Feeds

Settting the radar on Visual Sciences

BI matchmaking

The essential guide to IT transformation

Comment My recent series of articles on next generation business intelligence has created a lot of interest, not least from vendors thinking they fit the required pattern of capabilities. Perhaps the most interesting of the companies to contact me has been Visual Sciences.

Visual Sciences was launched in 2001 but continued in stealth mode until 2004 and even then it missed my radar because the company has been focusing on web analytics and the last time I took an in-depth look at that market was in 2003.

However, one of the things that is interesting about Visual Sciences is that it was not designed specifically for web analytics and the company only chose to focus on that market because it offered the lowest hanging fruit.

In fact, the company takes the approach that a mouse click, or any other activity on a website, is just an event and the product is really an event querying engine. It thus has more general applicability than just web analytics and the company is actively looking to expand out from this market.

I identified a number of different requirements for next generation BI. One was improved graphics. You will have to believe me when I say that Visual Sciences has cool graphics, but if I tell you that the founders of the company started life as games designers then perhaps that won't come as too much of a surprise.

Another aspect of graphics that I didn't discuss in detail was the need for interactive graphics. That is, the ability to select data from one graph and have that automatically reflected in other relevant charts and tables. You can't usually do this with conventional BI tools because they are flash-based. Anyway, there are a number of companies that can do this, including Spotfire, Advizor Solutions and Visual Sciences.

I went on to talk about the need for being able to query any set of data at any time, without being constrained by OLAP cubes and similar structures. Well, both Advizor and Visual Sciences can do this.

Finally, I suggested that you really didn't want to have a separate tool for real-time operational BI and for conventional BI and this is where Visual Sciences distinguishes itself, because it can operate in both of these environments.

Conventionally, it can take batch inputs but it also has support for real-time data feeds from a website, a communications switch or an applications server, for instance. Or it could be capturing details about trades on capital markets for FIX monitoring, as another example.

Apart from the product there are a number of other aspects of Visual Sciences that are worth mentioning. The first is that In-Q-Tel, which is a sort of investment arm of the CIA, was the company's VC and is a strategic partner. This suggests that the company should have no difficulty in penetrating the government and security sectors. Secondly, it merged with WebSideStory earlier this year and, in fact, is now a wholly owned subsidiary of that company, which is listed on NASDAQ.

Finally, there is the question of price. A typical deal size for Visual Sciences is a median price of $300,000 which means that it does not compete directly with other web analytics vendors, which tend to be around 10 per cent to 20 per cent of that price, and it is likely that, for similar reasons, it will not compete with the likes of Advizor.

Indeed, this is a big corporate solution: but if it looks like a Ferrari and performs like a Ferrari then you can expect to pay Ferrari-like prices.

Copyright © 2006, IT-Analysis.com

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Time to move away from Windows 7 ... whoa, whoa, who said anything about Windows 8?
Start migrating now to avoid another XPocalypse – Gartner
You'll find Yoda at the back of every IT conference
The piss always taking is he. Bastard the.
HANA has SAP cuddling up to 'smaller partners'
Wanted: algorithm wranglers, not systems giants
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.