Business intelligence software vendor Cognos has purchased privately held Celequest, a business intelligence company with expertise in real-time operational dashboards, as a way to attract more mid-market and departmental customers.Cognos confirmed the move Wednesday after closing the acquisition of Celequest Tuesday. The company didn\u2019t disclose the deal\u2019s financial details.Like its business intelligence pure-play rivals MicroStrategy and Business Objects, Cognos is keen to find ways to make its software easier to use and accessible to more of an organization\u2019s staff. Dashboards represent a quick visual way for people to view the results of queries of their corporate data and thus form a basis for assessing both individual and overall performance.Available via a dedicated hardware appliance or as a hosted service, Celequest\u2019s Lava dashboards are particularly useful to users who need to constantly monitor their performance against a set of metrics. Accessing real-time data, the users are also able to use the dashboards to flag performance issues, drill down on the likely causes and implement measures to resolve the problems. Celequest also aims to make it simple for individuals to create and customize their own real-time dashboards. The company\u2019s Lava offerings include data integration, analytics and collaboration tools as well as the dashboards.The real-time Celequest dashboards will be complementary to historical and strategic dashboards Cognos already offers inside its Cognos 8 BI software, the vendor said. Built using a Web-based, service-oriented architecture, Celequest\u2019s Lava dashboards already interoperate with Cognos 8 BI and will pave the way for future integration of the two technologies.Celequest already provides two third-party specific Lava products\u2014one to access and display views of data held in SAP\u2019s Business Information Warehouse, and the other to access and generate dashboards based on information contained in Salesforce.com\u2019s on-demand CRM software.Privately held Celequest was founded in 2002 and has its headquarters in Redwood City, Calif. The company\u2019s customers include Cendant, Citigroup and Dreyer\u2019s Grand Ice Cream Holdings.-China Martens, IDG News Service (Boston Bureau)Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.