Friday May 02, 2014

3 Key Practices For Using Big Data Effectively for Enhanced Customer Experience

As organizations focus on differentiating their offering via superior customer experience, they are looking into ways to leverage big data in this effort. Couple of weeks ago my colleague Pete Schutt and I hosted a webcast on this very topic: Turning Big Data into Real-Time Action for a Greater Customer Experience

In this webcast we talked about 3 key practices to make the most out of big data for improving customer experience, which are:

  1. Know your customer leveraging big data: Leverage all relevant data (internal and external; structured, semi-structured, and unstructured) to understand and predict customers needs & preferences accurately.
  2. Capture, analyze, act on data fast to create value: Achieve accurate insight and take the right action fast so your action can be still relevant to the customer’s situation.
  3. Empower employees & systems with insight & smarter decisions: In this step you ensure that the capability to act right and fast is not limited to a few in the organization, but everyone and every system that interacts and influences customers’ experience.


After explaining why these practices are critical to improving customer experience, we discussed Oracle’s complete big data analytics and management platform, as well as the specific products and architectural approaches to execute on these 3 key areas. We focused particularly on data integration for fast and timely data acquisition and business analytics for real-time insight and action, and how they fit together in a real-time analytics architecture.

You can watch this webcast now on demand via the link below:

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

In this webcast we received many great questions and I have provided below a few of them along with the answers.

Is real-time action related to the Internet of Things?

Yes, more physical things will be connected to the internet, often wirelessly with RFID tags or other sensors and Java to record where they are and what they are doing (or not doing). The IoT will be more practical by automating the information process from capture to analysis to appropriate and immediate action.

What does Oracle have for real-time mobile analytics?

Oracle BI Mobile App Designer empowers business users to easily create interactive analytical applications on any device without writing a single line of code and to also take action and respond to events in the context of their day-today business activities

Can these real-time systems be managed by business users?

Yes, you need the agility for business owners to be able to respond, experiment, and adapt, in real-time as the environment or consumer behavior changes. The systems have to be intuitive enough for users with the business content and context who can easily visualize, understand, and change the patterns they're looking and the rules that are being enforced.

Can the real-time systems use other statistical models or algorithms?

Yes. Oracle Advanced Analytics offer an enterprise version of R and Oracle RTD can source and publish scores from other advanced analytical models such as R, SAS, or SPSS or others.

Where do we get more information about ODI for big data?

 You can start with Oracle Data Integrator Application Adapter for Hadoop. And also take a look at the  Oracle BigDataLite Virtual Machine, a pre-built environment to get you started on an environment reflecting the core software of Oracle's Big Data Appliance 2.4. BigDataLite is a VirtualBox VM that contains a fully configured Cloudera Hadoop distribution CDH 4.5, an Oracle DB 12c, Oracle's Big Data Connectors, Oracle Data Integrator 12.1.2, and other software. You can use this environment to see ODI 12c in action integrating big data with Oracle DB using ODI's declarative graphical design, efficient EL-T loads, and Knowledge Modules designed to optimize big data integration. 

For GoldenGate, can a target be something other than a database, e.g. queue?

Yes, GoldenGate can deliver database changes into JMS message queues and topics, as well as in flat file format. Oracle GoldenGate Application Adapters would need to be used for those use cases. For low-impact real-time data integration into Hadoop systems customers will need to use the Java Adapter within this GoldenGate Application Adapters license as well.

What other data warehouses can does Oracle support for real-time data integration?

Oracle's data integration offering is heterogeneous for both sources and targets. Both Oracle Data Integrator and Oracle GoldenGate work with non-Oracle data warehouses including Teradata, DB2, Netezza, Greenplum.

I invite you to watch this webcast on demand to hear the details of our solution discussion and the Q&A with the audience. For more information big data integration and analytics you can review Bridging Two Worlds. Big Data and Enterprise Data and Big Data @ Work Turning Customer Interactions into Opportunities.

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Thursday May 16, 2013

Sabre Holdings Case Study Webcast Recap

Last week at Oracle we had a very important event. In addition to the visit by the roaming Gnome, who really enjoyed posing for pictures on our campus, I had the priviledge to host a webcast with guest speaker Amjad Saeed from Sabre Holdings. We focused on Sabre's data integration solution  leveraging Oracle GoldenGate and Oracle Data Integrator for their enterprise travel data warehouse (ETDW).

Amjad, who leads the development effort for Sabre's enterprise data warehouse, presented us how they approached various data integration challenges, such as growing number of sources and data volumes, and what results they were able to achieve. He shared with us how using Oracle's data integration products in heterogeneous environments enabled right-time market insights, reduced complexity, and decreased time to market by 40%. Sabre was also able to standardize development for its global DW development team, achieve real-time view in the execution of the integration processes, and the ability to manage the data warehouse & BI performance on demand. I would like to thank Amjad again very much for taking the time to share their data integration best practices with us on this webcast.

