch network or a large sales force.

Now, with PowerOLAP’s IDS Solution  (Internet Data Services) users can enter data (such as budgets, forecasts, stock numbers or sales details) directly into PowerOLAP’s central and fast multi-dimensional database and instantly see the results of these changes via the web and even 3G devices such as the iPhone or Blackberry.

Using PowerOLAP with Xcelcius also makes it easy to deliver a zero footprint client reporting interface. Sophisticated and highly visual dashboards can be distributed via the web and in PDF format using secure flash technology.

Click on the links below to link to an interactive web-based example or to open an interactive PDF document. Use the IDS link to our server and enter some data into the template. Then see how the graph and dashboard report instantly reflect the changes you have made!

Click here to see an Interactive web example of the Dashboard below

 

…. or click here to download an interactve PDF verion 

  

For more information:

Special Offer

Why not register today for a Free 3 Month Trial of PowerOLAP® V9 and take advantage of our free online webinars to get you started.

View and Deploy Excel Reports and Dashboards as Interactive Web Pages

October 26, 2009

In many organisations there is a conflict between users of data who enjoy working with Excel, and IT departments that prefer to disseminate information via Web servers for security reasons. Unfortunately most web solutions are poor replacements for Excel and this normally results in users cutting and pasting data from the web back into Excel, negating any controls or benefits that a Web service may bring.

However, now there is a way to design reports in Excel and publish them via the Web and retaining Excel’s functionality, formatting and graphing capabilities!

This week PARIS Technologies and XLCubed jointly announced a new release of XLCubed Web Edition that will allow users of PowerOLAP, a leading Excel friendly planning, analysis and reporting solution to author dynamic Excel reports using XLCubed PL and PowerOLAP® and then to publish these reports to the Web.

The Web based reports look and feel like normal Excel spreadsheets and will also allow users to write back data seamlessly from the web into a PowerOLAP database for budgeting or forecasting purposes and dynamically recalculate the report for new scenarios. With just a Web browser, you can now get secure, fast, live access to your reporting, analysis, budget, planning and forecasting applications developed with PowerOLAP®.

XLCubed Web Edition provides true thin-client, zero-footprint delivery of reports and planning templates with interactive data that you create in Excel. PowerOLAP® dynamically connects your back-end databases to an Excel or web interface providing you with the business intelligence you need in a single, cost-affordable platform.

Now, with XL Cubed and PowerOLAP®, you can:

  • Publish your reports as dynamic Web pages
  • Slice, dice and drill-down the data from the Web pages
  • Share reports and dashboards across the organization to anyone with permission and a web browser
  • Have best-in-class Web access to your reports with zero footprint

BIOLAP looks forward to the opportunity of serving you with truly Intelligent Solutions.

Click here to see an interactive example of the XL Cubed Dashboard below

Dashboard   

For more information:

Special Offer

Why not register today for a Free 3 Month Trial of PowerOLAP® V9 and XLCubed Web Server and take advantage of our free online webinars to get you started.View and Deploy Excel Reports and Dashboards as Interactive Web Pages

PowerOLAP Version 9 Launched!

September 17, 2009

We are thrilled to announce the release of PowerOLAP Version 9

PowerOLAP is a leading planning, analysis and reporting solution that has just got even better!

Cheetah

New Benefits of PowerOLAP Version 9

PowerOLAP has always been fast, but now it is even faster. PowerOLAP Version 9 delivers performance in a more compact and efficient database to speedily deliver the information you need. A major highlight of this release is the addition of a 64bit Server Platform, which removes restrictions on memory usage and database size and enables users to query the largest data sets with the complex multi-dimensional analytics. Additionally, the new internet (IDS) capability features compatibility with Google for reporting as well as PowerOLAP Mobile to make your life that much easier.

Internet Data Services (IDS) – IDS allows for the widespread deployment of the PowerOLAP solution to multiple, dispersed locations across the web. The web interface provides easy access to PowerOLAP data via a standard web browser, making it easy for you to take advantage of the Google and Mobile V9 features.

Google and PowerOLAP for Reporting – Given the new IDS functionality, users have the ability to perform OLAP manipulations with real-time organizational data, using Google’s free spreadsheet as your front end. This gives users a fast, efficient and cost effective report publishing and distribution platform for free and powered by the speed and flexibility of the PowerOLAP solution.

Mobile PowerOLAP – Web access to PowerOLAP gives users access to reports, budgets and forecasts on your PDA. Access to important real-time business data is immediate, when you need it.

For more information:

Special Offer

Why not register today for a Free 3 Month Trial of PowerOLAP V9 and take advantage of our free online webinars to get you started.

A Budgeting solution that actually works!

August 10, 2009

 At a time when the economy requires businesses to plan more carefully for the short and medium future, your budgeting process needs to be as efficient, effective and dynamic as possible.

