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.

Oracle Exalytics and 120 Million Records: Airline Traffic Delays Analysis on Exalytics

In this video, an analyst for an airline consumer group is portrayed studying airline traffic delays.  Oracle’s Exalytics performance against massive amounts of enterprise data permits a speed-of-thought style of analysis to make sense of complex business information. As in your industry, airline schedules have many dimensions… routes, flights, airlines, airports, delays, dates, etc. Oracle Exalytics provides many ways to visualize the multi-dimensional relationships (via numerous styles of charts and geo-maps as well as visually-coded data) rather than crunching numbers. For more information and how eVerge can help implement for your organization, please contact us at 888-548-1973.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NMqPjdeCVU

The Game Changer: Answering the Million Dollar Question with Oracle Endeca

Do your business analysts want to leverage the insights of social media, product reviews, and 3rd party data sources?  Traditionally, cleansing and conforming these ever changing sources of data is a huge undertaking.  Watch how Anna gained insight while the data was still relevant and solved the problem with Oracle Endeca Information Discovery (OEID).

To learn more about Oracle Endeca Information Discovery and how eVerge can help implement for your organization, please contact us at 888-548-1973.

First Steps in Planning for Big Data

I’m sure you’ve read a number of articles about how Big Data is the next big thing and if you aren’t on board you’ll be left behind.  I’m sure you’ve also read how Big Data is just data combined hype, and that the bubble is bursting already.  I believe, as is often the case, the truth is a little unclear but somewhere in the middle.

Planning your approach on how you might exploit Big Data is no different than the process of investigating any other technology opportunity or new source of data.  In this case, though, you are trying to uncover ‘nuggets‘ of valuable information in a larger sea of data. The Big Data tools might be new and unfamiliar, the skills may be slightly different, but the process is not rocket science.

Develop a Plan

    1. Obtain approval to move forward (i.e. time and money for discovery)
    2. Define Goals and Objectives – Understanding the organizational goals and objectives first will set the foundation for the rest of the plan.
    3. Obsess on Users – When discussing and reviewing with the potential business community, challenge how they use data in reaching conclusions and making decisions. Focus on what they don’t have and cannot do in the current environment.
    4. Identify Sources of data – PDFs, location data from cell phones, email, twitter, blogs, HR documents, warehouse records, call center notes, field service notes, etc.
    5. Business Justification – Quantifying exact cost reductions, increase in income (revenue), or customer satisfaction can be tricky , but remember we are talking about a discovery process, not a full-fledged implementation.
    6. Determine Budget – Also tricky, since we are not talking Big Data tools just yet.  The budget is dependent on the cost of acquiring and storing the data you are interested in.  The number of staff and duration of the project will depend on how ‘close to the surface’ the valuable data is, and how much work is required to expose the ‘nuggets’.  It can help to talk to other organizations or experts who have worked on this type or project before.
    7. Identify Tools and Technologies – Identification of candidate tools/technologies that align with business goals and budget is also critical.  Not all solutions are created the same (nor are they priced the same).  You do not want to spend months evaluating ALL the possible solutions in the marketplace.
    8. Make Room for Experimentation – Allow time for experimentation in the project. There is a good chance that you’ll make an unexpected discovery.  Don’t eliminate that possibility.

At a high level, it should be more obvious that getting into Big Data is not too different than exploring any other new project or technology.   Having an idea of what you’re trying to achieve, knowing how long and how much you can afford to invest, and keeping an eye out for the unexpected are the most important aspects of the discovery process.

Finding people with the right expertise and a track record are in high demand, but the eVerge Group has skilled people who can provide assistance. This help could be simply providing details of case studies demonstrating success stories of similar organizations.  It could also be helping to develop a business plan, then executing the project to show the return on investment possible when you exploit that ‘Big Data’.

Check out Oracle’s website for information on Oracle’s Big Data Solutions offering.

Oracle Big Data

This short video uses a very simple analogy of a fishing trawler to explain big data, and the steps involved in gaining competitive advantage by combining new sources of data within existing, structured and unstructured data.  Referenced solutions include the Oracle Big Data Appliance, Hadoop, NoSQL, and Oracle Endeca Information Discovery (OEID).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GU4Imbo6R8&feature=youtu.be

 

Exalytics – Speed of Thought Analysis

The question today is no longer whether companies are going to deploy business intelligence analytics and perform ongoing modeling and planning of their businesses but, rather, will the results be timely, accurate and comprehensive to support critical decisions and offer insight needed for strategic, financial and operational excellence.  Oracle addresses this with Exalytics.  The Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine is the industry’s first engineered system specifically designed to deliver high performance “speed of thought” analysis. At eVerge Group, we’ve crafted several services to help organizations take advantage of its capabilities quickly (and seen performance improvements up to 50X times faster).

 In spite of all the material covering Oracle Exalytics, many people still wonder about the how, where, when and why companies would be interested in such a server. From a business perspective, there are several valid reasons.  We’ll address those in a future post, but first let’s talk about the speed of change, data volumes, and managing data. 

 Some might see Exalytics as overkill for their needs. When thinking about computing horse-power, think back over the last 10 years. With your desktop PC, a 200MB hard-drive was more than adequate  for storing files. No video capability was required except for graphic intensive PC games. In 2007, Apple introduced iPhones. All of the sudden, you were storing pictures, videos, songs, TV shows, and even movies. Now, we have tablets holding 64GB of data, doing multi-media presentations, and doing everything fast (as we’ve come to expect from technology).

 When viewing things from that perspective, it is easy to see the point that data volumes, data types, and data processing needs are growing at an extreme rate.  If you rely heavily on increasingly complex and data-intensive BI applications, and are not satisfied with the way your current system supports your business intelligence needs, deploying Oracle Exalytics may be an option to explore.

eVerge Group continues to host Exalytics events and workshops throughout the US.  For information about future events, please contact Steve Chamberlin (Steven.Chamberlin@evergegroup.com)