Bime 1.75 is out and it's a massive release, both in terms of new features and improvements to old ones. More connectors, more advanced visualizations, even more performance on calculations and, yes, all come with a touch of sex appeal.
As always, our improvements come from discussions and recommendations from our customers so if you'd like to see a new feature or have some feedback for us, we'd love to hear from you. You can email us or go to our support site discussion forum.
1) Hierarchy support & drill down
This has been the single most requested feature and we are really happy to be able to release it into the wild. Perhaps those who have been asking for it will understand how useful this is, but here is a brief explanation for those who have not used hierarchical data.
A hierarchy is a path though different attributes of a dimension. A typical example would be the dimension "product" with attributes that would be organised as Product Category > Sub Category > Product Name.
What's the point in such organisation?
First, you can easily navigate through your data in a way that make sense from a business perspective. It is highly desirable to analyse product categories and then drill down on into the details of sub categories. While this was possible before, it is now hugely easier and Bime does all of the hard work for you.
Secondly, it helps to organise attributes in logical blocks. All your product related attributes will be in one dimension, all your customer related attributes in another etc... In the end you'll have an analysis canvas "naturally" organised, allowing even those with minimal knowledge of the business or technical skill to a) understand the model b) ask deep business questions c) see what details will be important d) drill down and explore those details.
How does this change how I use Bime?
As with any feature, this would be useless if it were hard to use. Creating a hierarchy is done by simply dragging and dropping elements. The most popular new feature using this will be the "decompose" feature on the cartesian and pie charts. This feature allows you to click on any data point of a chart and ask Bime to decompose it by any attributes available.
2) OLAP Connectors
So...you've already invested in on-premise Business Intelligence and now you want to give your users a best of breed user interface on top of that. Giving users an easy-to-use, non-technical interface on top of the power of you OLAP engine can breath new life into old expenditure
Bime is now able to connect to Microsoft Analysis Services, the Open Source engine Mondrian and to an incredible OLAP engine called Panoratio PDI. This list will grow significantly in a near future with the addition of Oracle Essbase, Jedox Palo, SAP BW and SAS.
The best news is that all the most loved features in Bime work on top: stunning data visualization, easy and effective dashboarding, filtering, sorting and collaboration.
OLAP connector is the first feature of our new "Entreprise" plan. For now, it is the main difference with the "Workgroup" plan that already exists, but we are working on exciting new features like SMS and email alert and delivery, LDAP synch and pass through SQL, all of which should be with you shortly.
You can find the documentation for the OLAP connector here
3) The Wow! Effect
Cartesian and Pie charts have now data animation. That means that your charts move with a smooth transition each time you interact with them. Despite being eye catching and super sexy during your slideshows, it is also super useful as it allows you to watch the data change as you make a perturbation (eg. apply a filter).
4) Improved calculation engine
We have done a huge amount of work on the calculation engine and are really pleased with the high performance of the new engine. Cross referenced calculated measures and attributes are now handled impecably, time functions get a major performance boost, and sub- and grand-totals play smoothly with even the most complex of formulae. Enjoy the reduced calc. times and smooth visualization transitions.
5) Advanced Geo spatial analysis.
You can now render up to three measures on top of your heatmap map. One measure in size, one in color and one in a label. This allows more data to be shown more succinctly and comparisons to be made more easily. It also brings new flexibility to the aesthetics of you maps.
6) Connectors to more Relational Databases :
Access, Informix and DB2 are now fully supported. If you are using a relational database that we do not cover, please let us know, we always want to provide you with the best and most complete service we possibly can.
We hope you enjoy the new power this release gives you with your data. New features and improvements are built on your feedback, so let us know how you're using Bime, what features you want to see and how we could make your life easier. You can email us or put a discussion point on our new LinkedIn group.
Happy data analysis!
The Bime Team