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Unfortunately, using Excel alone to prepare budgets for true “multidimensional” business requirements (different departments, currencies, products, clients, etc.) causes worksheets to proliferate, with multiple Excel files circulated to different budget holders for their input. The result is an ever-growing number of linked, jumbo spreadsheets that use a myriad of formulas to consolidate budget results.

Common problems experienced in the budget process

Many so-called “budget solutions” still leave users frustrated with: 

  • The budgeting process taking too long, with most of the effort spent on number crunching and not enough time to review
  • the budgeting process being either too complex or not detailed enough
  • budgets not making sense
  • budget templates being cumbersome to update or change and
  • the budgeting process failing to drive solid business results…

PowerOLAP – a Budgeting Solution that Works!

If your organisation experiences any of the following scenarios, we believe that PowerOLAP is a fast, cost-effective and user friendly solution. PowerOLAP is a database, but one that works “like an Excel user thinks” (in addition to using Excel as a native and dynamic front end).  Data and formulas are stored in PowerOLAP which means that budget assumptions and formulas can be administered and maintained securely and easily, consolidation of budgets is automated and multiple versions of budgets or forecasts can be maintained for ‘real-time what-if’ scenarios. Results are immediate and allocations are automatically recalculated to show the effect on the bottom line. Budget review reports can be created at the click of a button, with drill down to detail under-pinning budget numbers.  In sum, Excel Users can “own” this product, and work with great speed and efficiency to really make the budgeting process work for key business purposes.

Free PowerOLAP Trial!

Why not try out PowerOLAP for free? Register at http://www.biolap.co.uk/contact.htm to receive a fully functional and free PowerOLAP license for 3 months with no obligation to purchase. We will also provide you with 1 hour’s free PowerOLAP training and a qualifying 1 day’s free implementation or application design consultancy.

Visit http://www.biolap.co.uk/  for more information or call us now on 01952 456 453 to arrange a free consultation.  If you are not responsible for the budgeting function in your company please forward this article on to the appropriate person within your organisation.

Decisions, decisions…. Do your systems support your decision process?

July 27, 2009

Decisions, Decisions...... 

Over time, all businesses and organisations gather data in their systems – data that is unique to them and yet remains unutilised and untouched. When organisations fail to protect the integrity of their data, the old adage “garbage in, garbage out” quickly becomes true. We then hear complaints such as “our data is full of errors or gaps” and “our data is inaccessible”.

BIOLAP specialises in helping clients to extract more value and competitive advantage from the data in their systems and organisation.

BIOLAP provides the following services

Cleaner Data – we can assist in cleaning up your historical data and advise on changes required in your processes to ensure that data appropriate to your organisation is captured consistently

More Accessible Data – Our view is that the key to more accessible data lies in the design and implementation of well structured data warehouse solutions, making it easier for non-IT staff and decision makers to navigate their way through the data. We subscribe to the Kimball methodology of data warehouse design. Value can be extracted within days or weeks by analysing the value chain of an organisation and focussing initial data marts on the areas of greatest concern or pain.

Better Reporting and Analysis – Implementing appropriate reporting and OLAP tools can make scheduled reporting and ad-hoc analysis of data more effective and efficient. Users will spend less time on data extraction and manipulation and more time on analysis, gaining deeper understanding of the business drivers.

Better Budgeting, Forecasting and Planning – Analysing the past is only important in so far as determining the impact on the future. We often see that historical reporting is totally divorced from forward looking planning activities. Our solutions allow users to base their forecasting models seamlessly on actual results to date. This allows for fast, real time, what-if scenarios to determine the possible outcomes of alternative strategies and plans.

Cleaner Data…  Deeper Analysis…  Better Decisions…

Higher Margins!

 Free Consultation

Register at http://www.biolap.co.uk/index.php/contact-us.html for more information or call Theunis Viljoen on 01952 456 453 to arrange a free consultation. If you are not responsible for the data in your company, please forward this letter on to the appropriate person within your organisation.    

Excel Productivity Improved!

July 20, 2009

Developments in information technology have revolutionised the way organisations work. Yet technology can also stifle productivity, trapping people in a systems cul-de-sac and costing your company a fortune. A good example of this is how businesses have used relational databases and Microsoft Excel for analytics, forecasting and modelling, in much the same way for the last 15 years, even though this provides a limited, two dimensional view of business information. Excel is a good tool, used by many throughout the world, but it is not perfect. It has limitations. It is a poor data repository and is less than efficient for accessing data in external sources.

Now, however, say Theunis Viljoen, founder of Biolap, a business intelligence software consultancy firm, and Duane Presti, CEO of PARIS Technologies, a global software publisher, it is possible to break that paradigm, and  instead view business information in a multi-dimensional way – a powerful business intelligence tool to be used by management to optimize decision making..

‘We noticed a huge gap in the way that most companies work,’ says Viljoen. ‘In the IT department, people seem to want to solve everything using relational databases. But then there is a separate culture of people within organisations, typically in finance departments, under pressure to get reporting or analytics done for senior management, that tend to want to solve everything using just Excel.’

