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Posts Tagged ‘OBIEE’

Flash DEMO: OBIEE Exalytics for Retail

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Previously, we have discussed the real power of BI — making business decisions out of the oodles (that’s a technical term for a lot) of data within organizations), embedding BI into the business process and processing that data extremely quickly and efficiently.

So, while we have talked about it and tried to explain the concepts and value, there is nothing like seeing it in action.  To that end, Oracle has put together a very nice flash demo of OBIEE Exalytics in a retail environment.  The example is easy to understand and shows the power of BI and using it to properly “manage” the business (remember our adage, ERP allows you to “run” your business, but BI allows you to “manage” it).  It is clear to see how BI can positively influence inventory levels, then sales, then the profit potential of this company.

Check out the demo here, and as always, email me if this is something of interest to you.

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MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Converting Your Reporting to Oracle BI Publisher

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We’re seeing this more and more: as Oracle’s OBIEE platform gains steam, many organizations are making the move to convert existing reports from Crystal, Actuate or Oracle Reports to BI Publisher. Report conversion can be a daunting task, not necessarily from the technology move, but moreso from simply understanding, cataloging and consolidating the current collection of reports.  Over time, many reports are modified, added, and personalized, and it is very easy to lose track of what you have — and more importantly, what is valuable.

Oracle has a very good white paper which provides all sorts of great information regarding the conversion process.  Probably not unlike you, when I need to know something that I don’t necessarily have experience with, I often look to white papers and red papers to give me that initial push — and often I am disappointed.  I need to know a strategy, I need to know what type of skills I need and how much effort it will take. In so many cases, this information is what is most obviously missing.  Well, this white paper outlines a strategy, outlines key considerations, provides several company examples and outlines the resources that are required for success. I highly recommend it to all of my clients. Entitled Planning to Covert to BI Publisher, you can check it out here (PDF link; you’ll need your Oracle login and password).

Here are few of the key elements I took away from the white paper:

  1.  Prior to any report conversion activity, you must evaluate your current catalog of reports.  Determine what reports are being used, what reports are important and what reports should be carried over.  Don’t forget to evaluate the new technology and capabilities of Oracle BI Publisher.  Old technologies may propagate the need for multiple reports because of only slight variations in requirements.  There is an opportunity to reduce the overall number of reports simply based upon the capabilities of BI Publisher.  Also, challenge the end users on the needs of the reports.  If a report has not been run in a long time, is it really necessary?  Remember, end users can also create their own reports which may impact how many reports must be converted.
  2. You can categorize reports:
      • By data
      • By complexity
      • By size
  3. Understand that there are conversion tools to help with the move to BI publisher.  Certainly manual conversion is an option, but if any time can be saved with the conversion tools, that option should be explored.  I have not used these conversion tools so I do not have direct experience as to how well they work if they convert 100% or 50%. I would recommend you take a sample of low, medium and high complexity reports and evaluate the success rate of the conversion tools when determining your approach. If you do this, I’d be interested in your results. Drop me an email.
  4. The white paper provides some customer examples and general rules of thumb on the level of effort.  From the white paper: “A general thumb rule would be 3 man days for manually converting a simple to medium complex report and 5 man days for converting a highly complex report. The time taken will reduce over a period of time with experience in conversion. Using the Conversion Tools, the conversion time would be reduced tremendously and may require few hours to 1 man day for converting a simple to medium complex report. For converting a medium to highly complex report, the effort may vary between 2 – 3 days. The time taken will reduce over a period of time with experience in conversion.”
Report conversion is often a daunting task that prevents organizations from moving to a more integrated/streamlined reporting option from what they are using now. That doesn’t have to be the case. If you want to explore this option more — or even just pick my brain about it — I’m always happy to chat. Let me know.

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More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About this blog.

Oracle Mobile BI

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We have discussed OBIEE and its analytics capabilities in detail in previous blog posts here on Unfiltered.  So it follows that we’d call out that Oracle announced the availability of a new Oracle BI Mobile option, which allows any OBI 11g customer to deploy all their existing dashboards to mobile devices (iPad, iPhone) without any re-programming or manual porting efforts.  In today’s remote-but-connected work environments, the ability to have analytics always available is key.  As we have emphasized in the past, BI is much more than reporting, and having mobile capabilities allows you to make business decisions while traveling and away from the office. We’re not talking second-rate representations of your dashboards and analytics, either — we’re talking about the real thing. In mission critical environments, no longer do you have to wait days to take action if  you’re away from the office.  In many instances hours (let alone days) can be critical, so extending BI analytics to mobile devices can have a very broad positive impact.

Below are links to two short but very good demos on Mobile BI applications. You should check them out.

  1. Here’s an intro to Oracle Mobile BI.
  2. Here’s a brief rundown on Oracle Financial Analytics Application for mobile.

After reviewing the demos, if you have any questions, please let me know. As always, I’m happy to chat.

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More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and Facebook.

About this blog.

Oracle Scorecard and Strategy Management

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In previous blog posts (see here and here) and our Business Intelligence Manifesto whitepaper we have discussed the importance of aligning metrics and goals from top to bottom in the organization. Aligning metrics and goals allow the organization to measure its performance consistently against the key objectives of the entire organization. This means that every business unit, department and manager on down is in alignment to help drive the business to success. We discussed this alignment in the context of dashboards and metrics and ensuring they are in sync. We can now take this a step farther by introducing Oracle Scorecard and Strategy Management.

