See the Big Picture. Make Better Decisions. The Armanta Technology Advantage. Technology Whitepaper

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1 See the Big Picture. Make Better Decisions. The Armanta Technology Advantage Technology Whitepaper

2 The Armanta Technology Advantage Executive Overview Enterprises have accumulated vast volumes of structured and unstructured data that reside on-premise and in the cloud. Their holy grail has been to try and implement end-to-end analytic processes, from data gathering to cleansing to visualization, in order to operationalize business reports and analytics. To meet this challenge, they ve stitched different solutions in place that are both hard to integrate and expensive Armanta provides an to implement. These cobbled together fixes negatively impact the business users ability to make agile, data-driven decisions and prevent IT environment with appeal for from effectively managing the analytic infrastructure. those looking for a nimble Now Analyze and Visualize All the Data Armanta s Integrated Business Intelligence Platform has been designed from the ground up to enable enterprises to seamlessly implement the end-to-end analytic processes described above. The Armanta platform delivers: analytical process and realtime analytical result set. -Shawn Rogers, EMA (Enterprise Management Associates), April A rich reporting, visualization and analytics framework. A high-speed, massively parallel, in-memory analytic engine for operational, descriptive and predictive analytics. A high-speed, massively parallel, in-memory visualization engine that scales with growth in the number of end users. Sophisticated load balancing that makes the best possible use of available resources and guarantees a consistent end user experience. A data virtualization and modeling layer that gives a holistic view of all the data in the enterprise and beyond. A patent pending Sandbox capability for what-if analyses and collaboration. Through this integrated architecture, business users are able to analyze and visualize all the data, within and outside the enterprise, using a self-service model--something they could never do before. In addition, Armanta s platform has been engineered from the outset to be an open architecture that can be easily customized by users, using open languages such as JAVA or Armanta s user-friendly scripting language ascript, to meet the complex and dynamic needs of their end-to-end analytic processes. A close look at the open architecture reveals the depth of both feature and flexibility that sets Armanta s platform apart from traditional business intelligence software. Page 2

3 The Armanta Integrated Business Intelligence Platform Armanta Data Virtualization Access to All the Data and Analytic Tools The single common element of every analytic process is the dependence on a large and continuously growing set of information and associated tools. Armanta s Data Virtualization layer allows these diverse sets of information and tools to be quickly integrated into the Armanta environment. By integrating with customers data and tools in its present locations and in its present forms, Armanta deployments can be completed in surprisingly short timeframes. Additionally, when new data sources or new data from existing sources needs to be integrated at a later date, there is little additional effort required. Armanta is also able to leverage any existing investments customers may have in analytics. For example, a customer may have deployed a Hadoop cluster and invested in machine learning algorithms that run on Hadoop. Armanta can seamlessly integrate with the Hadoop cluster and leverage these algorithms. It can invoke the algorithms on demand and bring in the results so that they may be analyzed in conjunction with other relevant data sets. Armanta s Data Virtualization technology allows the customer to define custom data models that abstract away the complexities of the underlying data sources from the business user. In addition, it enables efficient data cleansing and transformations and high performance data loads. The Armanta platform is not simply a read-only environment. The Data Virtualization layer deals with the issues related to processing modifications to data. This flexibility of the Data Virtualization layer means that when updates are written back to the data sources, the customer has complete control over how this is done. Data can be written back over the original source (given appropriate permissions), or if required, might be written back to alternative locations that are designed for user-overrides. The Armanta framework also deals with the issues of transactionality when writing to multiple locations. Page 3

4 Data Virtualization, like the rest of the Armanta environment, is date aware. This means that views of historical and forward-looking information as well as views across multiple dates are supported. Armanta Intelligence Cache Scale to Big Data The era of in-memory computing is upon us. For some time now business intelligence software vendors have tried to leverage the speed of memory to accelerate analytics. Unfortunately these solutions are bound by the amount of memory and compute power on one machine and therefore cannot scale for Big Data. In contrast, the Armanta business intelligence platform incorporates an Intelligence Cache layer on top of the Data Virtualization layer allowing it to scale to Big Data. While the business user can access all the data in the enterprise via an integrated view of the metadata, Armanta brings the actual Users can simply add more data into memory on-demand based on analytical needs. This is in nodes to Armanta s Intelligence contrast to most other business intelligence platforms which force Cache and increase the the business user to bring in all the data they may potentially need upfront with no flexibility to react to future changes in available memory without requirements. impacting other users. The Intelligence Cache is a massively parallel (MPP), sharednothing, in-memory cache for data that needs to be analyzed. The Intelligence Cache s shared-nothing architecture is based upon patent-pending technology that manages partitioning of the data across the cluster, allowing the platform to scale linearly with the amount of data. If a user needs more data than can be comfortably accommodated in the existing Intelligence Cache, they can simply add more nodes to the Intelligence Cache and increase the available memory--without impacting the existing workload and users. Armanta has made considerable investments in sophisticated memory management algorithms that ensure that the most relevant data is always in memory. This guarantees a consistent, predictable and interactive user experience. As importantly, the results of calculations that have been previously performed are also retained which eliminates the need to re-calculate frequently used information. The cache manages information updates to ensure that any cached values requiring re-computation will be computed as needed. The result a high performance, interactive environment for business users and analysts where they do not have to wait for database loads and can leverage pre-run calculations, as appropriate, prior to a user s request. Armanta Sandbox Broad What If Capabilities The Intelligence Cache also manages the Armanta Sandbox, a patent-pending shareable workspace which can be used to identify the impact of changes to information in the enterprise. Analysts want to explore what-if scenarios so that businesses will be ready to react to a variety of potential occurrences. The ability to collaborate with others while evaluating these what-if scenarios is particularly useful. The Sandbox instantaneously allows a user to change data, calculations or analytics and see the results in a test area. They may then share the changes with other users so they can collaborate on a suitable outcome if Page 4

