RealTime IT News

IBM's Data-Warehouse Dust Off

The concept of the data warehouse has been a simple one -- create data and then sock some of it away in a software vault. IBM  is offering a new approach to this business intelligence (BI) process, introducing its Dynamic Warehousing strategy for using advanced analytics to support business transactions.

Unveiled today at the Gartner Business Intelligence Summit in Chicago, Dynamic Warehousing seeks to yank knowledge that may directly impact customers or transactions from text, e-mail, audio files and Web pages.

The strategy is designed to support BI applications from IBM partners and BI market leaders Business Objects , Cognos  and MicroStrategy . Dynamic Warehouse also competes with infrastructure offerings from Informatica  and Oracle .

Bernie Spang, director of IBM Data Servers, said the point of Dynamic Warehousing is to provide customers with the "right insight at the right time for managers at the point of transaction with customers."

Spang said that while the first data warehousing technologies focused on query and reporting and the second wave used online analytical processing (OLAP)  and data mining for historical analysis to dictate business planning, Dynamic Warehousing analyzes information on demand to help customers improve business transaction.

For example, Spang said Dynamic Warehousing is a key cog in the New York Police Department's crime information warehouse, which uses IBM software to identify possible suspects before detectives get to the crime scene.

Dynamic Warehousing, one of the fruits of IBM's information-on-demand strategy, also helps insurance companies identify potentially fraudulent claims prior to approval and payment.

IBM is introducing a raft of new and upgraded software products under the Dynamic Warehousing umbrella.

Spang said IBM's DB2 9 database serves as the rock for the initiative because it employs features such as deep compression to boost performance for analytics and BI.

New flavors of DB2 Warehouse, including a starter, intermediate and advanced edition, use technology from IMB's Ascential buy to provide data movement and transformation capabilities, as well as advanced data partitioning and workload management, to ensure that applications are adequately serviced.

For customers who need to get a data warehouse up in a hurry, Spang said IBM is also rolling out the IBM Balanced Warehouse, which enables developers to create a warehouse with pre-configured software, hardware and storage.

IBM is also offering new data models to help organizations get started with dynamic warehousing. These include a new Health Plan data model for claims, medical management and provider and network care, as well as an enhanced Insurance data model, which focuses more on compliance and risk management.