ActuateOne: a first look at a significant player

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ActuateOne has a lot going for it: it is easy to use, supports extensive customisation, and can create libraries of reusable components to enhance the productivity of producing BIRT-based reports, dashboards and OLAP cubes.

They can claim, with some justification, they are delivering more insight to more people than the rest of the Business Intelligence community combined. They are expanding those capabilities to embrace lots more data, including the web and big data, with access to data sources such as print streams and document archives and even more people via the Cloud, the web, and mobile devices. But what is really exciting as we enter an era in which business faces unprecedented risk and volatility, is Actuate’s recent acquisition of Quiterian, which provides visual data mining, social media and predictive analytics and, being visual, this capability is accessible to non-technical as well as highly skilled data scientists.

BIRT Analytics is based on a hybrid in-memory columnar database, able to consume large volumes of data, at speed. So whilst the existing technology within ActuateOne offers data discovery capability, this advance enables Actuate to offer deep predictive analysis, to really understand why things happen, what other things may happen, and enable the business to adopt the strategies required to survive and prosper.

Visual data mining is key. With the rise of the big data bubble there is unprecedented demand for people who can manipulate and understand data, to enable data to be turned into valuable insights but we cannot wait for another generation of data scientists to pass through the universities and emerge in the work place. We need that capability now. This capability has to be placed in the hands of the savvy business user, the person with the domain understanding, who, with a tool that operates on a point and click, drag and drop basis, can allow them to explore the data, enrich it, and perform powerful analytics.

It is not enough to just understand what has happened in the past. Increasingly, we need to have the capability to build scenarios and forecast probable outcomes. This capability is now within the remit of Actuate, bringing what was once the sort of sophistication that was found in the operations of the Wall Street and City trading desks into the hands of all users. With Actuate, the data in Salesforce, Twitter, Facebook, or Google Analytics can now be accessed, integrated and exploited with ease, without the need for intervention from technical staff. So it’s a self-service model, cutting out the need for the technical middle man with the problems of delays and misinterpretation.

This is a mass-market tool that is now offering market-leading capability in the vital areas of fast implementation and minimal overhead, so that return on investment makes it a compelling proposition. It certainly makes ActuateOne an even more compelling proposition worthy of serious consideration.