Thursday Aug 22, 2013

DIY Mobile Analytic Apps with Oracle BI Mobile App Designer

Introducing Oracle BI Mobile App Designer! 

With Oracle BI Mobile App Designer, business users become self-sufficient in creating stunning analytical mobile apps - all without writing a single line of code. Why wait for IT to create interactive mobile apps for your line of business, when you can do it yourself? If you can use common office productivity tools, you can use Oracle BI Mobile App Designer.

Watch this video to learn more, or visit the Oracle BI Mobile App Designer blog to learn more about this exciting new mobile analytical application design tool.


Tuesday May 21, 2013

A Closer Look at Oracle Business Intelligence Applications Release 11.1.1.7.1

The entire business analytics team is very excited about the new release of Oracle Business Intelligence Application (11.1.1.7.1). The new release has been designed to add new in-memory analytic applications, significantly expand functional content across existing front and back-office Oracle BI Applications, re-architect the solution to leverage the power of Oracle Data Integrator, and introduce new out-of-the-box tools to increase productivity and drive down Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

Here are some great resources for learning more about the new release:

Product Information 
What's New in Oracle Business Intelligence (BI) Applications 11.1.1.7.1
Oracle Indirect Spend Planning 
Oracle Student Information Analytics
Oracle BI Applications for your Business Role/Industry/Product Line 

Blogs
Oracle Data Integrator Joins Oracle BI Applications 
Introduction to the BI Apps 11.1.1.7.1 – Release Overview
The ALL-NEW Oracle BI Apps... now with ODI (11.1.1.7.1)
What's New And What's Improved In The New Version Of Oracle BI Applications
Introduction to the BI Apps 11.1.1.7.1 – Use of ODI11g for ETL 

On-demand Webcast
Reduce Spend and Increase Profitability with Oracle’s new offering for indirect spend planning

Monday Apr 29, 2013

What's New in Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite 11.1.1.7.0

Oracle announced the latest release of Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite, 11.1.1.7.0 – the most comprehensive solution to help organizations drive optimization by further improving their analytic capabilities. Featuring more than 200 enhancements, Oracle Business Intelligence (BI) Foundation has delivered a rich user experience that makes the end user spend less time trying to understand confusing reports, and more time using the data-driven reports to improve their performance and drive innovation.

 To continue reading, click on the "read more" link below...

[Read More]

Friday Apr 12, 2013

What’s new in Oracle Endeca Information Discovery 3.0

We are very excited to introduce Oracle Endeca Information Discovery 3.0, a major release which has been 2 years in the making.  This release continues to strengthen Oracle Business analytics portfolio with a key enhancements to our Data Discovery solution.

There are three major themes to the release:


Enhanced End User Discovery Experience: Improving upon an intuitive end user discovery experience founded on years of experience in online commerce, the OEID3.0 release provides a completely modernized look and feel.  This provides users a more sophisticated, yet streamlined and cleaner experience in which to discover new insights.   
REdesigned OEID Interface
Improved Business User Self-Service: Oracle Endeca Information Discovery 3.0 has made major investments to empower the business. This is achieved by providing business users with the ability to upload their own Excel files into Endeca Server and create new discovery applications without the need to understand complex query languages. Business users can also create and share new applications using highly curated data sets already provisioned by IT.

Robust Data Discovery for the Enterprise: A superior discovery experience does not come at the expense of enterprise standards, governance, and security.  With this release OEID provides new features which further solidify its place as the only enterprise-class data discovery platform, with localization on 10 languages, Endeca Server support on 22 languages, the ability to deploy on Weblogic, new JSON reader, native integrations with Oracle BI Server, and more.

To find out more about the Oracle Endeca Information Discovery 3.0 release, check out our What’s new Document or attend our upcoming webcast on April 16th.

Tuesday Apr 09, 2013

The next big thing in Oracle Business Analytics is here. Are you ready?

We recently announced powerful updates to our leading Business Analytics solutions. Read the press release here

The entire team is proud and excited about the new releases. Check out this video to find out what our executives are excited about and don’t miss the What’s New in Oracle Business Analytics Webcast on Tuesday, April 16, 2013, at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET. Register here

Big Data Analytics - Advanced Analytics in Oracle Database

That's the title of a new white paper we've just posted. From the executive summary:

Big data doesn’t only bring new data types and storage mechanisms, but new types of analysis as well. In the following pages we discuss the various ways to analyze big data to find patterns and relationships, make informed predictions, deliver actionable intelligence, and gain business insight from this steady influx of information. 

You can check it out here.

