Archive for "Business Intelligence"

Components of Oracle BI Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) – Oracle Interactive Dashboards

Business Intelligence, Oracle BI, Posts Jun 13, 2011 No Comments
Oracle Interactive Dashboards is a presentation component of the Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) suite and provides versatile, web-based dashboards that displays information in a highly-intuitive format to help end-users’ decision making.  The user interface is completely graphical while access to the information is interactive and based on the individual’s role and identity. Further, the user has full capability for modifying and interacting with data utilizing the following controls …
• Live reports
• Charts
• Tables
• Prompts
• Pivot tables

Additionally, the Oracle Interactive Dashboards provides the user with full capability of drilling, navigating, modifying, and interacting with data sets. This concept is commonly referred to as “guided analysis“.  Oracle Interactive Dashboards can retrieve and aggregate content from a wide variety of sources, including the traditional databases, data warehouses and data marts, shared file servers, and document repositories.

OracleBI - Dashboards

Oracle Interactive Dashboards provide personalized views of corporate and external information. A dashboard consists of one or more pages, which appear as tabs across the top of the dashboard. Pages can display anything that you can access or open with your Web browser, such as saved queries and requests, alerts from Oracle Delivers, images, charts, tables, text, and links to Web sites and documents.

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Differences in Oracle BI (Platform vs. Analytical Applications)

Business Intelligence, Oracle BI, Posts Jun 09, 2011 No Comments

A key way to understand the differences between the Oracle BI Platform and Oracle BI Analytical Applications is to identify that the platform contains the environment and tools for custom building business intelligence solutions, while the analytical applications contain complete, pre-built solutions that can be rapidly configured. Oracle BI Analytical Applications utilize all of the tools within the Oracle BI Platform as well as several additional tools, and all of the components of the Oracle BI Platform are bundled within Oracle BI Analytical Applications. Moreover, within the Analytical Applications, Oracle has leveraged its experience in providing industry-specific business solutions to deliver comprehensive and fully-inclusive business intelligence solutions for numerous common business functions.

Oracle BI Platform / Analytical Applications Components

Another important concept in the differentiation of the Oracle BI Platform and Oracle BI Analytical Applications is the amount of content delivered in the metadata or middleware layer. In a nutshell, the metadata layer within Oracle BI creates a semantic model over an organization’s entire data set, consists of the information that characterizes data, and describes how the organizational data should be presented by the user interface of the business intelligence environment.

The Oracle BI Platform is delivered without any pre-existing metadata as it only contains the tools for developing metadata.

Oracle BI Platform Metadata

However, Oracle BI Analytical Applications come delivered with a rich set of metadata elements at all three layers (physical, logical, and presentation) and come delivered with the mappings between the levels already being developed and configured as well as physical connections already being defined.

Oracle BI Analytical Applications Metadata

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Oracle Business Intelligence (BI) Analytical Applications

Business Intelligence, Oracle BI, Posts Jun 07, 2011 1 Comment
Rather than just being a platform or development environment, Oracle Business Intelligence (BI) Analytical Applications are fully inclusive business intelligence solutions that incorporate all of the key metrics, workflows, and business processes for a particular business function.  Bundled within theses solutions are numerous pre-built components including:
•  Dashboards
•  Metrics
•  Reports
•  Drill-down paths
•  Dimensional models
•  Naming standards
•  Database objects
•  ETL routines
•  Metadata
•  Security

In addition, Oracle BI Analytical Applications contain universal adapters that allow for rapid integration and direct connections with leading commercial-off-the shelf (COTS) packages including SAP, Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, and Siebel applications systems.

Oracle BI Analytical Applications come bundled with best practices and industry standards built-in. Additionally, they include all of the functionality required to conduct business intelligence for many common business functions including financials, human resources, sales, service, contact centers, marketing, supply chains, order management and fulfillment business areas.

Oracle BI Analytical Application Modules

Fundamentally, Oracle BI Analytical Applications are built upon the Oracle BI Platform and provide complete end-to-end, prebuilt business intelligence solutions that deliver intuitive, role-based intelligence to all members of an organization including senior executives, mid-level managers, and front-line employees.  So rather than developing custom business intelligence solutions for each business area and function, the use of Oracle BI Analytical Applications allows an organization the ability to rapidly configure a ready-built solution utilizing the complete Oracle BI Platform.

Oracle BI Platform / Analytical Applications

Oracle BI Analytical Applications come bundled with two main additional pre-built back-end repositories:
•  Business Analytics Warehouse
•  ETL (Extract-Transform-Load) Repository

The Business Analytics Warehouse (BAW) is a completely pre-built data warehouse that physically contains all of necessary dimension and fact table needed for the business intelligence applications. The BAW is fully-compliant with the dimensional modeling methodology developed by Ralph Kimball and supports many advanced techniques including slowly changing dimensions, conformed dimensions, aggregate tables, hierarchy tables, and surrogate keys.