5 the scenario were to play out. For the analyst looking to develop scenarios based on the entire spectrum of enterprise data and analytics, the Armanta Sandbox is highly efficient, storing just the incremental changes to the underlying data and not requiring the entire set of data to be copied. The Intelligence Cache automatically manages the dependencies implied by the new data and calculations that have been modeled. As a simple example, suppose a manufacturer is using Armanta to analyze changes to their global supply chain. If a supplier has proposed modifications to their pricing, the manufacturer could instantly invoke a Sandbox, make the proposed changes and Armanta would automatically re-compute all of the manufacturer s business reports that depended on that specific supplier. Similarly, if the supplier s price had any other downstream effects on the manufacturer s business processes those too would be automatically recomputed. Again, Armanta manages this web of dependencies automatically and there is no additional effort required by the customer. In cases where a user wants to research changes to business processes but not update the entire system, the Sandbox becomes a valuable tool. Dependencies within each individual Sandbox are managed independently. Armanta Intelligence Engine Interactive Visualization of Data and Analytics The Armanta Intelligence Engine is an interactive, bi-directional analytical engine that sits on top of the data in the Intelligence Cache. The cornerstone of any business intelligence platform is its ability to present complex information to the end user in a manner that allows them to make rapid, informed decisions. The Intelligence Engine provides this capability in a unique, high performance manner. First, the Intelligence Engine allows the visualization of data and analytics to scale with Big Data. While business intelligence vendors have focused on enhancing performance and scalability of their analytic infrastructure to meet Big Data requirements, they have not completely considered Big Data s impact on visualization. In other words, their attempts will simply move the Big Data bottleneck from data processing to visualization. This can be a serious problem when more and more business users are looking to make data-driven decisions and operate within a self-service model. Armanta scales its data visualization capabilities for Big Data by incorporating an in-memory, massively parallel (MPP), shared nothing architecture within its Intelligence Engine, which works in concert with the Intelligence Cache, a separate in-memory MPP cluster. Secondly, most other business intelligence products provide read-only views of information. The Armanta Intelligence Engine provides a live read-write mechanism. When a business user modifies values or adds calculations, edits will be sent to the Intelligence Cache where all associated values will be recalculated, and in turn, any views impacted by the modified values will be recalculated instantly. Any new calculation added becomes a new dimension for the analysts that can be leveraged throughout the system. For the business user, this has much the same feel as a spreadsheet. As a simple example, a portfolio manager could change the price of a security in their portfolio to study its impact. On the view where the user has made the edit, all variables that are dependent on the price value will update in real-time. This may mean a market value would change. Calculations of overweight/ underweight could change. Any market-valueweighted aggregations would change, etc. As values are changed, they not only impact the user s view, but all views that all users are seeing will change in real time. In addition to user-modified values, any Page 5