Tuesday Mar 05, 2013

Reducing Hadoop TCO

I've been to a number of big data trade shows over the last year, and without fail I have the same conversation with many different people. It goes something like this.

 We discuss Oracle's Big Data Platform and I mention the Big Data Appliance (BDA). "Oh, yes" they say. "That's a great looking machine, but we can build a Hadoop cluster much cheaper than that, so we're not interested." 

 The first thing I do is ask them what kind of cluster they are building. They always say something like "I can get 40 $5K servers in a rack for $200K".

"But that's not an equivalent cluster," I will say. The most important number in Hadoop clusters is the amount of storage. When was the last time you heard somebody talk about a 400 core Hadoop cluster? They always say how many terabytes (or even petabytes) their cluster can store. Those smaller servers often only have a few TB of storage, compared with 36TB on each BDA node. So we quickly establish that their equivalent cluster is no such thing. Often it would actually take 2 or 3 such racks to match the capacity of the Big Data Appliance and their "equivalent" system is much more expensive than they thought.

But it's not just about buying servers. When you buy an engineered system you're also getting the rack, the cables, the switches, pre-installed software, tuning, optimization, integrated support and so on. Add those into the picture, and the Big Data Appliance is much lower cost.  Take a look at this ESG white paper that goes through all the numbers in detail. Here's the key segment from the executive summary:

"Based on ESG's modeling of a medium-sized Hadoop-oriented big data project, the preconfigured Oracle Big Data Appliance is 39% less costly than a “build” equivalent do-it-yourself infrastructure. And using Oracle Big Data Appliance will cut the project length by about one-third."

If you're building a Hadoop cluster, or looking to expand an existing one, you should keep Oracle Big Data Appliance on your shortlist and give it a closer look. 

Thursday Feb 21, 2013

Breakthrough Strategies for HR Success

Aberdeen Group’s recent  study “The HR Executive‘s Agenda” shows organizations using workforce analytics experienced a 14% year-over-year improvement in revenue per employee compared to just 5% for those companies that did not.  Is your organization using analytics  to effectively manage its employees and improve performance?  We often hear from organizations that the key drivers for adopting an analytics-based approach to HR include:

  • Lack of accurate view of workforce profile
  • Measuring the effectiveness of HR
  • Aligning talent management with corporate strategies
  • Understanding the voice and sentiment of the workforce from topics and themes hidden in unstructured content

Join us on for a Webcast to find out how Oracle Business Analytics helps organizations of any size meet key HR challenges and  gain a 360-degree view of critical HR information within the enterprise and beyond.

Event Date: Thursday, February 28, 2013

Event Time: 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET

Register Now 

Monday Feb 11, 2013

You’ve never seen a BI solution with an ROI like this!

"BI helps you make better decisions.” That’s how the value of BI is often described. But is that good enough to justify a substantial investment in BI solutions? Certainly not! What customers are looking for is tangible proof that BI solutions help improve business processes, cut down costs, increase revenue and profitably. To demonstrate the quantitative and qualitative benefits of Oracle Business Intelligence Applications, Oracle recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a study to determine the Total Economic Impact of Oracle BI Applications.

Oracle BI Applications drastically reduces the time it takes to deploy BI by delivering pre-built analytics for ERP and CRM systems. Oracle's ERP Analytics, help front line managers improve cash flow, control expenses, manage headcount and employee performance, stream-line spend and supply chain operations, and track the financial performance of major projects. Oracle's CRM Analytics provides fact-based insight into the entire sales process and into product demand, customer price sensitivity, and overall pricing. Lastly, Oracle’s Industry Analytics enables businesses take advantage of industry specific analytics to streamline their operations, offer better services, and increase profit margins

A total of four interviews were conducted for this study, involving representatives from the following companies: a power management company, a plumbing hardware company, a software company, and a US city school district system.

The study found that the companies realized the following key benefits*:

Significant ROI** – experienced a three-year risk adjusted return on investment of 97 percent with a 20-month payback period;

Lower procurement spend – realized five percent lower procurement costs in the first year and increased to seven percent in the second year;

Accounts payable savings – achieved savings of more than $1 million per year by the third year;

Lower inventory working capital – experienced 15 percent reduction in inventory for the affected product categories over three years;

Increased gross sales and prices – increased gross sales by 0.4 percent in affected parts of the organization and increased average sales price by 0.3 percent over three years.

IT and business labor savings – achieved efficiencies in both the IT and business sides of the organization;

To learn more about the findings of the study, download a copy of the study here or watch the replay of The Total Economic Impact of Oracle Business Applications Webcast here.

