A software company claims to bridged the gap between an enterprise's business intelligence (BI) software. Colorado-based Lyza software is set to launch an analytic tool that will alllow users to handle data direct from the BI stack without the intervention of the IT department.

The product, also called Lyza is a desktop too that allows users to assimilate information from a variety of different source, including the likes of Excel, Access, SQLServer2000, MySQ, Oracle or any other ODBC or JDBC compliant database.

The company said that the data that is stored within enterprise repositories is not easily manipulated. "There's a dirty little secret about business intelligence, said Scott Davis, Lyza's CEO. "The secret is that the most popular BI software is Excel." He claimed that existing BI products were cumbersome to manipulate and could not always provide business analysts with the information they wanted, they way they wanted it,"

"To take one example, consider a storage engineer wanting to manage a storage area network. He wants to know how all these devices are performing which means analysing the log files of all of them. You don't want to look at all those files for a one-off report and they're far too big to load into Excel," he said.

He said that a key element in understanding the way that Lyza worked was to understand the way that analysts worked. He pointed out they didn't necessarily work lineally but might pull data from a variety of sources to get to the answers they were looking for. "It's important to understand that analysts aren't the guys with the answers. The analysts don't even know in advance what data is relevant." He said that the trouble with Microsoft's products is that they offered a pre-conceived idea as to what information was important and how the data should be manipulated.

Davis also said that Excel was limited in the amount of data that it could handle. "Access and Excel are built on architectural memory, there's boundary of how much data a single machine can handle. Lyza is not built that way; it has the ability to analyse hundreds and millions of rows of data - that's an enormous upsize of capacity, without the need to use a Cray to do the analysis."

Lyza is still in the final stages of beta, although it's already available for download from the Lyza website. The product will sell for $900(£500) and will only be sold online. "That way we can assure that everyone's working on the same version," said Davis. He said that although UK users would be able to resolve technical problems through the online forums. "He already have 145 users in 10 different countries and they already finding answers from each other," he said.