Friday Apr 04, 2014

Turning Big Data into Real-Time Action for a Greater Customer Experience

The power shifted to us, consumers. The digital revolution allows us to access broader set of services, and communicate without boundaries. Today we demand more and better choices in a competitive market, putting pressures on businesses to catch up with our expectations.

By offering differentiated and improved experience to their customers organizations see that they can drive revenue growth via higher loyalty, and improved brand perception.  Because technology is a key enabler for delivering superb and consistent customer experience across all touchpoints, in recent years customer experience solutions have become a top priority for CIOs. Thanks to the availability of big data analytics, organizations can now analyze a broader variety of data, rather than a few basic data points, and gain deeper insight into their customers and operations. In turn, this deeper insight helps align their business to provide a seamless customer experience.

In our digital, fact-paced world we produce large volumes of data with unprecedented velocity. This data contains perishable value that requires fast capture, analysis, and action to be able to influence the operations or the interaction with the customer. Otherwise the insight or action may become irrelevant, which decreases the value for the customer and the organization significantly.  To extract the maximum value from highly dynamic and perishable data, you need to process much faster and take timely action. This is the main premise behind Oracle's Fast Data solutions, which we have discussed in previous blogs and webcasts.

Real-time data integration and analytics play a crucial role in our new world of big and fast data. Organizations that look into leveraging  big data to create greater customer experience, need to evaluate the analytical foundation behind their customer-facing systems and resulting interactions, and determine whether they can improve how and when they collect, analyze, and act on their ever-growing data assets.

In our next webcast my colleague Pete Schutt in the Oracle Business Analytics team and I will discuss how organizations can create value for their customers using real-time customer analytics, and how to leverage big data to build a solid business analytics foundation using the latest features of Oracle Data Integration and Oracle Business Analytics. We will provide multiple customer examples for different solution architectures.

Join us on April 15th 10am PT/ 1pm ET by registering via the link below.

Turning Big Data into Real-Time Action for a Greater Customer Experience

Tuesday, April 15th 10am PT/ 1pm ET

Until we meet at this webcast, please review my related article on this topic published on DBTA earlier this year:

Thursday Aug 15, 2013

Putting Data to Work Using Enterprise Data Quality

Data Quality is a hot new topic that may not get covered much on our data integration blog [we’re now changing that!]. Oracle Enterprise Data Quality an essential element in the data integration portfolio. You can think of Oracle Enterprise Data Quality as your favorite one-size-swiss-army-multitool which can be applied to any number of data management and governance situations. These cases range from Master Data Management, application integrations, system migrations, BI and data warehousing, and finally governance, risk and compliance solutions. Let’s look at a couple of examples for each case:

  • Master your Data. No matter the type of information you are mastering and syncing—product, customer, supplier, employee, site, citizen, or any other type—you need a data quality process for initial cleanup and load as well as for ongoing duplicate prevention and governance. A sophisticated MDM program will even verify data as it is entered into spoke systems, preventing data quality problems at the source. For some organizations, the idea of implementing a data hub is just too daunting. Implementing an enterprise data quality (EDQ) solution to clean up legacy systems and drive consistent standards won’t deliver as much benefit as a true MDM solution, but it’s a cheaper, faster alternative that can help in the short term and pave the way for a more comprehensive MDM strategy down the road.
  • Drive Application Innovations. Business applications are only as useful as the data they present. The more complex your application landscape, the more likely you are to need a data quality program to drive consistent data across all your systems. EDQ solutions can clean up legacy systems and put preventative verification and governance processes in place to ensure a steady stream of high-quality data for all kinds of systems, such as customer relationship management, human resources, product lifecycle management, and search (especially for solutions based on Oracle Endeca, which thrives on well-structured, well-standardized data).
  • Simplify Migrations. Merging disparate data from many sources requires a disciplined approach to profiling, discovery, standardization, match, merge, case management, and governance. EDQ solutions pave the way to a smooth implementation by providing the tools you need to make sure you maintain data quality as you migrate systems.
  • Improve Business Insights. As with other business applications, BI is a case where putting garbage data in means you’ll get garbage data out. EDQ solutions can be used to standardize and deduplicate the data being loaded into a data warehouse.
  • Deliver on Compliance. Regulatory compliance of all kinds—including policies related to taxes, privacy, antiterror, and antimoney-laundering—require matching up data pulled from a variety of sources. With EDQ solutions, organizations can meet regulatory mandates with capabilities that support everything from simple deduplication of customer lists to matching data against government lists of suspected terrorists.

