The Mashup InetSoft's Business Intelligence Blog


New Report From Aberdeen Group Underscores the Value of InetSoft’s Data Mashup

Posted by Ben Williams

A new report by the Aberdeen Group demonstrates how InetSoft's sophisticated data mashup and visualization capabilities can aid the process of integrating new data sources.  The report observes that in companies where mashups are used, managers are more likely to find the information that they need at the right time.   Since new data sources are often integrated for ad hoc analysis, or to answer a specific query, the integration cycle is often very time sensitive. When one considers that it takes an average of 31 days to integrate a new data source into an existing data warehouse, the need for an alternative becomes apparent.

Companies who use data mashup are able to integrate new data sources in significantly less time than those who do not.  As a probable result of this faster integration time, companies who use mashup increase the number of data sources available for BI at a much faster rate.

With all the datasets that can be found online and from various sources, it can be difficult to discern which ones will actually be useful and worth the time and cost of integration. Using data mashup with visualization tools such as InetSoft's Visual Composer enables managers to quickly determine whether or not a new data source is worth integrating. The report also found that data drilldown(also a function of InetSoft's solution) helps managers to uncover new data insights and even answer questions about the data which were not initially anticipated.

The Aberdeen report  recommends adopting a decentralized IT support structure when enabling self-service data integration. IT professionals embedded within individual business units can help ensure data quality and verify that the integration is being performed properly.

The report is called "Mash Your Way Up to Better BI", and can be downloaded for free upon registration here:


The Consumerization of Business Intelligence

Posted by Michael Schiff

This piece is inspired by Dr. Rado Kotorov, guest author at

Business intelligence is not a pervasive science. If you need proof of this, ask your friends' what BI tool their company uses. Chances are you'll get "What?" or a blank stare in response. This is because, in today's world, BI applications have only penetrated between 10% and 20% of standard business users.

By its very nature, business intelligence is a harrowing science. Effective business intelligence requires complex IT development, programming knowledge, strong analytic reasoning skills, and an emphasis on math. After leaving school, many of us can't even calculate gratuity without the help of our phones, so how are we to be expected to align business metrics to performance goals and calculate future events?

This not-so-simple question is where traditional BI has failed, and why adoption is so low for non-IT professionals. To solve this problem, BI must become more user friendly. Development must focus on simplicity and power, rather than just raw power. A tool that can move mountains is powerful and useless if no one can operate it.

The goal is not to teach business users how to use existing complex tools, but rather to simplify the interface of those tools to be approachable to business users. Pervasive BI in this fashion will lead all businesses to better decision making.


The Question of Flash vs. HTML5 in a Web-Based BI Application

Posted by Michael Schiff

A question that has recently come up is which direction InetSoft is going with regards to using Flash or HTML5 for the client-side functions of its BI solution. HTML5 certainly presents opportunities, but there are several reasons why not to completely switch over to HTML5 and abandon Flash.

First of all, there seems to be some sort of misconception that Flash and HTML5 cannot coexist. This is not true. As you will see, there are pros and cons to each technology, and they each have their place on the Web. Thematically, at least, HTML5 and Flash are almost identical.


Flash has been around for 12 years and has an absolutely mammoth head start over HTML5, which has only been recommended for use since December 2012. For developers, the Flash IDE has a huge user base and community, while HTML5 does not yet have an “industry standard.”

For users, about 99% of desktop Web browsers support Flash, as well as:

  • 85% of the most visited Websites
  • 75% of all video content
  • 98% of enterprises

Flash’s main shortcoming, however, is that browsers cannot natively read it; they require a separate plug-in to be installed. Fortunately, these same browsers support this add-on.

HTML5 is an independent technology and readable without the need for a plug-in. But, being a technology very much in its infancy, not all browsers are coded to support it.

According to a study conducted by Waste-Creative, HTML5 is fully supported by 82% of desktop browsers, but completely unsupported by all versions of Internet Explorer 8 and below, with IE9 and IE10 offering only limited support.

The area where HTML5 excels is mobile: 97% of mobile browsers support HTML5; devices running iOS or Android v4.1 or above do not support Flash. On Android, this is the minority of devices, with millions of users still using Android v4.0 or below. In the case that you are a user without access to Flash, we ensure that dashboards are rendered using HTML5 instead.

However, mobile developers are opting for native apps because of the significant advantages they have over HTML5. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, said that he regretted developing with HTML5.


Due to Flash’s high penetration, developers are more familiar with the platform. Even amateurs can present items that look as though they were developed by professionals. HTML5, on the other hand, is limited by its relative newness; advanced functionality takes more time and more specialized developers. Even the most capably developed HTML5 site will lack some functionality that an experienced Flash developer can offer.

One of the trickiest parts of developing an HTML5 Website is that, even though almost all major browsers can read the language, they interpret it differently. Web browsers render HTML5 in their own way, so it may be necessary to code multiple versions of pages for full, working browser neutrality. Flash has much better cross-browser compatibility.


In 2012, Flash performed twice as fast as HTML5 on most applications. As of 2012, HTML5 has gained some ground, but it’s still not as good as Flash in all areas. Before the code even executes, you have to consider the load time. HTML5 is much heavier than Flash, because it uses HTML and JavaScript instead of pre-compiled code. As such, it is impaired by significantly longer load times.


In this category, Flash is the clear winner. Flash is expensive to develop for, requiring a licensed product from Adobe, but digital rights management (DRM) makes it very difficult to steal content. HTML5 is free and open to developers, which is great, but content can be ripped through the simple “right-click, save as…” function that everyone is familiar with. In order to combat this, special servers are necessary to manage HTML5’s DRM.


Flash and HTML5 each have their quirks. For InetSoft, right now the pros of Flash outweigh the cons when compared to HTML5. We prefer the speed and compatibility we can deliver with Flash, but support both languages to accommodate user preference.

As mentioned before, both technologies have their place. Flash offers advanced functionality that is continuing to grow at a rapid rate. HTML5 is currently playing catchup with decent functionality for all ecosystems

HTML5 might be the tech of the future, but it’s not quite there yet.


BI Analyst Wise Analytics on New Collaborative BI Features

Posted by Jessica Little

Lyndsay Wise, president and founder of WiseAnalytics, recently had the opportunity to see the new collaborative BI features in version 11.4 of Style Intelligence, released last month. Read her blog post on the topic to learn more about annotations, shared bookmarks and search and get her independent perspective on collaboration trends in the business intelligence marketplace.


Participate in the 2013 Wisdom of the Crowds BI Market Study

Posted by Michael Schiff

Make your voice heard!

Participate in the 2013 Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study and get a complimentary copy of the study findings.

Dresner Advisory Services is inviting all Business Intelligence (BI) users to participate in its annual examination of the state of the BI marketplace focusing on BI usage, deployment trends, and products.

The 2013 report will build on previous years' research and will expand to include questions on the latest and emerging trends such as Collaborative BI, BI in the Cloud, and Embedded BI. It will also rank vendors and products, providing an important tool for organizations seeking to invest in BI solutions.

BI users in all roles and throughout all industries are invited to contribute their insight, which should take approximately 15 minutes.  The final report is scheduled to be out in late Spring, and qualified survey participants will receive a complimentary copy.

Click here to start the survey today!