* Source: “The Total Economic Impact of Oracle Business Intelligence Applications," a study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Oracle, October 2012.

** Composite organization achieved this return.

Thursday Jan 31, 2013

Using In-Database Analytics to Predict Fraud

Your data warehouse stores critical data telling you what is happening in your business and sometimes why it’s happening. But you can go beyond understanding why something went wrong. You can use past data to predict the future, correcting problems before they happen. In a recent survey that Oracle did of over 300 C level executives, 93% of them thought that their companies were losing an average of 14% of their total revenue because they couldn’t fully leverage the information they had already collected. One key way to do this (and you’ll hear more about this in a future survey) is to use predictive analytics. Let’s take a quick look at why and how.

Turkcell is a leading mobile phone provider in Turkey, with over 34 million subscribers. And like most mobile providers a majority of those subscribers use pre-paid accounts and pre-paid cards. Money launderers take advantage of this, and losses for this business are of the order of $5 for every $10,000. This may not seem like much, but with billions of transactions, this adds up to millions of dollars a year.

Like other companies, Turkcell examine huge quantities of data and build models that help it identify and ultimately predict and prevent fraudulent transactions.  Unlike many other companies, Turkcell does this analysis in its data warehouse. With 100 TB of compressed data – representing over a petabyte uncompressed – it would take a long time to move that data out of the warehouse and keep it up to date as new data arrived. And the window to stop the next fraudulent transaction might have already closed.

Oracle Advanced Analytics enables you to perform sophisticated predictive analytics inside a data warehouse. You can mine your data directly while it is inside the Oracle Database using either SQL or R language APIs or the Oracle Data Miner SQL Developer “work flow” GUI extension, depending on your need and existing skills. You build models for past behavior and use that to predict future behavior, improving your accuracy with time. And best of all, there’s no need to move the data around which takes time you might not have and also leaves you exposed to security risks. As Turkcell said “...we can analyze large volumes of customer data and call-data records easier and faster than with any other tool”

Tuesday Jan 15, 2013

Transforming Workforce Management with Oracle Endeca Information Discovery

Human Resources is back in the spotlight.  According to industry benchmarks, the cost of replacing an employee can equate to 1.5-4x an employee’s salary, and given ever shrinking budgets, improving employee retention is viewed as a major way to reduce costs on the bottom line.  In fact, according to a recent study by the Society of Human Resource Management, the three biggest challenges facing HR executives over the next 10 years are retaining and rewarding the best employees (59%), developing the next generation of corporate leaders (52%), and creating a corporate culture that attracts the best employees to organizations (36%).


Fortunately, data abounds which can help organizations make the best decisions necessary to solve these challenges.  Unfortunately, much of the information and the resulting insights which can come from it are outside the reach of traditional business analytics systems, in external websites, social media, text from human resource transactions kept in legacy systems, and documents in content management systems.  With this ever-growing complexity, HR executives can gain competitive advantage through richer intelligence, if they are able to draw new and innovative insight with a tool which provides previously untapped actionable information—Oracle Endeca Information Discovery.

Oracle Endeca Information Discovery helps human resource organizations to improve the relationship between companies and their employees, get to the real root causes behind issues, and create new best practices through a better understanding of the workforce by solving the problems associated with analyzing unstructured data. Oracle Endeca Information Discovery creates transformative opportunities for the business, and enables IT to cost-effectively support them in:  

  • Understanding the voice and sentiment of the workforce.  By providing the ability to use natural-language queries to derive insights from information from all sources, Oracle Endeca Information Discovery provides insight into the effectiveness of strategic and tactical HR decisions such as career changes, organizational realignment, compensation adjustments, training and a host of other significant HR events.
  • Identifying the root causes behind events and exceptions.  By combining structured and unstructured data about the workforce from internal and external sources, HR organizations are empowered to determine the reasons why things happen and respond to findings without direct IT involvement, saving time and cost.
  • Supercharging existing business analytics investments.  With the unscripted exploration of workforce data and full-featured search, navigation & interactive analytics, HR organizations can leverage, improve, and extend existing investments in workforce analytics and HCM applications.
To find out more about Oracle Endeca Information Discovery for workforce, join us at our upcoming webcast on January 29, 2013.  Click here to find out more (http://www.oracle.com/goto/workforceanalytics)

Friday May 18, 2012

The Art of the Possible with Business Analytics

It has been established beyond doubt that data and its analysis can have a huge impact on an organization’s top line and bottom line. Business Analytics helps organizations deliver better business performance in two ways – by optimizing business processes and by helping to innovate. Optimization helps organizations be efficient and effective by taking inefficiencies out of the business processes and focusing on the high impact opportunities. Innovation on the other hand helps organizations by uncovering new customer segments, new product categories, new markets, new business models etc.