6 values updated from outside sources are treated in the same way. This powerful paradigm becomes a building block for more complex analytic process needs. The Intelligence Engine also has the ability to: Group information based on rules or data at multiple levels and in multiple dimensions. Sort information as required at multiple levels. Refresh views in real-time as information in the Intelligence Cache changes. Facilitate quick calculations both for initial generation and for updates. View information across multiple dates. Through the Intelligence Engine, users get the full functionality of the Armanta Sandbox. This powerful combination allows the end user to generate any view using Sandbox data. In addition, Sandbox values can be used as a comparison point in an end-user view. This enables comparisons of sets of data or results of analyses with a benchmark to detect anomalies. A customer-configurable load balancer, a key feature of the Intelligence Engine, ensures that the resources available in the Armanta environment are used in a well-balanced and responsive manner. When an end user requests a view, the load balancer determines the ideal set of compute resources to service that request. This provides the best possible response time and allows for sophisticated workload management within the Armanta platform. The load balancer contains algorithms designed to optimize the performance of the Armanta environment. And, Armanta s open architecture allows customers to provide proprietary load balancing algorithms if the out-of-the-box algorithm does not cater to their specific workload. Armanta Visualization Interface: Intuitive and Efficient Armanta s Visualization Interface is a graphical user interface (GUI) that gives users an intuitive and efficient experience and the capability to create and manipulate views through a variety of screens. The platform s many other features facilitate the implementation of a rich, interactive analytic process and data visualizations. Additional features include: Intuitive navigation across and through the data allowing the end user to move quickly from one information view to another. Heat-mapping capabilities to quickly identify critical issues. The incorporation of user-defined programs or functions. These include both user-defined functions written in JAVA or scripting programs written using Armanta s flexible scripting language called ascript. Each of these functions run in parallel leveraging Armanta s MPP architecture. Simple self-service visual analysis that enables custom views to be easily defined by each user. Drill-down mechanism to allow expand-collapse capability of hierarchical reports. Real-time data visualization capabilities. Page 6

7 As a result of Armanta s open architecture, the GUI is highly customizable which enables the modeling of complex analytic processes and applications with a minimum of effort. In addition, many aspects of the user-interface have been designed with a focus on simplicity and ease of use while making sure the platform scales for concurrent and collaborative use. Fast Product Deployment Customer implementations of Armanta s products can be done in relatively short timeframes--most within 4- to 6-weeks. With Armanta s software-only architecture, the platform can be implemented on-premise on physical or virtual servers or can be deployed in cloud environments. There are no operating system requirements with Armanta, the platform runs equally well on Linux, Windows or UNIX. At each step of the implementation, the Armanta framework provides mechanisms to facilitate a quick and simple integration process, including: 1. Integration of Static Data Typically this involves integrating the data in disparate sources. Data sources can include operational systems such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW); internal data files from Point Of Sale (POS) and other transaction systems; Hadoop and other NoSQL frameworks; result sets from packaged or proprietary analytic tools; as well as external data sources such as cloud-based data services. Part of the Data Virtualization component is a database integration tool that can be pointed at a data source, and then do most of the Armanta-specific mapping work automatically. This tool also provides a set of meta-data for all of the fields. 2. Definition of Intelligence Cache In-Memory Data Model This process involves defining the ideal representation of the data required to support the business needs. The data model can span all data and analytic tools within and outside the enterprise and provides the user with a holistic view of all enterprise information assets. 3. Custom Calculations, Aggregations and Formatting For each value in the system, any of these custom behaviors needs to be defined. The Intelligence Engine provides common aggregation and formatting capabilities. Any unique behaviors can be custom defined by the user. All new functions added become dimensions users can leverage throughout the system. 4. Model Business Processes While there is a large amount of capability provided once the first three steps are completed, typically some business-specific processes needs to be modeled. This may require additional, custom user interface screens. The implementation process has been engineered to support rapid and straightforward integration exercises. Plus, the open architecture, across all components of the platform, enables users to create highly customized applications based on the specific needs of their business users. Page 7

8 Summary Armanta s products represent a new and unique approach to building and deploying business intelligence platforms that deliver an end-to-end analytic process. The carefully engineered and integrated components combine to form a powerful environment that benefits both the business user and the IT professional. Unlike the traditional decision process of Buy vs. Build, Armanta enables its customers to Buy and Extend, an approach that is quicker and less expensive, resulting in more full-featured and robust solutions than previously possible. About Armanta Enterprises around the world rely on Armanta s Integrated Business Intelligence Platform to enable their overall end-to-end analytic processes. Analytics-driven organizations can now fully leverage the entire scope of both on-premise and cloud-based data in order to instantly visualize complex analyses, evaluate all scenarios, and then act decisively. Armanta brings live information and analytics of any scale directly to the fingertips of business users so they can See the Big Picture. Armanta s Business Intelligence Platform is an integrated technology suite comprised of a rich user interface for reporting, analytics and visualization, a grid-based massively parallel in-memory engine, and a data virtualization and integration layer. With significant experience in rapidly deploying business intelligence and analytic solutions to its enterprise customers, Armanta focuses on next generation analytics in data-intensive industries such as: financial services, retail, utilities, telecommunications and government. For more information about Armanta, call (in the US toll-free ) or visit our website at Corporate Headquarters: Regional Offices: Armanta Corporation 350 Mount Kemble Avenue Morristown, NJ North Carolina Silicon Valley Armanta Inc. Armanta, Inc Weston Parkway, Ste. # Airport Blvd., 4 th Floor Cary, NC Burlingame, CA Copyright Armanta, the Armanta logo, ascript and Armanta Sandbox are trademarks of Armanta Corporation. Other trademarks or registered trademarks are property of their respective holders. CM612 Page 8

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