You can learn more about our Enterprise Data Quality multitool in our upcoming webcast! Unlike swiss army knives it is guaranteed never to rust or stop you in an airport metal detector.

Watch Putting Data to Work Using Oracle Enterprise Data Quality Solutions on Tuesday, August 27 at 10:00 a.m. PT, and learn more about the Oracle Enterprise Data Quality suite of products.

Friday Jul 26, 2013

The Best Data Integration for Oracle Exadata Comes from Oracle

In a previous blog post I talked about about how Oracle Exadata customers can migrate/consolidate their systems without downtime. In that blog post I mentioned that Oracle Data Integrator and Oracle GoldenGate offer unique and optimized data integration solutions for Oracle Exadata. For example, customers that choose to feed their data warehouse or reporting database with near real-time throughout the day, can do so without decreasing  performance or availability of source and target systems. And if you ask why real-time, the short answer is: in today’s fast-paced, always-on world, business decisions need to use more relevant, timely data to be able to act fast and seize opportunities. A longer response to "why real-time" question can be found in a related blog post.

If we look at the solution architecture, as shown on the diagram below,  Oracle Data Integrator and Oracle GoldenGate are both uniquely designed to take full advantage of the power of the database and to eliminate unnecessary middle-tier components. Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) is the best bulk data loading solution for Exadata. ODI is the only ETL platform that can leverage the full power of Exadata, integrate directly on the Exadata machine without any additional hardware, and by far provides the simplest setup and fastest overall performance on an Exadata system.

We regularly see customers achieving a 5-10 times boost when they move their ETL to ODI on Exadata. For  some companies the performance gain is even much higher. For example a large insurance company did a proof of concept comparing ODI vs a traditional ETL tool (one of the market leaders) on Exadata. The same process that was taking 5hrs and 11 minutes to complete using the competing ETL product took 7 minutes and 20 seconds with ODI. Oracle Data Integrator was 42 times faster than the conventional ETL when running on Exadata.This shows that Oracle's own data integration offering helps you to gain the most out of your Exadata investment with a truly optimized solution. 

GoldenGate is the best solution for streaming data from heterogeneous sources into Exadata in real time. Oracle GoldenGate can also be used together with Data Integrator for hybrid use cases that also demand non-invasive capture, high-speed real time replication. Oracle GoldenGate enables real-time data feeds from heterogeneous sources non-invasively, and delivers to the staging area on the target Exadata system. ODI runs directly on Exadata to use the database engine power to perform in-database transformations. Enterprise Data Quality is integrated with Oracle Data integrator and enables ODI to load trusted data into the data warehouse tables. Only Oracle can offer all these technical benefits wrapped into a single intelligence data warehouse solution that runs on Exadata.


Compared to traditional ETL with add-on CDC this solution offers:

  • Non-invasive data capture from heterogeneous sources and avoids any performance impact on source
  • No mid-tier; set based transformations use database power
  • Mini-batches throughout the day –or- bulk processing nightly which means maximum availability for the DW
  • Integrated solution with Enterprise Data Quality enables leveraging trusted data in the data warehouse

In addition to Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Morrison Supermarkets, United Kingdom’s fourth-largest food retailer, has seen the power of this solution for their new BI platform and shared their story with us. Morrisons needed to analyze data across a large number of manufacturing, warehousing, retail, and financial applications with the goal to achieve single view into operations for improved customer service. The retailer deployed Oracle GoldenGate and Oracle Data Integrator to bring new data into Oracle Exadata in near real-time and replicate the data into reporting structures within the data warehouse—extending visibility into operations. Using Oracle's data integration offering for Exadata, Morrisons produced financial reports in seconds, rather than minutes, and improved staff productivity and agility. You can read more about Morrison’s success story here and hear from Starwood here.