The styles of analyzing data are many fold from answering questions like “what is going on?” to “why are the things the way they are?” to “what will happen if I do X or Y?” to “what does the future look like?” Broadly speaking the styles of analytics can be classified into three categories:

·         Exploratory Analysis: The objective of exploratory or investigative analysis is exploration and analysis of complex and varied data – whether structured or unstructured for information discovery.  This style of analysis is particularly useful when the questions aren’t well formed or the value and shape of the data isn’t well understood.

·         Descriptive Analytics: The objective of this style of analysis is to answer historical or current questions like what is going on. why are the things the way they are?. This is the most common style of analysis and here the questions as well as the value and shape of data are well understood.

·         Predictive Analysis: Predictive analysis aims at painting a picture of the future with some reasonable certainty.

So, what’s art of possible with business analytics? It’s the application of the above three styles of analytics to a business scenario for better insights, decisions and results. Let’s try and explain this with an example. Consider this scenario:

You are a Financial Services firm e.g. a large bank and are trying to improve profitability. You read Larry Seldon’s book titled “Angel Customers and Demon Customers” and agree with the findings that 20% of your top customers bring in 80% of the profits and would like to manage you business as a portfolio of customers as opposed to portfolio of products. So, how do you do that? The answer is business analytics.

You can start by using descriptive analytics techniques like operational reports, ad-hoc query, dashboards etc. on data collected from different sources like sales, customer service etc. to determine the profitability of each customer. You can then use predictive analysis techniques like data mining, statistical analysis to further enrich your customer data into profitability segments like high, medium, low and loss making customers. Finally, you can choose different customer service channels like personal banker, phone or ATM to cost effectively serve you customers e.g. a high profitability customer can be served by a personal banker free of charge but if the loss making customer wants a personal banker there will be a charge. Once you have implemented such programs you can use exploratory analysis to gauge the sentiment across social media channels like Facebook and Twitter to see if the programs are working as desired. Better yet you may come up with new innovative business models like mobile banking or online only banking to improve profitability.

That’s the art of possible powered by business analytics. Stay tuned, I intend to publish more examples from different industries to show the art of possible with business analytics.

Wednesday May 02, 2012

Analytics And Agility – Why It Is So Important Today

No question that many IT professionals are feeling the pressure to rapidly deliver analytic solutions that respond to the continuous demands of the business user. Primary research shows that analytics in the context of Big Data continues to be top of mind for executive teams at global enterprises. Executives clearly understand the value of Big Data and analytics and many are very vocal proponents of the value it can bring to bear on the business. What executive is not interested in understanding sales trends, KPI’s, social sentiment about the business and critical metrics, even predictive views of the business?

All these requirements and many more have created a tremendous backlog of analytic application requests. This backlog grows significantly as IT professionals are successful in delivering highly tuned internal analytic solutions that quickly deliver value. Everyone begins to say “I want one of those”!

We are no longer operating in the past when these analytic projects took years to complete and where a “boil the ocean” approach was the norm. Today, we see a changing landscape where Agility is what matters most when it comes to delivering rapid returns on key Big Data and analytic investments. In fact, just about every IT professional is pursuing the Agile model for development where product development efforts of the past are streamlined using methodologies that lean towards delivering high value features that are delivered in short bursts of time. This is clearly the method that is emerging when it comes to rapidly delivering analytic solutions to the end user in short bursts of time where value is immediately evident.

Agility in analytics doesn’t require that the product be a desktop business intelligence solution delivered in silos. In fact, Agile analytics requires that IT and the business users work collaboratively and quickly to ensure strong IT governance while also providing powerful analytic solutions to the end user rather than having the user take on the whole effort.

New Information Discovery solutions such as Oracle Endeca Information Discovery clearly have embraced the notion of delivering high value agile analytic applications in short bursts of time. Some including situational analytic apps.  We have seen this play out frequently where POC’s (proof of concepts) quickly go into production in a very short period of time because of the compelling value that was delivered in the POC.

Agility also means developing in short product iterations, this enables one to deliver an analytic application, get immediate feedback from end-users and rapidly iterate to deliver new or expanded requirements that deliver further value. We are talking weeks not many months. Some projects have gone from 8 week iterations down to 2 week iterations. Because Agile analytic solutions are typically delivered through a browser in a private or public cloud, versus a silo desktop only tool, the new enhancements are readily available for test and validation by the end user. This capability combined with agility also gives the analytic application developer a chance to quickly show that they are meeting the key requirements of the end user.