In this webcast my colleague Sandrine Riley and I provided an overview of Oracle Data Integration products' differentiators. We explained architectural strengths that deliver a complete and integrated platform that offers high performance, fast time-to-value, and low cost of ownership.  If you have not had a chance to attend the live event we have the webcast now available on demand via this link for you to watch at your convenience:

Webcast Replay: Sabre Holdings Case Study: Accelerating Innovation using Oracle Data Integration

There were many great questions from our audience. Unfortunately we did not have enough time to respond to all of them. While we are individually following up with the attendees, I also want to post the questions and answer for some of the commonly asked questions here.

    Question: How do I learn Oracle Data Integrator or GoldenGate? Is training the only option ?

    Answer: We highly recommend training through Oracle University. The courses will cover all the foundational components needed to get up and running with ODI or GoldenGate. Oracle University offers instructor-led and online trainings. You can go to http://education.oracle.com to get a complete listing of the courses available.Additionally – but not in replacement of training – you can get started with a guided ‘getting started’ type tutorial which you can find on our OTN page:  in the ‘Getting Started’ section of the page.Also, there are some helpful ‘Oracle by Example’ exercises/videos which you can find on the same page.

    For Oracle GoldenGate, we recommend watching instructional videos on its Youtube channel: Youtube/oraclegoldengate. A good example is here

    Last but not least, at Oracle OpenWorld there are opportunities to learn in depth by attending our hands-on-labs, even though it does not compare to/replace taking training.

    Question: Compare and contrast Oracle Data Integrator to the Oracle Warehouse Builder ETL process. Is ODI repository-driven and based on creation of "maps" when   creating ETL modules?

    Answer: ODI has been built from the ground up to be heterogeneous – so it will excel on both Oracle and non-Oracle platforms.  OWB has been a more Oracle centric product.  ODI mappings are developed with a declarative design based approach, and processes are executed via an agent – who is orchestrating and delegating the workload in a set-based manner to the database.  OWB deploys packages of code on the database and produces more procedural code.   For more details – please read our ODI architecture white paper

    Question:  Is the metadata navigator for ODI flexible and comprehensive so that it could be used as a documentation tool for the ETL?

    Answer: Oracle Data Integrator's metadata navigator has been renamed – now called ODI Console.  The ODI console is a web-based interface to view in a more picture based manner what is inside of the ODI repository.  It could be used as documentation.  Beyond the ODI console, ODI provides full documentation from the ODI Studio.  For any given process, project, etc.  you are able to right click – and there is an option that says ‘print’ – and this will provide you with a PDF document including the details down to the transformations.  These documents may be a more appropriate method of documentation.  Also – please check out a whitepaper on Managing Metadata with ODI.

If you would like to learn more about Oracle Data Integration products please check out our free resources here. I also would like to remind you to follow us on social media if you do not already. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Linkedin.



Wednesday May 01, 2013

When The Roaming Gnome Conquers Data Integration

It is always fascinating to see how our customers turn Oracle Data Integration products into a major force for their critical initiatives. I particularly like the success stories that tie back to the products or services that I use in my personal life. A little gnome that travels around the world is my new hero when it comes to seeing Oracle Data Integration in action, in day-to-day life.  Well, of course, I am referring to the Travelocity Gnome that we are familiar with from TV ads. And we know that behind this little gnome, is a great innovative IT team serving Sabre Holdings, which owns Travelocity. They deserve the praise for supporting business innovation with cutting edge data warehousing/BI solutions.  

the Traveling Gnome in the office (Photo thanks to Flickr user Ian Kershaw, available under by-nc-sa v2.0)

the Traveling Gnome in the office (Photo thanks to Flickr user Ian Kershaw, available under by-nc-sa v2.0)

Sabre Holdings demonstrated its ability to excel in implementing data integration solutions by winning Oracle Excellence Awards for Fusion Middleware Innovation in Data Integration category in 2011. We now have the privilege to hear directly from Sabre how they used Oracle Data Integrator and Oracle GoldenGate for their critical enterprise data warehouse that drives all kinds of innovative products and services for Sabre employees, partners, and customers. Sabre partnered with Oracle to achieve major improvements from reducing complexity,  better handling growing data volumes and decreasing time to market by 40%.

Next week on May 8th we will host a free webcast where you can hear Sabre's Amjad Saeed, who manages development for their enterprise data warehouse, present how they leveraged advanced data integration approaches in achieving their data warehouse solution goals.

Sabre Holdings Case Study: Accelerating Innovation with Oracle Data Integration

May 8th 1pm ET/ 10am PT

If you have not seen Oracle Data Integration in action, this is a must-see event to attend. I also would like to remind you that this year's  Oracle Excellence Awards for Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation is open for submissions. You can submit your nomination by June 18th here.


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 28, 2013

More Complete, Open, Real Time.

