Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Business Analytics vs. Business Intelligence:

What most BI Vendors don't want you to know

Let's talk about what most Business Intelligence (BI) vendors would really prefer not to discuss. A lot of people tend to misuse the term "BI", and even the industry itself has developed a common meaning for the term which is a bit of a misnomer. Traditionally BI has referred mostly to the front-end -- and I think most people when they talk about it would generally think about BI as the front-end.

We prefer the broader term Business Analytics which is the way we like to think about it at SQL Power - because it's a lot more than just BI or presentation layer. The implication is that you're going to have to be moving data from possibly multiple raw operational sources in order to create higher quality business information on the other side - and to accomplish that, there's a little more to it than just front-end work.

So for anyone evaluating a "BI" vendor or rather a Business Analytics vendor, its more about what that vendor can actually do with the data-sets that they're presented with - because there really are a couple of distinct strategies that more specialized Business Analytics vendors can take to provide quick workable solutions - efficiently and inexpensively.

For instance, if I'm integrating data from applications like NetSuite, or Salesforce with a client's on-premise homegrown applications, I'm going to be given data in its raw natural state and unfortunately that data in its raw form is rarely something that you can just drop into a visualization tool like a MicroStrategy or Tableau and make sense of it. In most cases transformation and manipulation are required - so the real challenge becomes: How do I automate the whole process?

SQL Power has been doing just that for over twenty years, responsible for DW project work at organizations like Scotiabank, TELUS and TREB as well as at local and international FSAs deploying against our superVision™ Suite, an XBRL-based filing and analytics "disclosure" platform for regulators.

Over that time we've acquired not only experiential knowledge from deploying successfully against these complex analytics projects, but along the way we've also developed some very useful automation tools that help our consultants significantly accelerate project delivery and improve TCO - particularly for our smaller clients whom may have not yet made the investment in these products. These tools include: SQL Power Architect, a unique data modelling and profiling tool that enables reverse-engineering of existing databases, profiling against source databases, and ETL metadata auto-generation; SQL Power Loader for automating ETL process development; and SQL Power DQguru, our data cleansing tool for consolidating, cleansing and de-duping key dimensions.

If you look at the "BI" vendors out there, most really require the customer to figure out all of the ETL and data management work for themselves - the burden of all the important work required to get the data prepped and ready - and that's really our specialty.

We have the proven expertise and the right productivity tools to fully automate and accelerate your next Business Analytics deployment - and because we bring these tools to the engagement at no additional cost, we're priced well below the pack. Business people love us because we're fast, inexpensive and we know their pain - IT tolerates us because we offer proven, well architected, easily managed scalable solutions.

learn more at SQLPower.ca/XBRLPower

Thursday, September 20, 2012

XBRL Data Collection & Analytics in the Cloud

Free Webinar:

Secure XBRL Data Collection & Analytics in the Cloud

October 11, 2012

Whether it's for 20 filers or 200,000 filers, a cloud-based XBRL Data Collection and Analytics platform can provide fully-integrated supervisory reporting for any Financial Regulator - in a maintenance-free, pay-per-use hosted service.

Join our Webinar on October 11th to explore the benefits and challenges of cloud-based XBRL solutions and learn how implementing a hosted platform can help insulate Regulators and Filers from the complexities of XBRL to pave the way for 100% compliance.

Discussion Topics:

  • Leveraging existing Global Taxonomies
  • Taxonomy Design and Tweaking in the cloud
  • Data Collection and Real-Time validation in the cloud
  • Increased Supervisory efficiencies in the cloud
  • Real-Time Analytics in the cloud
  • Benefits of a cloud-based solution


  • Sam P. Selim (Founder & CEO, SQL Power Group; XBRL Program Manager)
  • Dan Loney (SVP, SQL Power Group)
  • Jason Brown (Principal Consultant, SQL Power Group)
The webinar will include a Live Demonstration of SQL Power's turn-key hosted XBRL Data Collection and Analytics solution, as well as a Question and Answer period.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Migrating Projects between SQL Power Community Edition and Enterprise Edition software

In response to frequently asked questions along the lines of...

  • What happens to my projects if my Enterprise license expires?
  • Can Community Edition Projects be used in the Enterprise Edition?
  • Can Enterprise Edition Projects be used in the Community Edition?

...Here's how Community/Enterprise projects are handled in SQL Power Architect and SQL Power Wabit:

  1. Architect/Wabit Projects created in the Community Edition can be migrated to Enterprise Edition.
  2. Architect/Wabit Projects created/saved in Enterprise Edition are stored in the Enterprise server database and cannot be accessed by the Community Edition.
  3. When an Architect/Wabit Enterprise license (or free trial period) expires, the Enterprise server database and any projects therein are "locked out" (they are still there, but not accessible) until a license is obtained/renewed.

