What is RapidDecision?
RapidDecision specially prepares your data so that any business intelligence tool can use it. This means that business users can easily create ad hoc queries, perform complex analytics and use ‘dashboards’. The process of preparing data in this way is known as a ‘data warehouse’.
RapidDecision creates a data warehouse out of data from your ERP applications and other sources. The warehouse can be updated as often as you want – every few seconds if necessary. It takes less than a week to get started with RapidDecision. Once in place, the RapidDecision data warehouse unlocks the power of business intelligence tools such as MicroStrategy, Business Objects, Oracle’s Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition, and others. The combination of RapidDecision and any of the popular BI tools cause the reporting and analysis limitations that frustrate you today to melt away. Nothing else available matches the capability, completeness, ease of installation, or cost effectiveness of RapidDecision.
Who needs RapidDecision?
If you are unhappy with the current reporting and data analysis capability of your ERP applications, then you need RapidDecision.
If you have tried and failed to create your own data warehouse, then you need RapidDecision.
If you are considering or have already invested in any of the popular BI tools, you need RapidDecision.
Eventually, every JD Edwards, PeopleSoft, and E-Business Suite customer will want and need a data warehouse. They will discover that RapidDecision is by far the best way to create one.
Why do I need a data warehouse?
The experts all agree – a data warehouse is the necessary foundation for a true Business Intelligence solution. Almost all sophisticated, mature BI systems are based on one. The alternative to creating a data warehouse is to use data accessed directly from the applications that create it. Direct access of data from applications creates many problems:
- Performance of your ERP applications can be seriously degraded.
- The security of production data can be compromised.
- Reports need to be re-written each time applications are upgraded.
- You may have more than one version or instance of your ERP running.
- Data fields have incomprehensible names.
- Reporting and analysis can only be done properly by experts.
A Rapid Decision data warehouse eliminates all these problems while offering many other advantages.
Why doesn’t everyone already have a data warehouse?
Among very large organizations use of data warehouses is almost universal. More modestly sized organizations tend not to have one yet because historically, building a data warehouse has been time-consuming, expert-intensive and expensive. Until recently, the cost of hardware to support one was also relatively high. As a result, only a fraction of ERP customers currently have a data warehouse. Some have tried to build one themselves and have failed. Others installed one of the early and incomplete data warehouse offerings and have lived with their limitations. As a result, most still put up with the problems of directly accessing data from their ERP applications.
Fortunately, for the hundreds of our customers who have already discovered RapidDecision, they do have a fast, easy and cost effective way of obtaining the data warehouse they need. For them, the long wait is over – and, through RapidDecision, customers of any size can now afford a data warehouse.
Are all data warehouses the same?
The term data warehouse can refer to many things. In practice, a data warehouse is only worth having if it includes important features such as:
- Support for all ERP applications, including ones you might add in the future.
- Support for multiple sources, releases and instances.
- Easy-to-understand field names that never change.
- Data organized to optimize reporting and analysis.
- Near real-time synchronization with production applications.
- The ability to easily integrate data from other sources.
- Simple, fast installation.
- Easy operation and support.
- Special pricing for smaller installations.
Only RapidDecision offers all this and more.
How does RapidDecision work?
RapidDecision works with several leading etl tools to copy data from many sources, including all instances of multiple ERP applications. The data can be copied periodically, or more commonly, from log files on the servers running those applications within seconds after changes occur.
Data is not just copied; it is reformatted to make it more useful for reporting and analysis. Field names are standardized and given easy-to-understand names. Metadata is calculated from the base data to facilitate understanding and analysis. The structure is optimized for both outstanding performance and tight security.
The RapidDecision data warehouse resides on its own server. It can run under Windows, Unix, Linux, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle database, HANA, Teradata, or Netezza. Support for either Microsoft’s or Oracle’s database is available. Performance is usually outstanding, even when handling a large number of concurrent users doing sophisticated analysis.
The data architecture on which RapidDecision is based is simple and elegant and follows industry best practices. Field names and structure do not change over time which protects your investment in reports. A number of pre-built reports come as part of RapidDecision.
The RapidDecision data warehouse is organized into data marts which in most cases match specific application offerings such as General Ledger, Inventory, Manufacturing, or even Home Builder. RapidDecision offers over 20 unique marts and growing – far more than any other available alternative.
Installation of a new RapidDecision mart is a simple process and can take less than one week. Once it is operational, it is possible to use a wide variety of BI tools to access and make use of the data it contains. Business Objects, MicroStrategy, Cognos and OBIEE are the most popular options but those who have invested already in other BI tools can take advantage of the RapidDecision marts as well.
Why is RapidDecision so inexpensive and easy to install?
RapidDecision has recently undergone a structural improvement to allow an ever increasing number of ERP sources and versions to be easily integrated into RapidDecision, as well as other systems our customers own. RapidDecision is now installed at hungreds of organizations, including some of the premier users of major ERP applications. This large and rapidly-growing user base makes it possible to offer an outstanding and continually improving data warehouse that can be quickly installed at a modest price. No other organization has made the investment needed to match the capability and breadth of RapidDecision.