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.

 

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

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.

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)

 

 

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.