Note: For SQL Power DQguru, all Projects can be created by/accessed by either Community or Enterprise version.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Demo: End-to-End XBRL Platform

SQL Power's Zero-Footprint End-to-End Supervisory XBRL Platform

This is a very brief demo of SQL Power's web-based end-to-end integrated solution for XBRL data collection, taxonomy management and analytics.

learn more at www.sqlpower.ca/xbrl

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Zero-Footprint End-to-End XBRL Platform

SQL Power's Zero-Footprint End-to-End Supervisory XBRL Platform


This brief video outlines the challenges of traditional financial regulatory systems and introduces SQL Power's solution: the world's first web-based end-to-end integrated solution for XBRL data collection, taxonomy management and analytics.

learn more at www.sqlpower.ca/xbrl

Friday, September 2, 2011

Using SQL Power Software with MS Access, .csv, flat file, spreadsheets, etc.

Lately, many people have been emailing us at SQL Power Software, asking how to access flat files instead of databases - so I thought I'd take a minute to talk about the subject.

The bad news is that SQL Power software does not support flat file access out of the box. (SQL Power Architect, Wabit and DQguru are high-performance data tools, designed to work with large, industrial-size databases and data models - not excel files.)

HOWEVER: the good news is that since we use JDBC for data access, you can in fact connect to ANY data source, providing you have a working JDBC driver for that data source.

For example: want to connect to a .csv file? Just search for a "csv JDBC driver".

As we don't do a lot of flat-file work ourselves, we'd love to hear about your experiences with these situations. (Especially if you've come across a particularly good JDBC driver for a certain flat file type, so we can recommend it to others.)

For more on this topic, see the SQL Power Frequently Asked Questions:
Spreadsheets & Flat Files
Microsoft Access JDBC-ODBC bridge
Configuring JDBC Drivers

Friday, April 8, 2011

XBRL Canada IFRS Taxonomy Workshop - April 20, 2011

This event is hosted by XBRL Canada, a not-for-profit consortium of leading Canadian companies and organisations, whose role is to create and maintain XBRL taxonomies based on Canadian reporting standards, to increase the awareness, knowledge and understanding of XBRL and its uses in Canada and to stimulate and promote the adoption of XBRL in Canada. XBRL Canada is a jurisdiction of XBRL International.

Date: April 20, 2011
Time: 8:30am - 3:30pm ET
Location: Office of the CICA 277 Wellington St. West, Toronto, ON
Instructor: Eric E. Cohen, PriceWaterhouseCoopers

Breakfast at 8:00 am ET (coffee, juice and muffins will be provided)

Registration fee: $299 CDN

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Business Intelligence Forum - May 26 2011

The Business Intelligence Forum
May 26 2011 8am-noon at the Hilton Toronto
Presented by MicroStrategy

The Business Intelligence Forum offers a unique, interactive environment to gain technical insights to enhance your business intelligence initiatives and view groundbreaking BI demonstrations. You will also have the opportunity to exchange ideas with peers and industry experts and hear best practices from successful customer case studies.

To register or for more information, please contact Moe Nawaz at SQL Power Consulting:
416 221 4220 ext. 273

8:00am - Continental Breakfast & Registration
9:00am - Corporate Update
9:30am - Technology Demonstrations
10:15am - Networking Break
10:30am - Customer Success Stories
11:00am - Technology Demonstrations, continued
11:30am - Closing Remarks

Hilton Toronto
145 Richmond Street West
Toronto, ON M5H 2L2
(416) 869-3456

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mobilizing Strategic Intelligence

Cost-effective Mobile BI technology is finally here!

If you're in the Toronto area, join us on Feb. 17 for a Free Breakfast Seminar to learn about cost-effective Mobile Business Intelligence. Register today at http://www.sqlpower.ca/consulting/page/biseminar

Agenda includes:
- The Real Business Impact of Knowledge Discovery
- How to make the most of your BI Budget
- How to quickly address end-user BI demands for a fraction of the cost
- Timely Strategic Intelligence with Mobile Devices

Seminar includes a live demo of MicroStrategy Mobile BI and a Free Continental Breakfast.

Everyone is welcome, but space is limited so reserve your spot today!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Senior Java Developers Wanted

SQL Power is currently seeking several talented Senior Java Developers to join our Business Intelligence and Data Migration software firm!

To apply, please visit:

Our development group has a high degree of autonomy in selecting the right technologies for the job, and we sustain an incredibly fast pace of delivering new products, enhancements to our existing products, UI improvements, bug fixes. Most of our products presently have a centralized business model implemented with POJOs, on top of which is layered both a Swing user interface and a web user interface. The web UIs are based on modern technologies such as JAX-RS, jQuery, and HTML 5.

  • Understand business requirements and overall product architecture;
    be able to compare and contrast them with industry norms
  • Provide estimates of effort for implementing sets of new business requirements
  • Design, implement, unit test, and document assigned components of the product and
    integrate with components developed by other team members
  • Create proofs of concept (PoCs) to validate design assumptions and choice of technology
  • Participate in Software Development process improvement activities including
    weekly status meetings
  • Stay abreast of the latest developments in the Java and Open Web ecosystems
  • Provide leadership, guidance and direction for more junior members of the team
  • 6+ years solid hands-on experience with Java development - specific experience with Swing and Servlet-based technologies
  • Ability to define and analyze needs, identify risks and alternatives, propose solutions and consistently meet required deadlines
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or Software Engineering
Location: SQL Power Head Office in Toronto