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Real-Time Mobile BI & Analytics

Smartphones | Tablets | Web Browsers | PC & Mac | More

Visual KPI aggregates multiple real-time data sources (big data, historians, databases, etc.) and adds context with KPIs, alerts, and geolocation. It also gets your critical data in the hands of more users without the need for extensive training, and it can be deployed in hours, not months. Want to see how we do it?

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Mobile BI on Browser, Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, Palm
What is it?

Visual KPI is mobile dashboard software for any device. It reads existing data sources and delivers KPIs, scorecards, analytics and alerts in real-time.

Who uses it?

Decision makers. Operations. Remote workers. Data Junkies. Anyone who values knowing what's happening right now, regardless of their device.

Why use it?

Mobility is no longer optional. Visual KPI presents problems and opportunities before it's too late. Oh, and there's no six-month project that "might" pay off.

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About Transpara

Transpara are the developers of Visual KPI, a mobile and web application for monitoring operations data from any device in real-time. Learn more…

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Collected thoughts on transparency, mobile monitoring and Bl,
operational intelligence, great software. . . and occasionally golf. 

Historians & Big Data

We get questioned a lot about both historians and big data, and since our team works with both (and many other types of data) we thought we should add our perpsective to help clear up, or further muddy, the topic of Big Data.

First, let's get our head around big data with a some definitions from around the web:

  • Wikipedia: Big Data usually includes data sets with sizes beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capture, curate, manage, and process the data within a tolerable elapsed time. Big data sizes are a constantly moving target, as of 2012 ranging from a few dozen terabytes to many petabytes of data in a single data set.
  • Gartner: Big data is high-volume, -velocity and -variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making.
  • McKinsey: “Big data” refers to datasets whose size is beyond the ability of typical database software tools to capture, store, manage, and analyze. This definition is intentionally subjective and incorporates a moving definition of how big a dataset needs to be in order to be considered big data—i.e., we don’t define big data in terms of being larger than a certain number of terabytes (thousands of gigabytes).

For the purposes of answering how Big Data and Enterprise Historians relate, I think it is best to not just look at the size of the data (which is huge no matter how you look at it - see graphic below), but the characteristics of the data and the tools necessary to get value from it.

This is best summed up in a free guide from our friends at GE (makers of the Proficy Historian) called "The rise of Industrial Big Data." They offer quite a few insights and detail about the size of historian data, the speed at which it moves, and much more. Here is a graphic from the guide that shows the data output of just one single factory area for example:


So we know historian data is big and has high velocity, but what really makes historian data fit the category of big data is how unique the tools are for storing, retrieving and analyzing this data. By the simple fact that historians are their own category and that most successful historians (OSIsoft PI, GE Proficy, Wonderware Historian, Rockwell FactoryTalk, Etc.) are not based on relational databases or data warehouses demonstrates just how specialized these tools must be.

So, is there any importance to putting historians in the Big Data category? Does it even matter? I think the answer is yes, for several reasons: 

  • Historians are not as well know as they should be. They have been around for decades but are only known to a small subset of the technology world and have remained stuck in a narrow band of industrial uses for far too long. Attaching them to the 'hotness' of the Big Data category may shine some light on these powerful engines and the value they bring.
  • Historians bring some history and deep experience to the world of Big Data. Tens of thousands of companies run historians, and some historian customers have been running their systems for decades and have real knowledge that should be shared with the Big Data community.
  • Many of the tools that were brought up in the historian age could translate very well to the Big Data age and more people need to know about them. 

In our next post about big data we will explore how two giant and fast-growing industry topics are set to collide: Big Data & Mobility.

Until next time...


Transpara Visual KPI Not Affected by Heartbleed Bug in OpenSSL

Heartbleed OpenSSL BugOn Monday of last week, a group of security researchers discovered and publicly disclosed a vulnerability in OpenSSL, a software package that is widely used to secure online communications. They called the bug Heartbleed, which you can read about more at

Transpara does not use, and has not used, OpenSSL with out software or on our web site, so we were not vulnerable to this bug. As an Visual KPI user, there is no need to take any action unless you have added OpenSSL to you own environment outside of our software.

We have also investigated the services we use, such as our web site and many other services. It appears that all of these services have either fixed the bug or were immune to this issue by not using OpenSSL. Therefore, we do not believe that any data has been accessed. We are actively monitoring the situation and will notify you if the situation changes in any way.

If you have questions at any time, please contact us at or call +1-925-218-6983.


New Starter Package Pricing!

Full Pro Edition features, but limited to 50 objects and with a much lower price.

Looking to get started with Visual KPI or extend that initial free trial for a few months without incurring the full cost?  Our new Starter Package may be just the thing.

It's a fully-featured package that includes 10 named users and installation/setup for just $1500 per year on subscription (includes support/updates) or $5000 on a perpetual license (+20% annual support/updates).

Now you can aggregate multiple data sources and make them mobile, including OSIsoft PI, GE Proficy Wonderware and other historians with thousands of other databases, web services, business application and more, and do it at a reasonable entry price.

Note: the Starter Package is limited to 50 objects (KPIs, values, managed trends, tables) and is for new customers only.  Click below for more details or to request a quote:

More Starter Package Details


Excel: Still not a database, but...

Updated Excel interface allows improved access to open workbooks for trend data.

Microsoft Excel LogoWe have had great success with our Excel interface, but you might have heard us say (over and over) “please don’t think of an Excel file as a database. It is really limited.” We still mean that, but we've been working hard to bridge the gap between these notoriously unreliable but pervasive little buggers and first-class data sources like historians, relational databases and data warehouses.

If one or more of your data sources is Excel, you won't want to miss the updated Excel interface and these tips: Click to read more.


Introducing the new OSIsoft PI AF Integration Server

New Visual KPI AF Integration Server lets AF be your master source of configuration data

Many companies use the OSIsoft PI System as one of their data sources with Visual KPI, and an increasing number also leverage PI AF (asset framework) as both a data source and process model. Our new AF Integration Server can actually use AF as the master source of some or all configuration data for Visual KPI, eliminating redundancy and “copy/paste” errors.

If you are an OSIsoft customer, you really need to check this out.


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