The ETL repository includes all of the routines for extracting of data to a staging area, transforming the data into a common format, the loading of date into data warehouse tables, changed data capture, and seeding data for common dimensions. In addition, the powerful ETL repository consist of two main components, Informatica which is the ETL engine that contains the data integration routines, and the DAC (Data Warehouse Application Console) which is the “ETL orchestration tool” that controls application configuration, execution & recovery, and monitorring.

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Oracle Business Intelligence (BI) Platform

Business Intelligence, Oracle BI, Posts Jun 03, 2011 No Comments
The Oracle Business Intelligence (BI) Platform is a set of functions and tools that incorporate a number of advanced business intelligence products.  In addition to providing a broad set of functions and tools, the Oracle BI Platform is built upon a proven, modern web services-oriented architecture that provides the foundation of the construction of complete business intelligence solutions.  In addition, the platform delivers a full range of capabilities related to business intelligence capabilities including…
• Dashboards
• Ad-hoc queries
• Alerts and notifications
• Operational reports
• Predictive intelligence
• Disconnected analytics
• Microsoft Office integration

Fundamentally, the Oracle BI Platform comes with the tools and functions for developing sophisticated custom business intelligence environments like the one pictured here …

Oracle BI - Dashboards

At its core, the Oracle BI Platform is an innovative next-generation business intelligence environment that offers the software tools for building enterprise BI solutions from data spanning both Oracle and non-Oracle data sources and applications. The Oracle BI Platform has been meticulously designed to allow for pervasive use within an organization.  This sophisticated environment includes a full range of easy-to-use and intuitive end-user tools such as interactive dashboards, advanced reporting and publishing, full ad-hoc analysis over the web, proactive detection and alerts, mobile analytics, Microsoft Office integration, web services and business process integration.

The Oracle BI platform provides transparent and seamless access to numerous heterogeneous data sources.  This highly developed platform also allows for development of custom business intelligence implementations that access data from traditional relational databases, OLTP & ODS systems, data warehouses and data marts, flat files, and web services. Further in 2008, Oracle released the Oracle BI Enterprise Edition Plus Platform, which provides direct connections to Hyperion data sources including Essbase and its related financial performance management applications.

Oracle BI - Platform

The Oracle BI Platform has been developed over several years and includes the most advanced features from the former NQuire and Siebel Analytics products recently acquired by Oracle Corporation.

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Advantages of KPI Scorecarding

Business Intelligence May 25, 2011 No Comments

A KPI scorecard is a solution that allows organizations to manage their organizational performance by linking operations with strategy. The scorecard monitors the execution of strategic objectives at each level of the organization and ensures a consistent understanding at all levels of the organization’s priorities and expectations.

Sample KPI Scorecard

Sample KPI Scorecard

Scorecards can be utilized at all levels of an organization including executives, managers and staff. They are usually updated in periodic snapshots, use graphical symbols and icons to present summaries of organizational performance, and chart overall progress over time for the organization.

Scorecards provide value to the organization by linking key performance indicators (KPIs) within tactical and operational levels in an organization to the overall strategy of the organization. In addition, the scorecard establishes accountability to appropriate individuals and enables visibility to up and down an organization from executive management to operational levels. The scorecard can be a powerful tool to allow for assignment of goals and objectives to all individuals and focuses accountability on the relevant individuals and business units.

Typically scorecards provide internal and industry benchmarks, goals, and targets that assist an individual’s understanding of their own unique contribution to the organization. Often, the scorecard spans strategic, tactical, and operational aspects and decisions of the organization and supports the specific demands of varying levels of management.

Benefits and Advantages of KPI Scorecards to an organization include…
• Scorecards drive improved organizational performance
• Scorecards translate strategy into concrete terms and help track its execution
• Scorecards help ensure that the right measures are utilized
• Scorecards encourage the right balance of operational and strategic factors
• Scorecards encourage good management
• Scorecards present a compelling picture of performance that is not distorted an individual issue

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Components of SAP BusinessObjects: QAAWS

Business Intelligence, Business Objects, Posts Apr 01, 2011 No Comments

Query as a Web Service (QAAWS) is a technique within the SAP Business Objects suite that allows for creation and publishing of web services.  Subsequently web services are utilized to integrate data between a Business Objects Universe and an Xcelsius Dashboard.  The QAAWS client tool provides the dashboard developer an intuitive wizard that to create universe queries and publish these queries as web services.  Once a web service is published, an Xcelsuis Dashboard can utilize and present that data. Fundamentally, QAAWS is an integration device between a Business Objects Universe and an Xcelsius Dashboard.