If you have been following our blogs you know about the strength of our data integration products, and our passion about helping our customers achieve their information management goals. Our customer testimonials in all kinds of solutions have proven our leadership in both data integration and data availability spaces. We decided to put our long story in a short video and incorporate examples of impressive benefits our customers achieve every day.

Here is the short video we came up with about Oracle Data Integration product family. Please take a look and let me know what you think.


To learn more about Oracle Data Integration products please download our free resources.

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.

Tuesday Oct 16, 2012

Sabre Manages Fast Data Growth with Oracle Data Integration Products

Last year at OpenWorld we announced Sabre Holding as a winner of the Fusion Middleware Innovation Awards. The Sabre team did an excellent job at leveraging cutting edge technologies for managing rapid data growth and exponential scalability demands they have experienced in the travel industry.

Today we announced the details and specific benefits of Sabre’s new real-time data integration solution in a press release. Please take a look if you haven’t seen it yet. Sabre Holdings Deploys Oracle Data Integrator and Oracle GoldenGate to Support Rapid Customer Growth

There are 3 different areas of benefits Sabre achieved by using Oracle Data Integration products:

  • Manages 7X increase in data sources for the enterprise data warehouse
  • Reduced infrastructure complexity
  • Decreased time to market for new products and services by 30 percent.

This simply shows that using latest technologies helps the companies to innovate robust solutions against today’s key data management challenges. And the benefit of using a next generation data integration technology is not only seen in the IT operations, but also in the business side. A better data integration solution for the enterprise data warehouse delivered the platform they need to accelerate how they service their customers, improving their competitive advantage.

Tomorrow I will give another great example of innovation with next generation data integration from Oracle. We will be discussing the Fusion Middleware Innovation Awards 2012 winners and their results with using Oracle’s data integration products.

Monday Oct 08, 2012

The most challenging part of blogging about OpenWorld is…

...not knowing where to start. Do I talk about the great presentations from our partners and executives in our keynote sessions; do I write about the music festival, or many great sessions we had in the Data integration track? A short blog can never do justice. For now I will stick to our data integration sessions for those who could not attend with so many other sessions running concurrently. And in the coming weeks we will be writing more about what we talked in our sessions and what we learned from our customers and partners.

For today, I will give some of the key highlights from Data Integration sessions that took place on Wednesday and Thursday of last week  On Wednesday, GoldenGate was highlighted in multiple Database and Data Integration sessions. I found particularly the session about Oracle’s own use of GoldenGate for its large E-Business Suite implementation for supply chain management and service contract management very interesting. In 2011, Oracle implemented a new operational reporting system using GoldenGate real-time data replication to an operational data store that leverages data from E-Business Suite.The results are very impressive. Mark Field, VP of Applications Development in the IT organization shared with us that data freshness improved by 2,210X while report run performance improved by 60X. For more information on this implementation and its results please see the white paper: Real-Time Operational Reporting for E-Business Suite via GoldenGate Replication to an Operational Data Store


Other sessions that provided very rich content were: "Best Practices for Conflict Detection and Resolution in Oracle GoldenGate for Active/Active", "Tuning and Troubleshooting Oracle GoldenGate on Oracle Database", "Next-Generation Data Integration on Oracle Exadata" and "Accelerate Oracle Data Integrator with Advanced Features, SOA, Groovy, SDK, and XML". Below is a slide presented by Stephan Haisley in the Tuning and Troubleshooting Oracle GoldenGate session. If you missed them during OpenWorld, I highly recommend downloading the slides. We will continue to blog about these topics and related resources.

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Thursday Oct 04, 2012

Oracle OpenWorld Highlights

We are in the final days of Oracle OpenWorld 2012 and the data integration team have been hard at work giving sessions, meeting customers, demonstrating product and conducting hands-on labs.    It has been a great conference, but the best part is meeting our customers and learning about all the great implementations of our products. 

Wednesday was the last day that the exhibition hall was open and attendees were getting in their final opportunities to see our products and meet with the product management team.   Two hours before the close of the hall, people lined up to learn about GoldenGate 11gR2, Monitor, Adapters, Veridata, and all the different use cases.    Here's a picture of Sjaak Vossepoel, who is our DIS Sales Consulting Manager for EMEA speaking to a potential customer on the options of using Oracle GoldenGate for heterogenous data replication. 


Over the last two days, the GoldenGate team ran two labs; Introduction to Oracle GoldenGate Veridata and Deep Dive into Oracle GoldenGate.   Both of the labs were completely booked out and unfortunately we had to turn away people.   BUT,  all of our labs were recorded recently so if you were not able to get into the lab or did not have enough time to complete your labs, visit youtube.com/oraclegoldengate to see a  complete recording of the labs we used at OpenWorld plus more.

 Here are a couple pictures from the Deep Dive into Oracle GoldenGate lead by Chis Lawless from the Product Management team.

Thanks to the GoldenGate Hands-on Lab team for putting on a great session!!!

We will post more information about where you can find additional details on OpenWorld as they become public.   

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