Information Builders WebFOCUS
[The BI & Analytics Survey 21 results, not included in The BI & Analytics Survey 22] WebFOCUS is a flexible and scalable web-based business intelligence (BI) and analytics platform with front ends and decision support tools for formatted reporting, ad hoc reporting, self-service, dashboards and analysis, as well as for the development of custom applications. A lot of customers still use the custom application development environment with its highly flexible 4GL language.
Founded in 1975, Information Builders Inc. (ibi) is a privately held company with more than 60 offices worldwide. WebFOCUS, the vendor’s BI and analytics suite, was introduced in 1997. ibi also provides the iWay and Omni product lines, which are often used alongside WebFOCUS for data integration and data quality. On October 22nd, 2020 TIBCO announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Information Builders.
To summarize its core competencies and products, Information Builders provides a platform for data and analytics. In the data segment, the vendor offers its iWay software for data quality, data integration, data preparation and data governance. iWay is a set of data integration tools offering more than 300 predefined connectors to different data sources. These tools have been incorporated into the Omni-Gen platform along with other platform technologies. Analytics and BI needs are mainly covered with the front end, WebFOCUS, which is the successor of FOCUS 4GL, a reporting platform mainly used in mainframes.
WebFOCUS is based on a three-tiered architecture consisting of an application server, web server, the Reporting Server and web-based front ends.
With WebFOCUS, BI applications can be centrally administered and published to a large group of internal and external recipients. The solution incorporates web-based tools, such as InfoAssist for ad hoc analysis and self-service data discovery; BI portal designer for designing and managing group portals, dashboards and content management; and Designer for data preparation and building interactive web applications as well as interactive InfoApps for non-technical consumers (especially in operational scenarios). Supporting embedded and operational analytics is actually a key strength of WebFOCUS. The solution delivers insights from data coming directly out of production systems. These capabilities have been extended across enterprises to enable analysis across new systems that are engaged, including today’s cloud-based infrastructures.
User & Use Cases
WebFOCUS is mainly used in large organizations with a lot of employees, users and data. It has a broad set of features ranging from standard and ad hoc reports to dashboards and basic analysis. Enterprise-wide reporting is a particular strength of the platform, as demonstrated by this year’s survey results. When it comes to serving the complex needs of thousands of users and supplying them with the information they require when they need it, mature capabilities for report definition, distribution and scalability for large amounts of users come into their own. The median number of WebFOCUS users lies at 500, way above The BI & Analytics Survey average of 82 users. Its mean of 2,138 users clearly shows that Information Builders is able to serve larger scenarios, which are typically found in bigger enterprises. This year, 69 percent of our sample of Information Builders customers came from companies with more than 2,500 employees.
As operational analytics is a particular focus and strength of the software, customers seem more likely to adopt it throughout the organization than users of competing products. WebFOCUS is used by 21 percent of employees in customer organizations (compared to The BI & Analytics Survey average of 17 percent).
Current vs. planned use
5 products most often evaluated in competition with WebFOCUS
Percentage of employees using WebFOCUS
Number of users using WebFOCUS
Tasks carried out with WebFOCUS by business users
Company size (number of employees)
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