Query as a Web Service (QAAWS)

Query as a Web Service (QAAWS)

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Components of SAP BusinessObjects: Xcelsius

Business Intelligence, Business Objects, Posts Mar 28, 2011 No Comments

Xcelsius is the primary dashboard development tool of the SAP BusinessObjects suite of business intelligence products.  Xcelsius extends the power of business intelligence environments by offering interactive devices including gauges, charts, widgets, drop-down menus, and sliders.  These intuitive and user-friendly devices simplify the display of complex business data and provide decision makers with an easy way to interact with data and test out future business scenarios with the click of a mouse.

Sample Xcelsius Dashboard

Sample Xcelsius Dashboard

At its heart, Xcelsius is a dynamic and customizable data visualization software package that enables development of both insightful and engaging dashboards from various data sources throughout a typical organization. Moreover, Xcelsius includes graphical interfaces and real-time methods that provide guided analysis and for dynamic monitoring of organizational metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs).
Key Features of Xcelsius Dashboards Include:
• Intuitive graphical visualizations of data.
• Dashboard customization to meet unique business needs.
• Connection of dashboards to any type of data source.
• Maximization of the value of a business intelligence solution with rich user interface.
• Deployment of dashboards within Microsoft Office, Adobe PDF, Portals, or on the Web.
• Empowerment of decision-makers to view and understand key organizational metrics.
• Improved user adoption of BI tools because of business-friendly visualizations.

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Oracle’s Business Intelligence Foundation

Business Intelligence, Oracle BI, Posts Feb 20, 2011 No Comments

Oracle Business Intelligence LogoOracle’s Business Intelligence Foundation is a complete enterprise business intelligence solution that delivers capabilities for reporting, ad-hoc query and analysis, OLAP, dashboards, and scorecards.  In addition, the Oracle BI Foundation includes a common enterprise information model, which is a unified metadata model accessed by end user tools, allowing a  “model once and deploy everywhere” paradigm.  In addition, the Oracle BI Foundation allows users to access and interact with information in multiple ways, including web-based dashboards, collaboration workspaces, search bars, ERP and CRM applications, mobile devices, and MS Office applications.

Product Areas of Oracle BI Foundation

•  Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition Plus (OBIEE Plus)
•  Oracle Business Intelligence Standard Edition One  (OBISE One)
•  Oracle Business Intelligence Standard Edition (OBISE)
•  Oracle BI Publisher
•  Oracle Essbase
•  Oracle Real-Time Decisions (RTD)
•  Oracle Scorecard and Strategy Management
•  Oracle Essbase Analytics Link

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Primary Components of Business Intelligence Systems

Business Intelligence, Posts Feb 17, 2011 1 Comment

Business Intelligence (BI) systems are software applications that enable better understanding of organizational data and provide the information organizations need to make enlightened decisions. Moreover, business intelligence systems are primarily focused on reporting, querying, and analysis of data residing in an enterprise data warehouse (EDW), and both dependent and independent data marts.

Primary Components of Business Intelligence (BI)

Primary Components of Business Intelligence (BI)

Fundamentally, there are five categories of business intelligence applications…

•  Operational Reports:  Displays data with rich presentation and within a structured layout (i.e. rows and columns).
•  Query and Analysis:  Interactive methods to query data, present data in an ad-hoc manner, and to find information on an as-needed basis.
•  Dashboard Management:  Graphical interfaces and real-time methods to provide guided analysis and to intuitively monitor organizational metrics.
•  On-line Analytical Processing (OLAP):  The capability of manipulating and analyzing data from multiple perspectives in a rapid fashion.
•  Data Mining & Predictive Analytics:  Utilizing statistics, algorithms, and sophisticated data search capabilities to discover hidden patterns and relationships in data and project future results.

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Business Intelligence Vendor Consolidation (2003-2008)

Business Intelligence, Posts Feb 11, 2011 No Comments

The business intelligence (BI) software marketplace has seen a wave of corporate acquisitions since the mid 1990s with the size and importance of the acquisitions coming to their apex during the years 2003 – 2008. This surge in corporate activity in the mid part of the decade has been characterized by a number of large software companies making major, strategic moves.   Thus the industry is now in a state in which there are clear leaders or as Gartner, Inc puts it, “megavendors” that own a significant control over the over-all market share. In addition the rest of the BI vendors that not have been a part of acquisition activity are smaller organizations and are more commonly referred to as “niche” or “pure-play” vendors.  These “niche” vendors each produce and sell viable business intelligence software products, but they do not encompass the breadth of complimentary technologies that the “megavendor” produces.

Business Intelligence Vendor Consolidation (2003-2008)

BI Vendor Consolidation (2003-2008)

As a result of the BI vendor consolidation of 2003-2008 the following megavendors have placed themselves in a position to control over 2/3 of the business intelligence software marketplace …
•   IBM
•   Microsoft
•   Oracle
•   SAP Business Objects

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