From Oracle’s product page:

Oracle Scorecard and Strategy Management extends the Oracle BI Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) with capabilities that enable strategic goals to be communicated across the organization and monitoring progress over time. Armed with this insight, employees can understand their impact on achieving success and align their actions accordingly. As they use scorecards to measure the outcome of their actions, they can quickly make adjustments as needed to successfully achieve the goals.

BENEFITS:

  • Organizational alignment — Provide a framework that organizes strategic thinking and performance measurement
  • Clarify and build consensus on strategic direction — Communicate strategy and measures of success
  • Align behavior and increase focus on priority initiatives — Ability to act on insights by invoking a business process from scorecards
  • Support strategic planning — Provide metric relationship analysis and organizational learning

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This is a tremendously powerful (and welcome!) tool to help organizations extend Oracle BI and keep progress aligned with strategic goals over time.  Remember, BI’s job is to help the organization run more strategically and effectively.  Once you  make the investment in BI, you need to monitor performance, just as you would a key user-facing application you launch in production.  Oracle Scorecard and Strategy Management is massively helpful in this regard.

Here’s an excellent Flash video showing a sample scenario in which Oracle Scorecard and Strategy Management is used.  Very helpful in visualizing its role in your OBIEE practice.

Questions?  I’d love to help.  Ask away in the comments or send me an email.

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MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in PeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management) and Business Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog. If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website. If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to have you.

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NEW: The Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms

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Gartner has posted the 2010 Magic Quadrant for BI platforms, and in terms of hitting a sweetspot between ability to execute and vision, Oracle has been squarely positioned in the ‘Leaders’ quadrant.

The full report is full of good information, but there are a few things worth noting:

  • Oracle has established the Oracle BI Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) platform as the “BI standard” in 82% of the references that responded to our Magic Quadrant survey. It also has the widest range of BI platform capabilities employed (for example, reporting, dashboards, ad hoc query).
  • Oracle was one of the top three vendors for product quality.
  • Perception is positive and strong. Oracle has created within its references a very positive perception of its vision and success. Magic Quadrant survey respondents had a better opinion of its future and success than they did for its competitors.

Download the full report here.

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MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in PeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management), Workday and Business Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog.  If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website.  If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to have you.

PeopleTools 8.5 and OBIEE: There’s Value in Those Hills

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We have posted multiple posts on the new PeopleTools 8.5 release (here’s our most popular; here’s our shameless plug), in addition to several posts on the  value of Oracle OBIEE and BI apps.  However, today’s post will talk about imagePeopleTools 8.5: for customers who have both PeopleSoft and Oracle OBIEE, there is some additional value to upgrading to PeopleTools 8.5.

With PeopleTools 8.5 there are some new integration capabilities which may offer significant value and bring your organization closer to the ideal state of embedding business intelligence into the business process.

From the PeopleTools 8.5 release notes:

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It’s All About the ROI: The Value of Oracle BI Apps for PeopleSoft (Part III)

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Previously, we have discussed the value of Oracle BI apps for PeopleSoft, and we have examined some key implementation considerations.  Today, in this  final post on the topic, I would like to oracle bichat about the biggest buzzword of them all: ROI.

The key question for many customers is this: does it really make sense to buy the BI apps versus build something from scratch? In order to discuss ROI, we first must clear the air about build vs. buy and ROI calculations. In this scenario, remember we are talking not only about the reports, dashboards, metrics and source PeopleSoft system analysis, but also about the data warehouse structure and all of the associated ETL scripts.

When we talk about ROI, we are really talking about two types: “hard” ROI which translates to real, measureable cost savings and soft ROI which is less measurable but still benefits the organization. Hard ROI is a challenging one to pinpoint in a blog post, as it really is very much dependent upon each organization’s specific circumstances. To accommodate this for the purposes of this post, we will generalize some hard ROI statements and focus more on the soft ROI of the BI apps.

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The Value of Oracle BI Apps for PeopleSoft (Part II)

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Now that I have provided my opinion and thumbs up approval of the Oracle BI apps, let’s discuss the nuances of implementing them.

With all of Oracle BI’s pre-built ETL, data structures and reports, one would probably think it should be very straightforward. Well, if your shop is totally vanillaoracle bi and you  accept the metrics as Oracle defines them, then yes, the implementation would be pretty uncomplicated. Oracle’s BI apps are built on the excellent OBIEE platform, which is proven, scalable and stable. The metrics are based upon industry standards.

But that doesn’t mean its out-of-box metrics are your metrics.  I’ll get to that in a second.

Regardless of whether or not you’re a vanilla install, you still have the technical aspects of installation and configuration of the OBIEE foundation, as well as the installation and configuration of the BI apps. Depending on your security needs, your platform and overall size of your infrastructure will determine the relative ease or complexity of this installation and configuration. And remember, with any installation we aren’t simply installing to get the product available for use – we want to install in the appropriate manner for stability, scalability, failover and maintenance.  These are big deals.

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The Value of Oracle BI Apps For PeopleSoft

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Having practical experience in supply chain, PeopleSoft ERP (SCM) and Business Intelligence (BI), I am naturally drawn to anything that combines theoracle bi attributes of all three. Oracle BI applications for procurement and spend can do just that. We have spoken previously about how PeopleSoft query tools are BI tools and not a full-on BI enterprise product.  That said, there is a completely integrated solution offered by Oracle that is just as user friendly.

As we all know, there are literally thousands of tables in PeopleSoft and tens of thousands of fields. To boot, since PeopleSoft is a transaction-based system, there are many different statuses of these transactions. Imagine the work required to sort through all of those tables and fields AND choose the right status/disposition in order to develop effective business intelligence. Remember, we are not talking about simple reports, but true business intelligence that provides insight into your business operations and is aligned with executive-facing strategic objectives.

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