TARGIT Decision Suite 2017 Feature Peek: TARGIT InMemory

October 05, 2016

IT’S MY FAVORITE TIME OF THE YEAR AT TARGIT: software update release time. We’re busy putting the finishing touches on all the new features of TARGIT Decision Suite 2017 and I’m excited to tease out one of my favorite feature updates here on the blog before the big release date on October 27, when we pull back the curtain on our biggest software update ever.

That’s because for the first time ever, TARGIT Decision Suite has made the leap from a front-end analytics platform to a complete end-to-end solution thanks to our powerful new in-memory database back-end, TARGIT InMemory.

TARGIT Decision Suite has always had a number of deployment and data integration options built right in, including a ROLAP engine option, but this update gives an immense boost of power to the existing ROLAP technology. This was designed for speed and analytics. TARGIT Decision Suite 2017’s back-end ETL studio makes data integration fast and easy. I’m talking enterprise-level integration from unlimited data sources in seconds. We can now implement the same analytical capabilities to our business users – in half the time.

TARGIT Architecture
TARGIT Decision Suite 2017 gives companies the option to supplement or break away from the traditional cube structure. Freedom from reliance on the data warehouse lowers the cost of the entire BI solution and speeds ROI. We can now finally give the users what they have been craving: the ability to show transaction-level details in lightning fast speeds.

Real clients putting TARGIT InMemory to the test

One of the very first TARGIT clients to roll out TARGIT InMemory is Midwest Anesthesia. Before implementing TARGIT Decision Suite, this healthcare services company had a problem with the massive amount of data they needed to analyze to optimize performance across hospitals and surgery centers.

The organization has a number of back-end and supplementary databases that collect and store information such as patient claims, billing information, patient satisfaction scores measuring services and doctors, and doctor peer quality scores. With years of data for the system to sift through, with hundreds of millions of rows of data, it would typically take two to three weeks to create a single report.

Once I got a look under the hood of Midwest Anesthesia’s systems and saw just how much data we were working with and the fact that transaction-level details was required, I knew TARGIT InMemory was the best solution.

“As soon as we implemented TARGIT InMemory, those reports that used to take me two to three weeks to pull data, aggregate it, and get a proper idea of what was going on, suddenly took 30 to 40 seconds,” says Simba Blackman, Healthcare Data Analyst at Anesthesia Associates of Ann Arbor. “Immediately we were seeing the rewards.”

When executives got a taste of TARGIT Decision Suite, they immediately started asking questions that were increasingly detailed. “I could drill down and answer those questions in two seconds,” says Simba. “It would have taken days, if not weeks, to answer a single one of those questions before TARGIT.”

Read the full Midwest Anesthesia story here: Midwest Anesthesia Partners Tap TARGIT InMemory for rapid data analysis of all data sources.

We have even stress tested the technology by loading over a billion rows of log data in a matter of hours for the telematics solutions company Traffilog. Yes, a billion. Stay tuned for the full video success story to hit the TARGIT website.

Under the hood of TARGIT InMemory

TARGIT InMemory is a column-store database, like Microsoft’s tabular engine. Column-store databases allow for large data set to be compressed before being loaded in-memory. Rather than repeating all the data values for each row like a traditional relational database, a column-store database only keeps a distinct list of values for each field and replaces the values of the transactions with highly indexed integer values so it can quickly look up the values and present the data set. This allows a 50 GB+ database to fit into a few GBs of memory space.

This drastically improves query performance. It also eliminates a reliance on disk IO to deliver data. Instead, it will go straight to memory, which is significantly faster. Combining data from across several dimensions is faster. There is no need to cross analyze data files from the file system (to find non-empty data, like in analysis services cubes). Data can be joined directly in-memory (similar to a relational database).

Thus, TARGIT InMemory solves the performance bottlenecks common with traditional analysis services cubes. Additionally, a set of BI functions has been added to the engine to replace calculations we are currently executing in MDX. For example, the balance calculation for Finance Balance and Inventory Balance can be made using the built-in balance function in TARGIT InMemory. Since it’s a built-in function and data is sitting in memory, the performance is significantly better than the MDX calculated members done today.

Data can even be loaded directly from the source systems into the TARGIT InMemory using the InMemory ETL Studio, which means there is no longer a reliance on SQL Server. This approach has proven to be a huge time saver, as we have seen solutions that used to take two to three hours of ETL time using SSIS and Analysis Services can now load in less than 10 minutes after being converted over to InMemory ETL.

We strongly believe the TARGIT InMemory technology is where the future is for BI and we are excited to roll out a back-end which is designed to boost the power the best front-end on the market.

For more details please refer to the full technical guide to utilizing TARGIT InMemory to improve BI performance in this whitepaper that you can read here: TARGIT InMemory Database.

Stay tuned for the next Decision Suite 2017 sneak peek post to see some of the new tools that got a major power boost thanks to TARGIT InMemory. And register for the official launch webinartoday to see all the features and functions for yourself.

Decision Suite 2017