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FAST Introduces Business Intelligence Built on Search.

FAST Adaptive Information Warehouse Platform Promotes Intelligent Business Decisions by Putting Actionable Information into the Hands of All Users

LONDON -- Fast Search & Transfer[TM] (OSEAX: FAST.OL) (FAST[TM]), the leading developer of search technologies, today unveiled the FAST Adaptive Information Warehouse[TM] (AIW[TM]), a radically new approach that lets users capitalize on their entire universe of information to make better informed decisions for competitive advantage. Built on a robust search platform, FAST AIW integrates an end-to-end framework of products that achieves a previously unattainable unification of search and Business Intelligence.

FAST AIW Overcomes Data Warehouse Limitations

FAST AIW fundamentally redefines Business Intelligence with a shift away from the traditional data warehouse. AIW directly addresses the limitations of data warehouses -- cost, architecture complexity, and limited scalability -- as well as the inherent restrictions on traditional Business Intelligence tools that cannot deliver timely, dynamic data to all users.

Traditional Business Intelligence solutions, which analyze and report on structured data typically stored in relational databases, are complex and can only be used by a few power users. Business Intelligence vendors have responded by adding a "search box" atop BI tools in an attempt to make it easier for anyone in the organization to find reports relevant to the business processes with which they are involved. In contrast, FAST AIW puts the Business Intelligence solutions on top of the search platform to integrate and orchestrate all of the information needed to make BI truly effective. Users can directly search and navigate Business Intelligence data in an ad-hoc manner, then display relevant, usable information to users without the need for predefined report creation.

FAST AIW also leverages the knowledge buried within all of an organization's unstructured content to enhance actual Business Intelligence, enabling companies to generate new business insights from their unstructured information. This powerful capability gives all business users direct access to cleansed, fully integrated data with extreme ad-hoc query performance, all through an easy-to-use interface.

Key elements of the FAST AIW platform include:

* FAST Radar, a Web-based Business Intelligence portal and tool that brings actionable information and statistical analysis to decision-makers throughout the organization by means of a familiar search and navigation interface. FAST Radar provides powerful insights into data through personal, flexible dashboards that move intelligence in the enterprise from IT and business analysts to every business user.

* The FAST Data Cleansing Solution, which provides up-to-the-minute access to all information, structured and unstructured, regardless of its source or location. It uses linguistics to improve data quality, enabling organizations to match, merge, and cleanse data automatically. The solution provides a search-based approach to harvest entities and unique identifiers from data repositories, regardless of their format and location, to create a single, reliable master index. It also provides users with a familiar search and navigation interface to traverse the data quickly and easily. By ensuring the highest-quality data as a basis for sound decision-making, FAST Data Cleansing Solution improves enterprise agility at a significantly lower total cost of ownership.

"The nature of Business Intelligence will change due to search-driven data integration," said Bill Gassman, research director, Gartner, Inc. "Since search queries resolve in microseconds, even when using many dimensions and large data sets, this offers a disruptive approach to data integration. Search technology has long provided rapid access to unstructured information and has evolved to include structured information. As a result, search will initially act as an adjunct for data warehousing but will eventually compete to be the golden source."

Data Quality: Number One Issue for Data Warehouse Users

Even after 20 years of data warehousing, data quality remains the number-one concern for businesses that rely on enterprise data warehouses. A recent TDWI survey revealed that 83% of respondents reported that their organizations have suffered problems due to poor data quality. FAST AIW employs progressive linguistic data-cleansing techniques to ensure that reliable, accurate, and enriched data serves as the cornerstone of better, more precise decision-making. In addition, through advanced data refinements such as object associations and dynamic profiling, FAST AIW ensures that data is easy to find and actionable so that users can make smart, timely business decisions.

"At a technology level, AIW is disruptive, with extreme performance that makes it more dynamic and flexible than any existing data warehouse," said Davor Sutija, vice president of strategic market development for AIW at FAST. "Search-based Business Intelligence eliminates the hours spent each day sorting though thousands of static records. Furthermore, it puts aggregate and real-time information at decision-makers' fingertips, enabling them to quickly create ad-hoc exception reports and interactively investigate and identify trends."

Faster Return on Investment

The return on investment (ROI) for FAST AIW is faster than for traditional BI and warehousing approaches because FAST's linguistic data cleansing permits expanded access to information. It does so by enabling dynamic object associations and data profiling and providing extreme ad-hoc query performance. In addition, it eliminates the need to spend months gaining an understanding of data models and building integrated schemas. BI becomes more democratic with FAST AIW because more people are able to rapidly and effectively access and use information to make effective decisions.

FAST Radar was implemented in under a month at energy-bar maker Clif Bar. The solution combined sales forecasts with historical sales figures plus promotions and adjustments for seasonal sales, helping the finance department cut inventory on hand from 77 days to 35 days. This reduction saves the company USD 2 million a year in reduced spoilage and interest costs.

Through its extreme ad-hoc query performance, FAST AIW ensures sub-second latency even on data volumes that range into tens or even hundreds of Terabytes. By empowering better business decisions, increased ROI, faster time to market, and less dependence on IT resources, FAST AIW gives organizations an important competitive advantage.

"FAST AIW offers business users all of the tools needed to unearth new levels of associated information in order to make better decisions," commented Sutija. "It also provides the means to detect trends and relationships that were previously never known or explored."

The comprehensive FAST AIW platform -- including FAST Data Cleansing and FAST Radar -- is available immediately. FAST Data Cleansing and FAST Radar may also be purchased as individual products.

About FAST

FAST creates the real-time search and business intelligence solutions that are behind the scenes at the world's best- known companies with the most demanding information challenges. FAST's flexible and scalable integrated technology platform and personalized portal connects users, regardless of medium, to the relevant information they need.

FAST is headquartered in Norway and is publicly traded under the ticker symbol 'FAST' on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The FAST Group operates globally with presence in Europe, the United States, Asia, Australia, the Americas, and the Middle East. For further information about FAST, please visit

[c] 2007 Fast Search & Transfer ASA - Fast Search & Transfer, FAST, Adaptive Information Warehouse and AIW are trademarks of Fast Search & Transfer ASA. The FAST logo is a registered trademark of Fast Search & Transfer ASA. All rights reserved.
COPYRIGHT 2007 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 29, 2007
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