Oracle BI Mobile Application Designer (MAD)

Oracle introduced another great application called “Oracle BI Mobile App Designer (MAD)” in Release 11.1.1.7.1 of Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (Oracle BI EE).

The Oracle BI Mobile App Designer (MAD) is a new design tool for business users to easily create stunning and interactive analytical applications for use on any major mobile device.  With Oracle BI Mobile, businesses have been able to deploy full interactive dashboards with no additional development using Oracle BI Mobile HD on iOS devices. Now, you can create purpose-built mobile analytic applications for any smartphones and tablets with drag-and-drop simplicity using Oracle BI Mobile App Designer. BI Mobile App Designer complements BI Mobile HD and is packaged with Oracle BI Foundation Suite and the BI Mobile option to OBIEE.  Some of the MAD highlights include:

Mobile-first Business Apps – BI Mobile App Designer is the ideal solution for users that want targeted, business-specific mobile apps that are easy and fast to build, require no programming expertise, and can be delivered to users across all the major mobile platforms and devices. Apps are built with support for touch and gestural interactions built in.

Intuitive App Design Interface – BI Mobile App Designer has a simple drag-and-drop interface that allows business users to select their data visualizations, including: tables, charts, navigation panels, repeating grids, images, text narrative, etc. These elements can then be dropped onto a palette to create mobile apps within minutes. Third-party plug-ins like Google Maps, Sunburst Visualizer, etc., can be incorporated and used in a similar manner. A preview function allows users to see their apps within a computer’s browser, or on a mobile device by scanning a QR code, without requiring any installation or configuration.

Portable Device, Platform, Screen-size Design  – BI Mobile App Designer is certified to support iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile Smartphones and Tablets. Since it supports HTML5, most mobile browsers can run BI Mobile App Designer apps. No plug-in, installation, or download from a third-party app store, is required.

Enterprise Integration – Oracle BI Mobile App Designer is a part of and is fully integrated with the Oracle BI Foundation. Users can create mobile apps with enterprise data from the BI Semantic Layer (RPD), with data from BI Publisher data models, or Excel data files with seamless support for, and the benefits of, role-based data-level security that the Oracle BI Foundation suite provides.

Drag and Drop – The easiest way to create UI is to drag and drop. MAD has beautifully incorporated this feature where one can build the entire BI Mobile Application just by dragging and dropping components and data fields as required.

Oracle Mobile Application Designer Drag n Drop

Interactive  – MAD is based on the “gestural” principal of touch and swipe. As most mobile apps use this technology for interaction, MAD has followed suit to adapt gesture interactivity for all the components in its libraries.

App Library – Users can share their new mobile apps across organizations using the publish feature. They can subscribe to these apps and receive updates when changes are being propagated to their subscribed apps.

Security – As MAD is integrated with Oracle BI Foundation Suite, the BI content has proven enterprise level security and performance capabilities.

HTML5 – The complete BI Mobile Application Designer output is generated in HTML5 including the data visualization charts. It can run on any platform device or operating system without any glitches. MAD follows the philosophy of “Build once, distribute anywhere.”

A sample Mobile App Designer Screen:

The result in iPad:

Other features include…

  • Supports drill down charts.
  • MAD comes with a separate filter component.
  • Multiple types of data visualization supported such as; Line, Bar, Area, Bubble, Pie, 3D graphs, Circular and Funnel.
  • Simple tables as well as complex pivot tables can be built.
  • Images can be added by uploading them, using the URL link, or inserting them from a database field.
  • MAD’s greatest strength is its repeater components! (ex: Tile and Accordion.)
  • Complex frame sets can be created by including frames for laying out the components to make them aesthetically appealing.
  • Choice of many Black and White themes.
  • MAD applications can be built using three types of data sources: subject area, data sources, and external excel files.
  • Drag and drop feature of the data fields from data source into the visual components.
  • Clean layout, perfectly aligned component sets and toolbars help in building complex dashboards using few clicks.