I also recommend you watch our on demand webcast on Zero-Downtime Migration to Oracle Exadata Using Oracle GoldenGate: A Customer Case Study and download free resources on Oracle Data Integration products to learn more about their powerful architecture and solutions for data-driven enterprises.

Thursday Apr 11, 2013

Why Real Time?

Continuing on the five key data integration requirements topic, this time we focus on real-time data for decision making. 

[Read More]

Thursday Mar 07, 2013

5 New Data Integration Requirements for Today’s Data-Driven Organizations

How are the latest technology trends affecting data integration requirements? Read about the 5 key data integration requirements and Oracle's Data Integration product strategy in meeting these requirements.[Read More]

Wednesday Oct 31, 2012

Ameristar Wins with Oracle GoldenGate’s Heterogeneous Real-Time Data Integration

Today we announced a press release about another successful project with Oracle GoldenGate. This time at Ameristar. Ameristar is a casino gaming company and needed a single data integration solution to connect multiple heterogeneous systems to its Teradata data warehouse.

The project involves integration of Ameristar’s promotional and gaming data from 14 data sources across its 7 casino hotel properties in real time into a central Teradata data warehouse. The source systems include the Aristocrat gaming and MGT promotional management platforms running on Microsoft SQL Server 2000 databases.

As you can notice, there was no Oracle Database involved in this project, but Ameristar’s IT leadership knew that  GoldenGate’s strong heterogeneous and real-time data integration capabilities is the right technology for their data warehousing project. With GoldenGate Ameristar was able to reduce data latency to the enterprise data warehouse, and use this real-time customer information for marketing teams in improving overall customer experience. Ameristar customers receive more targeted and timely campaign offers, and the company has more up-to-date visibility into financial metrics of the company.

One other key benefit the company experienced with GoldenGate is in operational costs. The previous data capture solution Ameristar used was trigger based and required a lot of effort to manage. They needed dedicated IT staff to maintain it. With GoldenGate, the solution runs seamlessly without needing a fully-dedicated staff, giving the IT team at Ameristar more resources for their other IT projects.

If you want to learn more about GoldenGate and the latest features for Oracle Database and non-Oracle databases, please watch our on demand webcast about Oracle GoldenGate 11g Release 2.

Wednesday Oct 17, 2012

And the Winners of Fusion Middleware Innovation Awards in Data Integration are…

At OpenWorld, we announced the winners of Fusion Middleware Innovation Awards 2012. Raymond James and Morrison Supermarkets were selected for the data integration category for their innovative use of Oracle’s data integration products and the great results they have achieved.

In this blog I would like to briefly introduce you to these award winning projects.

Raymond James is a diversified financial services company, which provides financial planning, wealth management, investment banking, and asset management. They are using Oracle GoldenGate and Oracle Data Integrator to feed their operational data store (ODS), which supports application services across the enterprise. A major requirement for their project was low data latency, as key decisions are made based on the data in the ODS. They were able to fulfill this requirement due to the Oracle Data Integrator’s integrated solution with Oracle GoldenGate.

Oracle GoldenGate captures changed data from different systems including Oracle Database, HP NonStop and Microsoft SQL Server into a single data store on SQL Server 2008. Oracle Data Integrator provides data transformations for the ODS. Leveraging ODI’s integration with GoldenGate, Raymond James now sees a 9 second median latency (from source commit to ODS target commit).

The ODS solution delivers high quality, accurate data for consuming applications such as Raymond James’ next generation client and portfolio management systems as well as real-time operational reporting. It enables timely information for making better decisions.