The difficulty using relationship databases combined with Excel, however, is that the user is limited to using a rigid data structure in two dimensions, whereas activities like analytics, forecasting and modelling, really require agility in order to fully interpret a problem. 

‘There is an outdated Excel culture in many companies, where people do things out of habit, the way they have for the last ten or 15 years. They really haven’t changed the processes around the way that they work with Excel.’

Using existing methods require a lot of data manipulation, including a lot of manual data inputting‘ It is a clerical nightmare, and extremely unproductive, using highly skilled finance people to maintain what is, in some cases, many thousands of spreadsheets,’ says Presti. ‘One company had people typing sales data into a spreadsheet that took three days to complete. In another, there were some 3,000 people crunching in Excel for several hours a day. The failure to evolve and improve the Excel culture is so costly; it can be a big part of the payroll and, in some companies, their single largest cost.’

The failure to evolve and improve the Excel culture is so costly; it can be a big part of the payroll and, in some companies, their single largest cost.’

 

PARIS set about developing a better link between the customer’s data sources and the Excel spreadsheet – accepting that these two tools were unlikely to be abandoned by organisations. ‘The challenge was to access the data in a customer’s database and transform it in a way that Excel can make the most of it.’

They had three main goals: to improve the lives of people working with Excel, who currently waste a lot of valuable time doing clerical work; to give IT departments a tool that could be deployed to satisfy the needs of Excel users; and to help the users of spreadsheet information – typically the senior management, as most decision support information is provided to management  in Excel spreadsheets.

The result was PowerOLAP, which takes the relational data and transforms it into a multidimensional cube, then allowing the user to represent multidimensional information in Excel. It dynamically integrates the spreadsheet, Web browser, relational database and an optimised multidimensional database, creating a single, more powerful, more flexible application.

Users notice a number of differences in their business after deploying PowerOlap, says Presti. a greater contribution to the business because they have more time to analyze the data that they just obtained from a PowerOLAP cube. This instant access to real-time data is what empowers the Excel user to employ their analytical skills and make a broader, more significant contribution to the business.

‘Plus we guarantee savings of 25% of time, but many businesses save up to 90% of clerical time clerking spreadsheets; it dramatically changes their lives and the way that they use spreadsheets, freeing up people in the finance function to have a more strategic focus to their work.’

But perhaps the most significant advantage, says Viljoen, is how PowerOLAP helps senior management get the information they need faster than ever to make better business decisions much quicker.

‘A huge benefit is the agility of the system to be able to respond to the analytics and reporting needs of management – the decisions that come from that can have a huge beneficial impact on the company and be the difference between a good quarter and a TREMENDOUS quarter.’ ■

Further information

BIOLAP Limited

Email: tviljoen@biolap.co.uk

Websites: www.biolap.co.uk

Excerpt from CIMA magazine

Extracting Enough Value from Your Data?

July 2, 2009

Decisions, Decisions...... 

Over time, all businesses and organisations gather data in their systems – data that is unique to them and yet remains unutilised and untouched. When organisations fail to protect the integrity of their data, the old adage “garbage in, garbage out” quickly becomes true. We then hear complaints such as “our data is full of errors or gaps” and “our data is inaccessible”.

BIOLAP is a UK based consultancy firm that specialises in helping clients to extract more value and competitive advantage from the data in their systems and organisation.

BIOLAP provides the following services

Cleaner Data – we can assist in cleaning up your historical data and advise on changes required in your processes to ensure that data appropriate to your organisation is captured consistently

More Accessible Data – Our view is that the key to more accessible data lies in the design and implementation of well structured data warehouse solutions, making it easier for non-IT staff and decision makers to navigate their way through the data. We subscribe to the Kimball methodology of data warehouse design. Value can be extracted within days or weeks by analysing the value chain of an organisation and focussing initial data marts on the areas of greatest concern or pain.

Better Reporting and Analysis – Implementing appropriate reporting and OLAP tools can make scheduled reporting and ad-hoc analysis of data more effective and efficient. Users will spend less time on data extraction and manipulation and more time on analysis, gaining deeper understanding of the business drivers.

Better Budgeting, Forecasting and Planning – Analysing the past is only important in so far as determining the impact on the future. We often see that historical reporting is totally divorced from forward looking planning activities. Our solutions allow users to base their forecasting models seamlessly on actual results to date. This allows for fast, real time, what-if scenarios to determine the possible outcomes of alternative strategies and plans.

Cleaner Data…  Deeper Analysis…  Better Decisions…

Higher Margins!

 Free Consultation

Register at http://www.biolap.co.uk/index.php/contact-us.html for more information or call Theunis Viljoen on 01952 456 453 to arrange a free consultation. If you are not responsible for the data in your company, please forward this letter on to the appropriate person within your organisation.