Limitations of MAD include…

  • Have to build support dashboards for Mobile and Tablet devices
  • Theme change effect is not being applied to all the properties of components (you can see the black text on chart labels in the black theme). These kinds of glitches can also be seen on the tables
  • Backspace does not work
  • Deleting a column from a table is not user friendly
  • Cannot add columns if there is no space

How do you get this?

  • BI Mobile App Designer is available now as a patch to Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition, version 11.1.1.7.1. (patch number 17220944 at support.oracle.com)
  • BI Mobile App Designer is licensed at no extra charge with Oracle BI Foundation Suite and Oracle BI Mobile

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive Oracle implementation experience in Oracle Business Intelligence. For more information about our business solutions, contact us at our website. http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

About the author: Garrett is Director of EPM Solutions who has worked with eVerge Group since 2005.

BI Success Checklist

It goes without saying that there are many reasons why BI implementations fail or succeed.  However, my experience over the years has taught me that some are more important than others.  My top ten are….

  1. Choose the right tools
  2. Obtain buy-in from stakeholders (business support is paramount)
  3. Agile implementations win
  4. Bring the right competence on-board (the right skill sets make a world of difference)
  5. Set goals, make plans and follow through
  6. Set up routines for data quality (your data is likely worse than you think)
  7. Set up and maintain meta-data (think re-usability)
  8. Do not forget about scale and performance
  9. Ensure organization is mature
  10. Make it last  –> BI is a journey

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive Oracle implementation experience in Oracle Business Intelligence. For more information about our business solutions, contact us at our website. http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

About the author: Garrett is Director of EPM Solutions who has worked with eVerge Group since 2005.

Formulating and Executing a BI Strategy

A good BI Strategy has been and continues to be a hot topic.  How to start?  Where to start? Who and what do we focus on?  These are all valid questions and can go in many directions.  Having worked with many organizations, I’ve found that a good BI Strategy focuses on three primary aspects.

Faster

Today, companies get their financial and performance metrics in a number of ways. More than likely, it involves analysts in the organization combing existing excel spreadsheets and/or reports to aggregate the data to build a performance dashboard which is then circulated and elevated to the executive team. A good BI strategy starts with understanding these existing processes, and works to build solutions that expedite this process and enables ad hoc reporting.

A CFO should be able to open a BI tool, and ask whatever question they might have around their financial performance and get an accurate response within a certain level of detail (state vs city, product vs SKU, etc). If they have to wait a week and worry about accuracy, then it’s a key pain point to focus on during the faster aspect of the strategy.

Smarter

Beyond simply providing faster analysis within an organization, a good BI solution should make people smarter about their company by providing analysis and insights they couldn’t otherwise get on their own. As I mentioned in the previous section, organizations are getting reports today and know roughly how they’re doing (especially if they’re public) but having correlations between different silo’s of data can reveal things that executives may have not noticed before. This is a big reason for big data, but you can have very little data from different groups tied together in a single data warehouse and then leverage BI tools to help pull it together in a report, and get a great deal of value. A good BI strategy will focus not just on existing data, but new insights gained as well, from the BI activity.

Clearer

Getting good analysis, and smarter insights doesn’t guarantee that everyone has a single version of the truth and that they all understand what they’re seeing. Having a plan for how the data will be visualized, and ensuring the right controls are in place to validate the output is essential. Putting checks and balances in, so you can leverage tools like Oracle Business Intelligence to build new types of visualizations can make all the difference on transformation useful data to actionable data.

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive Oracle implementation experience in Oracle Business Intelligence. For more information about our business solutions, contact us at our website. http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

About the author: Garrett is Director of EPM Solutions who has worked with eVerge Group since 2005.

 

eVerge Group Adds Oracle Exalytics Consulting to Its Oracle Business Intelligence Practice

We are adding Oracle Exalytics Consulting to our BI practice. Read the full press release below:

eVerge Group, a Platinum level member of Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), today announced it has launched an initiative to deliver services and solutions for Oracle Exalytics, the In-Memory Analytics platform.

Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine is  the industry’s first high-speed engineered system featuring in-memory business intelligence (BI) software and hardware to deliver extreme performance for analytic and performance management applications.

According to Aaron Stutsman, VP of Business Intelligence for eVerge Group, “We believe demand for high-performance analytics will continue to accelerate.  It’s becoming an essential component of business intelligence for organizations in high-velocity, data-intensive industries”.

eVerge Group’s new Oracle Exalytics program will support organizations from early stage evaluation through implementation.

“Our history of success implementing Oracle Business Intelligence enables us to deliver Oracle Exalytics and help our clients meet their strategic objectives,” states eVerge Group president, Esteban Neely.

Because this is innovative, game-changing technology, eVerge Group is offering a number of opportunities for organizations to learn how the solution can improve decision making within their organization:

  • Oracle Exalytics Demonstration Events — Offered in both webcast and live forums, these sessions provide executives the opportunity to understand the value of the Oracle Exalytics Architecture. Each session provides a framework for converting to a high-performance analytics solution for the entire organization.
  • Oracle Exalytics Workshops — These one- or two-day in-person workshops are conducted at client locations and are designed to provide client-specific insight into Oracle Exalytics. The end result is a high-performance analytics blueprint for the organization.
  • Oracle Exalytics Express — For organizations wanting to gain an understanding of how Oracle Exalytics can impact their operations specifically, eVerge Group offers client-site proof-of-concepts that deliver real-time results with client data and BI models. Business and technical teams get hands-on experience with Oracle Exalytics.
  • Full Implementation and Training Services — eVerge Group delivers comprehensive Oracle Exalytics implementation and training services.

Organizations are becoming more dependent upon business intelligence to drive better decision making and improve business performance. eVerge Group views Oracle Exalytics as the solution best able to deliver “speed-of-thought” data access and analytics necessary for organizations to stay a step ahead of the competition.  With OPN Specialized status for both Oracle Business Intelligence Applications and Oracle Business Intelligence Foundations, eVerge Group has the experience and expertise to help organizations take advantage of the Oracle Exalytics technology.

Tyler Prince, Group Vice President, North America Sales, Alliances and Channels, Applications and Systems Integrators, Oracle noted, “As an Oracle PartnerNetwork Platinum level member, eVerge Group’s commitment to the development and rollout of a program centered on leveraging the power of Oracle Exalytics underscores the inherent ability of the platform to address the growing need for high speed, real time analytics in the most demanding environments. We look forward to working with eVerge Group to bring this solution to our mutual customers.”

To learn more about how Oracle Exalytics might meet the needs of your organization or to arrange for a demonstration or proof-of-concept evaluation, contact eVerge Group at Exalytics@evergegroup.com or visit  http://www.evergegroup.com/bi_exalytics.htm.

About eVerge Group

Founded in 1993, eVerge Group is a leading integrator of business applications software, focused on delivering Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE), Oracle Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and Master Data Management (MDM) solutions. With longevity and focused expertise in both commercial and public sector markets, eVerge Group is a Platinum level member of OPN that implements software solutions in leading organizations throughout the Americas. For more information on eVerge Group, visit www.evergegroup.com.

About Oracle PartnerNetwork

Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized is the latest version of Oracle’s partner program that provides partners with tools to better develop, sell and implement Oracle solutions. OPN Specialized offers resources to train and support specialized knowledge of Oracle products and solutions and has evolved to recognize Oracle’s growing product portfolio, partner base and business opportunity. Key to the latest enhancements to OPN is the ability for partners to differentiate through Specializations. Specializations are achieved through competency development, business results, expertise and proven success. To find out more visit http://www.oracle.com/partners or call (888) 889-8017.

All other product and company names mentioned are used for identification purposes only and may be property of their respective owners.

