Webalo and BI Tools: The Right Tool for the Right Job

Oct 15, 2018 3:57:18 PM . Maryanne Steidinger

Webalo and Business Intelligence: they both have their place in a well-informed enterprise.  But do you need both? We think yes...

Business Intelligence (BI) tools are traditionally used by an organization's IT staff to gain insight into their business practices in order to facilitate decision making--hence the term BI.  BI isn't necessarily designed to be used for process control, or operations management, where the input is from applications generating real-time data from manufacturing and operations processes-- where the plethora of different data types, legacy applications, custom applications, and off the shelf hardware provide a dizzying array of connection points and data.  

BI is designed for a set of end users who primarily have a technical business analyst role. Webalo is designed for end users who need access to data in order to perform tasks and workflow to get their day-to-day jobs done.

How Webalo differs from BI tools

BI tools are model-driven tools that need to be used by technical data analyst staff.  Data analysts generally publish reports and charts of interest, but the end user has to go somewhere else and login to a different system to work out how to act with that data or use it to do their job. The worst case is that their department may have to build a custom application to take appropriate action.

Webalo is the User Experience Platform for the Industrial Internet. Webalo is a no-code, rapid development platform that enables business users with the capability to create real-time, actionable applications and workflows for the industrial marketplace. With Webalo, end users can interact with the data directly and can take actions with other Webalo applications that leverage multiple sources of data. Webalo apps orchestrate everything needed by the user with a one-click, multi-device deployment model. 

Let's look at Webalo's key features:

  • Webalo generates persona-based apps that automatically meet the needs of individual users, who only see what they need to see to help them get their jobs done.
  • Webalo is a no-code platform, and Webalo’s patented technology generates apps automatically through a simple, no-code, step-by-step configuration process.
  • Webalo apps support data entry & data capture so they can be bi-directional with the data flow (read/write).
  • Webalo apps can be integrated bi-directionally, out-of-the-box, with a broad range of enterprise applications such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Salesforce.com, and with industrial applications such as those from GE, OSIsoft, Rockwell, Siemens and Wonderware (AVEVA).
  • Webalo is focused on the Industrial Market, which means our screens, language, and user experience all reflects the needs of the industrial end user.
  • Webalo’s Industrial Asset Model Viewer provides tight integration with industrial systems, and auto-generates hierarchical views of industrial MES & APM systems, visualizing their object trees and relationships and enabling users to browse and find objects of interest and automatically visualize the available list of services for each selected object.
  • Webalo provides a user-focused data mashup capability, enabling users to more easily visualize data from multiple data sources.
  • Webalo apps support real-time interactions with these data sources and can be set up with alerts and messaging to provide immediate user notification and response.

What does this mean to the end user?

  • Anything Webalo does on the reporting side (which is just a small piece of what Webalo does) is actionable - meaning, Webalo shows a dial, a KPI, a donut, a chart or any other kind of graphical representation of the data, and the user can action a response from it, kick off a workflow, initiate some kind of business process, and all in the context of the kind of data sets the user is dealing with in an industrial setting. Webalo is about a bi-directional experience – the two-way flow of data; this alone makes us substantially different and more valuable than a simple, one-way data reporting tool.
  • Webalo is also personalized. Webalo doesn’t provide a tool for building canned reports for many users; we provide a dynamic, user context-related response to the task at hand for that user. As a user, I see myKPIs, my charts, my dashboards...
  • Webalo is also real-time, integrating with the environment in which the user is operating, notifying them of user-relevant information as it happens.
  • For Webalo, reporting is just a piece of building a user- personalized, actionable visualization UI of everything they need to do for their job – interacting with multiple levels of enterprise data sources in the way that they need to do their job – actionable visualizations, notifications and workflows on any device.

In this context, Webalo is about multiple data sources as real-time, bi-directional interactions on one screen - data from SAP, Predix/Plant Apps and Oracle for example, in that real-time actionable view. It's an automatically generated, unified view of these complex enterprise environments that is specifically relevant to the individual user, and adjusts dynamically to that user’s needs.

  • Webalo is ideal for those that must deal with multiple systems, whose users are struggling to interact with these systems productively. End user executives will certainly benefit from better reporting widgets than they may have now, and Webalo can deliver those types of views, but the real value-add will come from those views being actionable, from those views enabling users to make real-time adjustments to their production processes, directly from those views, allowing them to increase productivity with a couple of clicks on their screen.

 So there you have it--a short comparison of Webalo and BI tools. Both have their place in the enterprise; both are used for decision making, but the types of data, and end uses of the data, are quite distinctly different.

If you'd like more information, please visit www.webalo.com.