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Column Based Analytic Technology (CBAT) Challenges Current Analytic Methods and Gains Industry Support

London, 29 October 2001 - Alterian (LSE: ALN), a provider of high-performance analytic technology, announced today a new analytic category, called CBAT - column-based analytical technology. CBAT is a system that stores and accesses data in indexed column structures specifically designed for analytic queries and decision support. Alterian has support from over 30 partners, industry analyst confidence, and a supporting white paper, ‘Column Based Analytic Technology, The Missing Piece to the Analytic Puzzle’.

CBAT differentiates itself from current analytic technologies including OLAP, data mining, and standard relational systems that usually require, for performance reasons, the pre-aggregation of data into cubes, dimensional models, aggregate tables, or arrays of aggregates. CBAT stores and queries the lowest level of detail efficiently and does not rely on aggregates to deliver its superior query performance. While OLAP type solutions are extremely powerful where access to aggregated data is key such as management reporting - CBAT is extremely powerful where access to detail data is key, such as customer value analysis and behavioural-based segmentation.

Jacqueline Sweeney-Coolidge, director at Hurwitz Group, states: "In today's information rich enterprises, there is a growing demand for high performance, scalable analytic solutions that can exploit the value of data buried in the details of very large databases. Alterian, with its implementation of column based analytical technology (CBAT), is very well positioned to address this need in the marketplace."

With the ever-increasing data explosion, Alterian and several other vendors have been maturing their offerings based upon CBAT. Using CBAT-powered solutions, business professionals can perform ad hoc, iterative queries against millions or hundreds of millions of rows of data at the lowest level of detail. CBAT-powered solutions complement today’s BI offerings by providing organisations with a cost-effective and rapid means of putting large quantities of data to work.

The emergence of CBAT can be directly linked to an increase in data volumes and organisations’ need to make the most of their individual data assets. To ensure that CBAT solves a ‘real’ need, Alterian has been actively working with industry analysts, partners and customer implementations to define and establish the CBAT sector. To date, Alterian’s CBAT Suite powers a wide range of applications, including customer intelligence, consumer dynamics, data mining, fraud detection and network traffic analysis solutions.

According to Frank Buytendijk, senior research analyst at Gartner, Inc. "Knowledge workers within data-rich enterprises sometimes like to use specialised data storage structures for fast querying and analysis of large data sets. Enterprises should treat technology like this as pragmatic and tactical, and need to search for immediate ROI in the specific projects they deploy. These storage structures do not replace an enterprise's data warehouse infrastructure."

“As data volumes increase, CBAT offers detail-level data analysis that fills the gap found in traditional business intelligence (BI) solutions,” said Kirk Fallbacher, vice president of marketing for Alterian. “Several of the BI tools available today are limited to highly structured and aggregated data. CBAT offers dynamic, iterative analysis against volumes of data at the lowest level allowing for train-of-thought data exploration and problem solving.”

In a showing of support for CBAT, Alterian’s partner network is growing rapidly and currently has over 30 partners, including Abacus, Brann Data, Carlson Marketing Group, Claritas, Experian and SPSS.

Ken Shearer, Vice President, Brann Data stated, “The Alterian Suite and Alterian’s application of column-based analytical technology (CBAT) allows us to transform, manipulate, score, and deliver data back to our customers, orders of magnitude and more quickly than our previous systems, and at a lower cost per thousand. The Alterian Suite provides rapid and continuous accessibility of analytical capabilities to our customers marketing managers.”

To better understand the capabilities of CBAT, Alterian has authored a technical white paper called “Column Based Analytic Technology, The Missing Piece to the Analytic Puzzle.” The purpose of this technical white paper is to describe CBAT’s relationship to other business intelligence (BI) technologies and its uses, outline the emerging CBAT sector, and describe Alterian.
The Alterian white paper defines the characteristics of CBAT offerings, including:
- Storing and working with columns of data and not entire table rows or OLAP cubes
- Performing fast detail-level analytics against very large data sets
- Supporting recursive queries with intermediate storage
- Performing intersecting set operations
- Adding derived fields without restructuring the database
- Loading data quickly and performing automatic indexing on each column

About Alterian
Alterian solutions are pragmatic analytic tools for extracting customer insight from today’s expanding data sets. Since 1997, Alterian has focused on building technology to address the needs of companies within markets that require quick decision-making capabilities based upon rapid analysis of detail-level data. Alterian offers its technology through partnership arrangements via a worldwide partner network that uses Alterian technology to customise and enhance analytical solutions for many different markets.

Consulting practices, systems integrators and marketing services organisations using the Alterian Suite have built, delivered and/or managed large databases that require customised interfaces and detail-level analytical functionality. These ‘Alterian Powered’ applications allow partners’ customers to better understand and use their data at the lowest level of detail, whether that data consists of millions or hundreds of millions of customers, prospects, products or transactions.

Alterian’s international headquarters is located in Bristol, UK and its North American Headquarters is based in Chicago. Alterian is a publicly traded company on the techMARK Index of the London Stock Exchange (ALN). For additional information, please visit

For more information
Helen Jones
+44 (0)117 970 3200

Michelle Halliday
Write Image
+44 (0) 20 7959 5400

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