With increased agility and business user success, we will eventually turn the corner and agility will be the new norm in analytics.

New Oracle Endeca Information Discovery YouTube Channel

The Oracle Endeca Information Discovery Product Management team has been busy building a new YouTube Channel to showcase the capabilities of the Endeca Information Discovery product. The team has started to release a new screencast series for "Getting Started With Endeca Information Discovery. This series will help showcase the strong capabilities of the product. It will also give you a sense of what the business user experience is like and also show you how innovative this solution is for building highly interactive, search driven analytics applications on a variety of data including structured, multi-structured and unstructured data, especially on Big Data. 

We encourage you to check it out at http://www.youtube.com/user/OracleEID/


Monday Apr 09, 2012

Polyglot Analytics

Just like polyglot persistence, where a variety of data stores exist to handle a wide variety of data persistency requirements for different data management use cases, we are now seeing the emergence of a variety of BI and analytic solutions for delivering insight on all types of data. In the context of polyglot persistence, Oracle not only offers the number one relational database solution in the market today, we also deliver market leading NoSQL and In-Memory (TimesTen) as well as our Essbase OLAP engine where they serve as excellent solutions for handling a variety of persistency requirements. Of course, we've had a strong track record of also delivering enterprise class business intelligence and reporting solutions to the market and now have extended the BI and Analytics offering with Oracle Endeca Information Discovery, a data discovery solution that enables one to quickly explore all relevant data whether structured, semi-structured or unstructured in nature. And just like polyglot persistence solutions that compliment one another, we also see the same case for polyglot analytics. Our Business Intelligence solutions complement each other. In fact, they solve different problems and create different kinds of value. Why Polyglot Analytics exist. In a sense, its no different than programmers using different language to tackle different requirements and use cases. As an example, it would not be unusual for server side code to be written in Java while a web page is driven by Javascript or even Ruby. 

Business Intelligence clearly provides proven answers to known questions while out extensions, in this case, Data Discovery, it provides fast answers to new questions formulated by the business user. For example, when the business intelligence report says that warranty claims on the top-selling product went up 15% last month, the new questions are “What changed? What’s the root cause? What are customers saying about this? That exploration happens in a discovery app.

And the relationship goes both ways. Data Discovery creates new KPIs for the BI stack to deliver. For example, a consumer packaged goods company learned that preference for seemingly unrelated brands was highly correlated in certain customer segments. This came from a social media discovery app and suggested new KPIs they quickly pulled into their operational BI system.

Far from replacing their BI systems with data discovery, our customers have instead been able to get far MORE value out of their existing BI systems because they are able to re-focus them on solving the problems they are most effective for, and creating new practices around data discovery to get fast answers to new questions.

Just like NoSQL solutions solve different problems than relational databases, Data Discovery solves new problems that are different than traditional business intelligence and reporting:

The fact that data is available immediately creates demand for it. As more application, consumer, sensor, and mobile data is available to the business, the more the business wants to use that varied data for daily decisions that today get made on intuition and opinion.
In analytics, big variety is a bigger problem than big volume because it can’t be solved by more processing power alone. In addition, the cost and time required to combine diverse data together must come down.
The people making these decisions are experts in the business, not in writing SQL queries. They need a user experience that’s simple to learn and use and this is a core capability of Oracle Endeca Information Discovery. 

It combines structured and unstructured data from inside or outside the company. An enterprise solution must work with the full range of data that matters to an enterprise, including multiple structured sources with diverse schemas, like the vehicle warehouse and quality touch point application data; including unstructured data like the long-form text descriptions in the warranty claims; regardless of whether the data is inside the company, like the warehouse, or outside the company like the NHTSA claims or JD Power data.
It delivers in-memory performance, but is not memory bound. An enterprise solution must maintain fully interactive query response times even when the data is too big to fit in memory. Endeca realized this years ago when it combined search and browsing in eCommerce because search indices are often too big to fit in memory. Oracle EID is written for multi-core, multi-processor servers and uses proprietary optimization algorithms to exploit the full memory hierarchy from on-CPU cache all the way down to disk.  It is a solution for provisioning targeted discovery apps. It provides IT with a new capability to quickly deliver discovery apps wherever the business needs them. 

Over time, we will see strong adoption of Data Discovery applications that further compliment and augment Business Intelligence solutions and why we will continue to see polyglot analytics take hold. 
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