Trademarks
Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates.

Contact:

John Peketz
VP – Marketing, eVerge Group
972-398-5908

eVerge Group’s Business Intelligence is OPN Specialized

Oracle recognized eVerge Group for expertise in providing business intelligence consulting services. Continue reading below for the full press release.

PLANO, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–eVerge Group, a Platinum level member of Oracle® PartnerNetwork (OPN), announced it has achieved OPN Specialized status for Oracle Business Intelligence Applications.

OPN specialized

To achieve OPN Specialized status, Oracle partners are required to meet a stringent set of requirements that are based on the needs and priorities of the customer and partner community. By achieving a Specialized distinction, eVerge Group has been recognized by Oracle for its expertise in delivering Oracle Business Intelligence Applications consulting services through competency development, business results and proven success.

eVerge Group has been implementing Oracle Business Intelligence systems in both commercial and public sector organizations since 2002. The company had previously achieved Specialized status in Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation, has been named an Oracle Business Intelligence Pillar Partner for public sector organizations and received an Oracle Titan Award in 2011 for Oracle Business Intelligence implementation excellence. “Ten years ago, we started an Oracle Business Intelligence practice because we recognized the powerful benefits that the application delivers to clients,” said eVerge Group president, Esteban Neely. “We are pleased that Oracle has recognized our expertise and track record of successful implementations with this Oracle Business Intelligence Applications Specialized designation.”

The Oracle Business Intelligence Specialization is eVerge Group’s ninth Specialization achieved since the creation of the program. Previous Specialization recognition includes: Siebel CRMOracle CRM On DemandOracle Business Intelligence Foundation, Oracle’s PeopleSoft Human Capital Management, PeopleSoft PeopleTools, Oil & Gas Industry, Public Sector and Education & Research Industry.

About eVerge Group

Founded in 1993, eVerge Group is a leading integrator of business applications software, focused on delivering Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Business Intelligence (BI), Master Data Management (MDM) and Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) solutions. With longevity and focused expertise in both commercial and public sector markets, eVerge Group is a Platinum level member of OPN, that implements software solutions in leading organizations throughout the Americas. For more information on eVerge Group, visit www.evergegroup.com.

About Oracle PartnerNetwork

Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized is the latest version of Oracle’s partner program that provides partners with tools to better develop, sell and implement Oracle solutions. OPN Specialized offers resources to train and support specialized knowledge of Oracle products and solutions and has evolved to recognize Oracle’s growing product portfolio, partner base and business opportunity. Key to the latest enhancements to OPN is the ability for partners to differentiate through Specializations. Specializations are achieved through competency development, business results, expertise and proven success. To find out more visit http://www.oracle.com/partners or call (888) 889-8017.

Trademarks

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates.

Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition’s New Release

Written by Garrett Carey

Oracle recently announced the general availability of Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) release 11.1.1.6.0. The new release adds more enhancements, additional certifications, and bug fixes among other features. This release delivers a BI platform specially designed to leverage:

  • Oracle Exalytics hardware’s large memory, processors, concurrency, and other hardware features and system configurations.
  • Enhancements to Times-Ten for Exalytics for analytical processing at in-memory speeds
  • Dynamic user interface enhancements that complement large amounts of data to present business information in meaningful and compelling ways
  • A new BI Server Summary Advisor for Exalytics for aggregate generation and persistence
  • Essbase memory usage optimizations and concurrency improvements for Exalytics to deliver efficient distribution of processing
  • BI Publisher performance, lifecycle, workflow and report creation enhancements
  • New and enhanced Scorecard views and BI Mobile improvements
  • Numerous Security, Management/Diagnostic and Lifecycle enhancements
  • Certified BI and EPM Applications on Exalytics

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive BI experience. For more information about Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition and our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

About the author: Garrett Carey is a Senior BI/EPM Solution Architect who has worked with eVerge Group since 2005.

