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Utilizing Native PeopleTools for Improved Business Intelligence

In past blogs we have discussed both business intelligence, PeopleSoft functionality and the potential to merge both of those worlds.  With some of the delivered features and enhancements with PeopleTools 8.51 we can get very specific of how we can embed business intelligence into the PeopleSoft business transaction.  ERP solutions allow you to run your business….business intelligence solutions allow you to manage your business.  Within PeopleSoft, we can do both.

There are three specific pieces of functionality I would like to discuss: navigation collection, pagelets and related content.

Let’s tackle navigation collection first.  In its simplest description, navigation collection allows you to select only the most pertinent functions to your job as your navigation.  When you log into PeopleSoft you can narrow down your menu items to the top five or seven or 10 activities that you perform most often for your job.  For example, as an inventory manager perhaps you most often review inventory levels, conduct inventory audits, review open purchase orders for replenishment, print pick lists etc.  You can customize your navigation collection to the most pertinent aspects of your job.  This is all delivered PeopleTools functionality.  Please see the diagram below.  The middle section represents a navigation collection focused solely on specific job tasks.

Now, navigation collection on its own is not a BI solution.  However, it is one of the pieces to allow for embedding BI into the business process.

If we look at the right and left of the navigation collection, we have pagelets.  With these pagelets we can essentially build our own business intelligence dashboard related to the key information that supports our daily business process.  With the Pagelet Wizard, we can turn standard PeopleSoft queries into pagelets.  Once a pagelet is published, it is available for adding to the main menu and can be arranged as any of the standard delivered pagelets can.   With this feature we can create a query, turn that query into a table, chart or graph and sign into our key information that allows us to manage our business.

Using our example of the inventory manager, he/she may want to see a chart with all inventory levels currently below minimums, a chart which shows all inventory items on backorder, a chart which shows the number of picks per inventory specialist and so on.  Please note that in addition to turning queries into pagelets, we can also use OBIEE reports into pagelets , URLs, navigation collection, HTML, Integration Broker and others as the data source for pagelets.

The third piece of functionality that allows us to embed BI into the business process is related content.  With related content we can add internal PeopleSoft information or external content to most PeopleSoft pages.  This is not a customization, but rather a configuration.  Let’s take an HR example.

As an HR manager, prior to distributing annual compensation, perhaps you would like to query the last four years of performance ratings for your department.  With related content, this query is simply added to that transaction page.  You do not have to leave your page to go and execute a query.  Another example is on the purchasing side: as a buyer, prior to releasing a PO to a vendor, wouldn’t it be nice to understand the vendor’s quality of performance prior to issuing the PO?  This information can be embedded right into the business process.  Again, we can use queries, OBIEE reports and external content.  Any URL that can generate HTML can also be embedded in the page.  This also can mean that we can reference company policies and procedures if those are accessible via a URL.

Utilizing delivered features and functionality of PeopleTools, we can improve our user experience, save time and better manage our business.

Curious about this?  It’s a lot to digest for one blog post.  Don’t be afraid to email me.

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