At this year's Oracle CloudWorld 2023 event in Las Vegas, a series of exciting new key capabilities were unveiled, set to soon enhance the Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) platform. The overarching objective is to boost the productivity of busy business users by providing them access to more sophisticated analytics to help in their decision making. These additions build upon existing core capabilities within OAC, while notably expanding them with cutting-edge advancements like generative AI technologies.
The advent of self-service analytics helped to streamline data interactions for many users, yet a significant portion still find the tools too specialized and data structures too complicated to adopt. For example, users may understand their core metrics and KPIs, but not necessarily the underlying data models, facts, and dimensions or how to navigate enterprise semantic models that all require some background understanding of data management principles. Prebuilt dashboards provide insights yet lack the intuitive interaction of expansive language models. First generation augmented analytics began bridging that gap, but the need for more intuitive human-centric interaction remains. This gap in capabilities leads to missed opportunities for organizations to fully realize the potential of analytics for day-to-day decision-making.
“We started to solve this challenge with the first generation of augmented analytics in OAC, but there is still a need for more help and even more natural ways of working with data. OAC’s added capabilities go even further in assisting people to get the most from data.”
T.K. Anand, EVP, Oracle Analytics
OAC already boasts several AI/ML capabilities, including natural language query and generation (learn more here). The upcoming features elevate this further by introducing generative AI. In Oracle's perspective, generative AI goes beyond chat interactions, focusing on delivering impactful content that steers business choices.
Large language models, such as Cohere’s Command or Open AI’s ChatGPT, have completely transformed the data interaction landscape. Now, your everyday language becomes the new query language for all data repositories. Customers can integrate their LLM of choice directly into OAC’s workbook editor’s design and build functions. Instead of the conventional method of dragging data elements into a project, users simply start with a natural conversation, posing questions and engaging in follow-up discussions. This approach focuses on the data that truly matters, and the system suggests relevant charts that users can incorporate into their data visualization workbook with just one click. This marks a revolutionary shift towards constructing data narratives driven by conversation, mirroring the collaboration of two human colleagues.
Integrated LLMs that boost productivity
Oracle's take on generative AI goes beyond LLM integration. By collaborating with AI avatar pioneer Synthesia, it’s possible to present data stories through photo-realistic AI generated news readers. Traditionally, business professionals stay informed by having to check metrics through alerts or dashboards. Now, envision yourself gaining insights each morning, similar to news briefs delivered by TV anchors.
“The AI capabilities within Oracle Analytics Cloud help our employees and managers engage with data more naturally and get the answers they need in an efficient and timely manner. The avatars from Synthesia bring the answers to life and will change the way that our executives consume and value the data we share.”
Derek Hayden, SVP, Data Strategy and Analytics, OUTFRONT Media
“This isn’t a gimmick – it’s Oracle Analytics understanding what communications professionals have known for years—that the medium is the message when it comes to getting facts to hit home with people.”
James Richardson, VP, Oracle Analytics
Read more about OAC and Synthesia
OAC seamlessly integrates the OCI AI Services into its framework. Today, this includes the integration of AI Vision and AI Anomaly Detection services, marking just the beginning of a growing synergy. As we move forward, this integration will encompass additional AI Services specifically the OCI Document Understanding service, enriching the AI/ML capabilities within OAC. With the ability to extend with OCI AI Services, OAC significantly amplifies its AI/ML capabilities, presenting an all-encompassing array of robust AI/ML solutions tailored for diverse use cases across all industries. OCI Document Understanding extracts text, tables, and other key data from document files for analysis. For example, employee expense receipts can be scanned, processed, analyzed, and then reconciled against the submitted employee expense claims.
Automated, machine-generated insights for authoring users have become commonplace in tools like Oracle Analytics and other competitive offerings. However, there's a fundamental limitation: these benefits primarily serve the author's perspective, leaving the actual consumer out of the equation. Authors must predict what the end consumer will find valuable, while also adhering to data access restrictions, tasks that require foresight. Consumers are then constrained by these predetermined choices, even if their journey through the insights suggests an alternative path. Additionally, users are expected to understand the underlying data sources and semantic models to know what to use in their analyses. Businesspeople know their data, but not necessarily the structures through which to access that data. Using today’s analytics tools requires some know-how to navigate and use the data management structures, which is not common knowledge for most.
The new contextual insights capability directly addresses this challenge by empowering consumer users with contextual, machine-generated recommendations as they engage with their dashboards. These dynamically generated contextual insights enrich the depth of information and ability to build or modify dashboards, nurturing the consumer's thought process without overwhelming the consumption experience. It provides a mechanism to access machine generated visuals and insights without ever having to reference the underlying data models.
Important decisions often involve teams. Enabling the sharing of insights within organizations and leveraging collective knowledge can help drive more engagement and buy-in for business decisions. Seamless integration with collaboration platforms like Slack and the latest addition, Microsoft Teams, empowers users to share complete interactive dashboard projects or specific visualizations within group discussions. This reduces the need for others to open a browser—they can instantly view, interact, and comment on insights. For busy executives, this means receiving alerts on Slack and Teams, swiftly reviewing insights, making informed decisions, and enabling their teams to stay on track seamlessly.
OAC unveiled pivotal new capabilities at Oracle CloudWorld 2023, enhancing data interaction for information consumers. These additions use generative AI and collaboration platforms to boost productivity and foster more intuitive decision-making. The integration of large language models facilitates natural data conversations, while OCI AI Services expand OAC's already strong embedded AI capabilities even further to address more business use cases. Dynamic contextual insights further empower users, revolutionizing data utilization that forges better connections between users and data. OAC's evolution signifies a pivotal stride towards user-centric, collaborative data insights.
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This blog is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, timing, and pricing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products may change and remains at the sole discretion of Oracle Corporation.
Statements in this blog relating to Oracle’s future plans, expectations, beliefs, intentions, and prospects are “forward-looking statements” and are subject to material risks and uncertainties. A detailed discussion of these factors and other risks that affect our business is contained in Oracle’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, including our most recent reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q under the heading “Risk Factors.” These filings are available on the SEC’s website or on Oracle’s website at http://www.oracle.com/investor. All information in this presentation is current as of September 2023 and Oracle undertakes no duty to update any statement in light of new information or future events.
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Barry is a senior director for product marketing covering Oracle's AI and Analytics services.