Formulating a Business Intelligence Assessment

An end-of-the-year business intelligence assessment is a great way to take stock of how things are going, and this assessment can also be used to create a plan for the upcoming year. A BI assessment can help you determine the ROI on the data warehouse you’ve implemented during this past year, as well as discover potential expansion areas. If launching a new business intelligence project with a solution like Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition is in the works for next year, doing an assessment now can help you determine if you even need a BI solution.

business-intelligence

Regardless of what’s on the agenda in the near future, doing an assessment now is a great way to look at how current projects are progressing, and can also be used to direct failing or struggling projects back on track. It can help ensure that your BI solution is able to evolve and adapt as the landscape of technology, organizational structure, business priorities, and marketplace realities change over time.

If you’ve never considered performing a business intelligence assessment, we are ready to help you every step of the way. Here is what you can expect from the process. Our assessments typically begin with a BI workshop that highlights recent developments in BI, looks at best practices, and uncovers the major challenges within your organization. After this, we begin a three-week guided learning session that involves your subject matter experts and IT staff. Together we review your current situation and strategize the best approach for BI development during the upcoming year. This evaluation takes a detailed look at the key elements of your BI strategy, which helps you achieve proper alignment of business and technology objectives, including Business Requirements Analysis, Organizational Analysis, Build vs. Buy Assessment, Infrastructure Software, Hardware and Technology, and Information Architecture.

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive BI experience. For more information about Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition or our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

Essbase Primer: What is Essbase?

Written by Garrett Carey

What is EssbaseWhat is Essbase?  This is a question that I have been asked by clients, prospects, and aspiring Essbase learners over the years.  Here is my first attempt (albeit brief) at explaining Essbase, its power, and the value it provides to business users.

Oracle’s Hyperion Essbase is an OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) server that provides an environment for rapidly developing custom multidimensional analytic and enterprise performance management applications.  Essbase allows users to model, analyze, and interpret complex business problems and scenarios.

An Essbase database is often called a “Cube” and is defined by dimensions. Dimensions are hierarchical representations of descriptors that business users are familiar with, such as a product hierarchy, chart of accounts, department, or period of time.  Business users can be presented with the data values instantly by simply choosing any point in the various dimension hierarchy intersections.  Furthermore, users can drill up or down across hierarchies or pivot different dimensions to form new cross-sectional analyses.

From a technical perspective, Essbase provides:

  • Highly efficient data storage.
  • Very fast data access and retrieval,
  • Multiuser access to analytic information,
  • Ad hoc analysis of multidimensional data,
  • Data organized in a dimensional model, which is easy for business users to understand.
  • Ease of access with no query or programming language knowledge required.
  • A powerful dimensional calculation engine.
  • Easy integration to multiple sources of information.
  • Centralized data storage.

From a business user perspective, Essbase provides the following benefits:

  • Ability to model the business in real time.
  • Multidimensional analysis.
  • A platform that is intuitive, interactive, and informative.
  • Powerful querying and reporting.
  • Reusability of data models.
  • Powerful read / write-back capability.
  • What-if scenario modeling (i.e.: create scenarios to model future outcomes).
  • The functionality to perform complex calculations.
  • Ability to drill up and drill down for additional information.
  • Provides one version of the truth.
  • Easy sharing of data and analysis across functions.
  • Microsoft Office and Oracle Business Intelligence 11g integration.

In summary, Oracle’s Hyperion Essbase provides a best-in-class solution that offers a broad range of capabilities and is easy to use.  In the coming posts, we’ll take a deeper dive into specific Essbase features, industries, and ideal solutions for Essbase applications.  If you want to learn more about Oracle’s Hyperion Essbase immediately, please contact eVerge Group on our website.

About the author: Garrett Carey is a Senior BI/EPM Solution Architect who has worked with eVerge Group since 2005.

