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Next Big Thing in Data Analytics: No More Physical Cubes

Kognitio’s new MDX Extension eliminates the cost, complexities and latency of physical OLAP cubes for analytical applications

TDWI World Conference, Las Vegas, February 14, 2011 – For decades, companies wanting to analyze their large data had to compromise by loading just the data that could be handled by intermediary databases called OLAP “cubes.” Cubes are expensive, slow the process, and require IT involvement, among other problems. It’s like drawing a new map every time you want to travel somewhere.

Kognitio today conquered the cube’s complexities with the industry’s first analytic database that creates “virtual” cubes at the data’s source without compromising performance. The Kognitio technology enables ordinary users to build and query virtual cubes on the fly so they discover insights from massive amounts of data in near real time. Kognitio calls this capability “train-of-thought” analysis.

Kognitio also helps bring data analytics to the masses by eliminating the need for costly and complex front-end applications. The MDX connector enables metadata layer connections allow users to perform sophisticated data analysis using any MDX-compatible tool such as a simple Microsoft Excel worksheet.

“The MDX extension is a huge leap forward compared to today’s data warehouse appliances, analytic databases and other business intelligence tools. It may not be the immediate death of the physical cube, but it serves notice of its demise,” said John Coppins, Product Director at Kognitio. “Building cubes takes time, software and expertise. Kognitio eliminates those barriers and delays. Users can now do train-of-thought analysis where they continuously probe and query the data as soon as questions come to mind. And they can do it with easy analytical tools like Excel that they already know how to use.”

How It Works

The MDX extension to the Kognitio Analytical Platform creates in-memory images of an organization’s transactional database or data warehouse. It combines these data images with a metadata layer and MDX Connector, allowing transactional data from business functions such as CRM, financial and HR to be stored directly in the Kognitio in-memory analytical database.

The result is an ad-hoc virtual cube that can be queried as quickly and as often as required. Since all information is accessible by Kognitio at all times, there are no delays or extra resources required to construct virtual cubes, significantly reducing latency and the TCO of using data.

The train-of-thought analysis means that users can dig much deeper into data and answer highly specific queries on the spur of the moment. For example, retailers who need to capitalize on fast-moving customer trends can do so without missing the opportunity. Marketers who want to understand purchasing behavior and spot emerging trends can discover them in near-real-time. Or insurance companies can gain better insight from their customers to create new products and improve service.

“The need for diverse types of analytics is the strongest trend in data warehousing and business intelligence today,” said Philip Russom, senior manager of research at TDWI. “To get the most out of analytics, users are looking for new platforms that are built for analytics, in that they support in-memory databases, MPP architectures, and – of course – very, very large analytic datasets. In addition, a key requirement of today’s extreme what-if analytics is that an analytic platform must be data model agnostic and perform very well with highly complex ad hoc queries against detailed source data. Kognitio Pablo pulls all this together in a new analytic platform that’s geared for high user productivity and system performance with today’s demanding analytic requirements.”

The MDX Extension for Kognitio will be available from July 2011. Pricing is available on request.