There are more benefits Raymond James achieved with this implementation of Oracle’s data integration solution. The software developers and architects of this solution, Tim Garrod and Ryan Fonnett, have told us during their presentation at OpenWorld that they also reduced application complexity significantly while improving developer productivity through trusted operational services. They were able to utilize CDC to generate alerts for business users, and for applications (for example for cache hydration mechanisms).

One cool innovation example among many in this project is that using ODI's flexible architecture, Tim and Ryan could build 24/7 self-healing processes. And these processes have hardly failed. Integration process fixes the errors itself. Pretty amazing; and a great solution for environments that need such reliability and availability. (You can see Tim and Ryan’s photo with the Innovation Awards trophy above.)

The other winner of this year in the data integration category, Morrison Supermarkets, is the UK’s 4th largest grocery retailer. The company has been migrating all their legacy applications on to a new-world application set based on Oracle and consolidating all BI on to a single Oracle platform. The company recently implemented Oracle Exadata as the data warehouse engine and uses Oracle Business Intelligence EE.

Their goal with deploying GoldenGate and ODI was to provide BI data to the enterprise in a way that it also supports operational decision making requirements from a wide range of Oracle based ERP applications such as E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, Oracle Retail Suite. They use GoldenGate’s log-based change data capture capabilities and Oracle Data Integrator to populate the Oracle Retail Data Model. The electronic point of sale (EPOS) integration solution they built processes over 80 million transactions/day at busy periods in near real time (15 mins). It provides valuable insight to Retail and Commercial teams for both intra-day and historical trend analysis.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, the right data integration platform can transform the business. Here is another example: The point-of-sale integration enabled the grocery chain to optimize its stock management, leading to another award: Morrisons won the Grocer 33 award in 2012 - beating all other major UK supermarkets in product availability. Congratulations, Morrisons,on another award!

Celebrating the innovation and the success of our customers with Oracle’s data integration products was definitely a highlight of Oracle OpenWorld for me. I look forward to hearing more from Raymond James, Morrisons, and the other customers that presented their data integration projects at OpenWorld, on how they are creating more value for their organizations.

Tuesday Oct 02, 2012

Fast Data: Go Big. Go Fast.

For those of you who may have missed it, today’s second full day of Oracle OpenWorld 2012 started with a rumpus. Joe Tucci, from EMC outlined the human face of big data with real examples of how big data is transforming our world. And no not the usual tried-and-true weblog examples, but real stories about taxi cab drivers in Singapore using big data to better optimize their routes as well as folks just trying to get a better hair cut. Next we heard from Thomas Kurian who talked at length about the important platform characteristics of Oracle’s Cloud and more specifically Oracle’s expanded Cloud Services portfolio. Especially interesting to our integration customers are the messaging support for Oracle’s Cloud applications. What this means is that now Oracle’s Cloud applications have a lightweight integration fabric that on-premise applications can communicate to it via REST-APIs using Oracle SOA Suite. It’s an important element to our strategy at Oracle that supports this idea that whether your requirements are for private or public, Oracle has a solution in the Cloud for all of your applications and we give you more deployment choice than any vendor.

If this wasn’t enough to get the juices flowing, later that morning we heard from Hasan Rizvi who outlined in his Fusion Middleware session the four most important enterprise imperatives: Social, Mobile, Cloud, and a brand new one: Fast Data. Today, Rizvi made an important step in the definition of this term to explain that he believes it’s a convergence of four essential technology elements:

  • Event Processing for event filtering, business rules – with Oracle Event Processing
  • Data Transformation and Loading - with Oracle Data Integrator
  • Real-time replication and integration – with Oracle GoldenGate
  • Analytics and data discovery – with Oracle Business Intelligence

Each of these four elements can be considered (and architect-ed) together on a single integrated platform that can help customers integrate any type of data (structured, semi-structured) leveraging new styles of big data technologies (MapReduce, HDFS, Hive, NoSQL) to process more volume and variety of data at a faster velocity with greater results. 