Free Webinar: Becoming a Data Driven School District

Data Driven SchoolPlan to join eVerge Group for a free webinar to see how school districts across the country are utilizing state-of-the-art business intelligence tools to help improve student and school performance. The free webinar on becoming a will be held on Thursday, November 17, 2011 from 11:00 am until noon (Central Time).
Webinar RSVP

eVerge Group has developed an Oracle-based reporting and analytics solution designed specifically to enable school districts to better report and analyze data critical to improving student and school performance, as well as adhere to state and federal reporting requirements. With eVerge Group’s School Performance Analytics (SPA), your organization can move beyond reporting data to an information-rich system that provides:

  • Proactive monitoring of Key Performance Indicators
  • Analysis of trends across diverse subject areas
  • Better Insight into student profiles and performance
  • Continuous monitoring of attendance and interventions
  • Faster compliance reporting

eVerge Group’s SPA solution was the winner of Oracle’s 2011 Titan Award for an Education Industry Solution.  Click here to learn more about the solution and hear first-hand how principals are utilizing the system to improve their effectiveness.

Business Intelligence: Companies Can Buy or Build

Written by Garrett Carey

When it comes to business intelligence strategy, companies can choose to either buy or build a software solution, and the decision is a complex one. There are numerous build or buy criteria that an organization must consider: ROI, total cost of ownership, time to deploy, resources available, skill sets, and most importantly, how do the tools chosen integrate into the current technology environment.

There are industry estimates that a custom BI solution can extend the time-to-value by as much as 60% to 80%. There are many reasons why this is the case but the main reason for that extension is the basic fact that when implementing a prebuilt application, 60%-80% of the work has been completed before the project even begins.

The primary criteria that an organization usually considers when opting for a prebuilt versus a custom BI solution is implementation time and quicker return on investment. Some of the other reasons are to leverage the expertise of the vendor used for other applications within the organization, integration with other systems, application scalability, and higher adoption rates by the users.

Another equally compelling reason to buy is the availability of upgrade paths, especially when purchasing from one of the BI vendors. For example, when a CRM system is upgraded, the BI vendor will provide clients with the new adaptors as part of the support agreement.

All BI solutions, whether custom or prebuilt, will all contain some of the same moving parts; however, prebuilt applications usually go beyond that standard data model and will include delivered ETL code and BI tool metadata, along with prebuilt reporting content.

Business Intelligence Companies

The above figure shows an overview of the major pieces of a BI solution. Looking at the individual sections, in particular the ETL section, one can quickly begin to see some of the complexities involved in developing a data warehouse and BI solution.

In addition to rapid deployment and the lower cost of implementation, there are other supporting arguments to buying a pre-built BI application, including:

  • Enterprise Data Model using best practices and industry standards.
  • Views for the Business Model metadata.
  • Pre-built ETL framework containing mappings/routines to load and refresh the application.
  • ETL routines have built-in Change Data Capture logic.
  • Open Interfaces to other data sources.
  • Industry standard Metadata for Common Business Functions (i.e. AP, AR, GL, Sales Forecasting, Pipeline, etc.).
  • Faster time to value.
  • Smaller deployment team.
  • New features available via upgrades.
  • Savings on requirements gathering and analysis.
  • BI Tool configuration.
  • Pre-built dashboard and report content.
  • Pre-built alerting capability.

Conversely, there are also substantial risks to building a complete custom solution, such as:

  • Increased time to value.
  • Requirements change and are not easily implemented.
  • Developmental efforts may lack reusability and not meet changing requirements.
  • Lack of native integration with CRM and ERP systems
  • 100 % custom ETL’s.
  • 100% development of reports and dashboards.
  • 100% development of metadata.
  • 100% configuration of the BI tool.
  • Increased cost and overall time related to custom build.
  • Smaller ROI

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive business intelligence strategy experience. Contact us to let eVerge be your Oracle implementation guide.

About the author: Garrett Carey is a Senior BI/EPM Solution Architect who has worked with eVerge Group since 2005.