FAST tackles BI with search

By Kevin Komiega

—Enterprise search software maker FAST Search & Transfer unveiled a new search platform this week in an effort to improve the quality, speed, and accessibility of data warehouses. The launch of the FAST Adaptive Information Warehouse (AIW) marks the first time the company, which is historically known as a search and data classification software developer, is applying its technology to the business intelligence (BI) market.

At the core of the FAST AIW platform is a pair of tools that integrate, monitor, move, and cleanse data in a number of different ways. The first, FAST Radar, provides visibility into data through customizable dashboards and the second, the FAST Data Cleansing Solution, eliminates confusing or incomplete query results.

The combination of the Data Cleansing Solution and Radar offers end users real-time access to all information, both structured and unstructured, regardless of its source or location, through a search and navigation interface. The key to the so-called data cleansing process is the use of linguistics to improve data quality, enabling organizations to match, merge, and cleanse data automatically. Radar is a Web-based business intelligence portal and tool that brings actionable information and statistical analysis to decision-makers organization-wide.

"We have been focused on information access through enterprise search inside the firewall since 2003. The new Adaptive Information Warehouse is a business intelligence solution built on search technology," says Davor Sutija, vice president, FAST Search & Transfer. "Search can empower a new form of BI by focusing on data quality. We are using the technology inherent to search to match, merge, and cleanse data."

Sutija claims that AIW beats data warehouses at their own game by combining structured and unstructured data, real-time and historical data, all through one scalable repository that is supported with commodity servers.

The company also touts a faster return-on-investment for AIW versus traditional BI and warehousing approaches because AIW allows for expanded access to information by providing linguistic data cleansing, enabling dynamic object associations and data profiling and speedy ad-hoc query performance. According to Sutija, AIW lets more people access and use information to make faster, more-efficient business decisions without spending months deciphering complex data models and building integrated schemas.

FAST AIW Data Cleansing Solution and Radar can be purchased as a suite or individually.

This article was originally published on January 30, 2007