Fast data processing (and especially real-time) has always been our credo at Oracle with each one of these products in Fusion Middleware. For example, Oracle GoldenGate continues to be made even faster with the recent 11g R2 Release of Oracle GoldenGate which gives us some even greater optimization to Oracle Database with Integrated Capture, as well as some new heterogeneity capabilities. With Oracle Data Integrator with Big Data Connectors, we’re seeing much improved performance by running MapReduce transformations natively on Hadoop systems. And with Oracle Event Processing we’re seeing some remarkable performance with customers like NTT Docomo. Check out their upcoming session at Oracle OpenWorld on Wednesday to hear more how this customer is using Event processing and Big Data together.

If you missed any of these sessions and keynotes, not to worry. There's on-demand versions available on the Oracle OpenWorld website. You can also checkout our upcoming webcast where we will outline some of these new breakthroughs in Data Integration technologies for Big Data, Cloud, and Real-time in more details.


Tuesday Sep 04, 2012

Reaching to the Holy Grail of Data Management

Pervasive, continuous access to trusted data. That’s the ultimate goal of data management. It enables to leverage data as an asset to create value for customers and the organization. It creates the strong foundation needed to move the business forward. How you get there is also critical. As with all IT initiatives using high performance solutions with low cost of ownership is another key requirement in today’s IT world. Oracle's  data integration product strategy focuses on helping customers achieve this ultimate goal with high performance and low TCO.

 At OpenWorld, we will be showing how Oracle Data Integration products help you reach your data management goals, considering new trends in information management, such as big data and cloud computing. We will also provide an update on the latest product releases, such as Oracle GoldenGate 11gR2.

If you will be at OpenWorld, please join us on Monday Oct 1st 10:45am at Moscone West – 3005 to hear our VP of Product Development, Brad Adelberg, present "Future Strategy, Direction, and Roadmap of Oracle’s Data Integration Platform".

The Data Integration track at OpenWorld covers variety of topics and speakers. In addition to product management of Oracle GoldenGate, Oracle Data Integrator, and Enteprise Data Quality presenting product updates and roadmap, we have several customer panels and stand-alone sessions featuring select customers such as St. Jude Medical, Raymond James, Aderas, Turkcell, Paychex, Comcast,  Ticketmaster, Bank of America and more. You can see an overview of Data Integration sessions here.

If you are not able to attend OpenWorld, please check out our latest resources for Data Integration and Oracle GoldenGate. In the coming weeks you will see more blogs about our products’ new capabilities and what to expect at OpenWorld.

I hope to see you at OpenWorld and stay in touch via our future blogs.


Wednesday Mar 07, 2012

New productivity features in ODI 11.1.1.6: Global KMs, Variable tracking, Groovy Editor

ODI 11.1.1.6 introduces a number of features that make the everyday tasks of ELT developers easier. This blog explains the new features Global Knowledge Modules, Variable and Sequence Tracking, and Groovy Editor.

[Read More]

Friday Feb 10, 2012

Eliminating Batch Windows Using Real-Time Data Integration

When we invest in technology solutions we expect improvement in productivity, agility, performance and more. We don’t want to be limited by the technology we select. While data warehouses are designed to give us the freedom to access complete and reliable information, the underlying data integration architecture and the type of solution used can lead to significant constraints on how we manage our critical production systems.

With data warehousing solutions, one of the most common constraints is the time window available for batch extract processing on the source systems. The resource intensive extract process typically has to be done in off-business hours and restricts access to critical source systems.

A low-impact, real-time data integration solution can liberate your systems from batch windows. When the extract component uses a non-intrusive method, such as reading database transaction logs to capture only the changed data, it does not burden source systems. Hence, data extract can happen at any time of the day, and throughout the day, while all users are online.

