Scarcely any companies are utilising the information they have in their databases for analysis, says PeopleSoft’s VP for “PeopleTools products and other cool technology”, Baer Tierkel.
California-based Tierkel, in New Zealand last week to speak at the launch of PeopleSoft 7, says large companies have huge databases full of transaction data. “All of that data is critical to making good business decisions, and I would say that 99.9% of the companies in the world don’t leverage that data. It’s just people punching in customer orders, punching in purchase orders, punching in human resource issues, salary changes.”
Tierkel argues companies should use an analytical tool to extract that data, analyse it and make decisions. He says data might show more marketing is needed of a particular product which isn’t selling well.
“All that information is sitting in that transaction data but the vendors have done a really poor job of making that data available to the people who are making business decisions.”
He says tools like datawarehousing and Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) are tools used to do analysis.
OLAP allows people to extract and look at data from different points-of-view, by slicing and dicing multidimensional data. OLAP tools are integrated into PeopleSoft applications in PeopleSoft 7.
It has a metadata integration tool called Cube Manager for building OLAP dimensions, and analysis models using tools such as Arbor’s Essbase and Cognos’ PowerPlay.
Another major development in PeopleSoft 7, is three-tier processing, where the client connects to an application server, rather than directly to the database server. It aims at speeding up response times, reducing network traffic and allowing more connected users.
PeopleSoft competitors such as SAP and Oracle already have three-tiered processing capabilities.
However, Tierkel says PeopleSoft also allows customers to have two-tier processing if it fits a company which doesn’t have a WAN or doesn’t need great scalability. And, it allows companies to have a mix of two-tier and three-tier options in one enterprise.