SunGard is a great example for achieving a major transformation in data warehousing solutions by using log-based real-time data integration. The company removed batch processing timeline related constraint by using Oracle GoldenGate to capture all of the intraday changes that take place on the selected tables. As a result they reduced the nightly extract process from the Oracle E-Business Suite application by 9 hours. In addition, Oracle GoldenGate enables to feed EBusiness Suite data to the Oracle BI Application for Finance throughout the day. Hence, end users have access to up-to-date information on the Oracle Business Intelligence dashboards as changes occur.

To read more about how real-time data integration can free your critical systems from batch window constraints and how SunGard leveraged Oracle GoldenGate in their data warehousing implementation, I invite you to check out the SunGard case study and the article “Freedom from Batch Windows Using Real-Time Data Integration we wrote for TDWI's What Works in Emerging Technologies publication. As always, you can find more resources on Oracle GoldenGate on our recently redesigned website.

Tuesday May 24, 2011

What’s New in the Data Integration Market?

Data integration is essential to many strategic IT initiatives including master data management (MDM), modernization, and service-oriented architecture (SOA). That’s why it is not surprising that the data integration market continues to grow in its size, importance and impact on enterprise information systems. The technology has evolved from simple extract, transform, and load (ETL) procedures to include real time data movement, bi-directional replication/synchronization along with data quality and data profiling and data services.

 The user base for data integration tools has also evolved from low-level technology for developers and DBAs to high-level environments for operations staff, data stewards, business analysts and enterprise architects. In short, what was once merely the background “plumbing” underlying our information systems now influences just about every aspect of IT, and touches just about every type of stakeholder.

 In a new white paper we have examined the state of the data integration market including the trends in business intelligence, data warehousing, data quality, consolidation, cloud computing and IT modernization initiatives that are driving data-intensive projects. You can access this brand new white paper along with other data integration focused white papers and resources here.

Friday May 20, 2011

Real-Time Data Integration for Operational Data Warehousing

Gone are the days when data warehouses were just for reporting, strategic analytics, and forecasting. Today, more companies are using their data warehouses for operational decision making – and thus more critical to the business. To be able to influence operational decisions the analytical environment needs to be able to stay current with the business events happening right now. Therefore an important requirement is to enable lowest possible latency in which new data is delivered to the data warehouse, ideally in real time.

For example, when a snowstorm hits a certain area, the operational data warehouse can help monitor snow shovel sales and then provide information to help determine whether other stores in the affected areas should move more merchandise to the shelves and also offer other related products at a discounted price. There is a lot less value in reacting to data for a snowstorm that occurred 24 hours ago – or even 6 hours ago.

There are many data integration technologies that serve the data acquisition needs of a data warehouse, however only a few offer real-time data delivery with no impact on source systems’ performance. The challenge for the IT group is to determine what solution or combination of data integration solutions will meet their data delivery and performance needs to help propel the move to operational data warehousing. Such data integration evaluations are aided with the understanding of:

  • Selection Criteria – This should include considerations for acceptable latency, data quantity/volumes, data integrity, transformation requirements, and processing overhead/impact on availability.
  • “Right Time” vs. "Real-Time" – When evaluating solutions, the technology should deliver real-time data capabilities and let the user choose the “right time” as a business decision. Right-time should be a component of decision latency – a user preference, not a technical constraint.
  • Transformations – As the data warehouse approaches real time, transformations ideally should take place within the data warehouse in order to reduce data and analysis latency. This eliminates the need for additional steps for aggregating changed data on a middle-tier server until it is batch processed-- not to mention the TCO savings of not acquiring or maintaining a middle-tier transformation server.

Oracle offers a complete and certified data integration solution for implementing operational data warehouse on Oracle Exadata. Oracle GoldenGate provides low-impact, real-time change data capture and delivery, while Oracle Data Integrator EE provides high performance transformations within Oracle Exadata. Oracle Data Integrator also offers integrated solution for data profiling and data quality to enable analysis with trusted data. Here is a great customer example how Oracle’s products enable the move to operational data warehousing. You can read more about Oracle's data integration solution for operational data warehousing in our white paper. If you would like to read more about how to use Oracle Data Integration products for Oracle Exadata please check out our recent data sheet.

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