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See what the PeopleSoft community has to say about Kibana Analytics: PeopleSoft's Investment Strategy (Part 1)

Rebekah Jackson
Vice President

At the RECONNECT Envision conference at the end of April, I experimented a bit with the all-digital conference platform. Instead of a traditional ‘stand-and-deliver’ session – one where I talk and everyone else listens (or multi-tasks), we took advantage of the virtual environment to hold a massive, interactive discussion on the PeopleSoft roadmap and our investment strategy.

I’m pleased to say that it worked great! An open dialog just isn’t feasible in a room with several hundred people, but online – using polls and chat and one-on-one dialog – we were able to hold a live, crowd-sourced feedback session. We got validation, new ideas, and candid input. It was a wonderful experience thanks to everyone that contributed. Your willingness to participate is what made the session a success – Thank You!

We covered a lot of ground in the session – we had quite a few new announcements at the conference. The community insights are incredibly valuable to us, informing our roadmap decisions, but we realize they’re also helpful to you, as you evaluate what to do next with PeopleSoft.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be summarizing the discussions we had and the input we received on each of the big investment areas that were discussed in the session. Up first…

 

Kibana Analytics

We started the session here because Kibana is one of the hottest topics in the PeopleSoft community today.

 

We started things off with a simple poll question: Are you planning to use Kibana?

As you can see from the results, more than half of the participants are already working on it or have plans to roll it out. About a third aren’t sure yet, and a small number don’t plan to use it.

In most cases, when we roll out a new technology or platform capability, it takes a couple of years to move beyond the early adopters and reach more wide-spread uptake. In the case of Kibana, however, you are on pace to make this the fastest deployment of any new capability we’ve delivered, despite the dependency on PeopleTools 8.58 or higher.

 

So we asked why.

Specifically, we asked: For those that are using Kibana now or planning to use it in the future, why? What’s the compelling value proposition? The responses gathered in a few main areas:

  1. By far, the biggest driver motivation are the compelling Visualizations. This was cited by more than 57% of those participating in the discussion. As Nicole put it, the ‘visualizations are HUGE’.
  2. One of our new announcements at the conference – support for Real-Time Indexing – was the second-most frequently cited driver. We were thrilled to see this new capability, enabled by PeopleTools 8.59, drive so much excitement.
  3. The third most common driver was one that we expected to see, and that was Performance. Of course, it’s not just the performance of the analytics themselves, but the ability to avoid impacting the performance of the transactional system. Michelle summed it up well: ‘We want to use the Visualizations and love that it doesn’t impact DB performance.”

 

In addition to the above common drivers, a number of other points were mentioned:

  • ‘Drill down to refresh is a great feature’
  • ‘With external data integration, I’d love to see Kibana be our one-stop shopping for analytic reporting
  • ‘Modern look and feel’
  • ‘Trend reporting’
  • ‘From the admin side, it’s simple to setup and get running’
  • And my personal favorite: ‘Want to use everything that Oracle delivers’

 

Next, we wanted to understand how customers are looking to take advantage of Kibana, so I asked a very broad question about planned usage. Specifically: What use cases are you focusing on? And we got insight across quite a few different dimensions:

  • Target users include executives, power users and administrators, and HR.
  • Most everyone said they plan to start by using delivered dashboards first and then extend or build their own.
  • Most also plan to make the dashboards available to users in PeopleSoft via the Kibana Visualizer.
  • However, a few said they already are or will give admins access to the dashboards in native Kibana for data exploration.

 

And when we asked where customers plan to use Kibana…using what we’ve delivered, what’s on the roadmap (or new ideas), and custom dashboards, we got a long list of target areas:

  • Workflow and approvals
  • HR
  • Payroll
  • Employee Retention
  • Employee Productivity
  • COVID Reporting 
  • Expenses
  • Payables and vouchers
  • Receivables, including unbilled and deferred revenue
  • General Ledger
  • Banking and Investment
  • Budget
  • Customer Profitability
  • Requisitions
  • PO vs non-PO spend
  • Picking productivity
  • Maintenance Management
  • Class search
  • Customization monitoring and management / cost analysis

 

We closed the conversation by asking: What are the barriers to adopting Kibana?

I was pleased to see that this was the one part of the conversation where we got very little feedback – signaling there are relatively few hurdles to overcome. The main feedback received was:

  • ‘Administration team needs training to support it’ (this video is a good place to start)
  • ‘Some better documentation on customizing visuals and dashboards, making them super powerful and complex on our own’

 

Again, I’d like to thank everyone that participated in the discussion and shared their feedback. For those of you looking for more information, go to the Kibana page on PeopleSoftinfo.com. For those of you looking for inspiration, read the story of our first Feature Innovator with Kibana: Vidant Health.

 

Watch next week for the summary post on User Experience – we’ll cover the feedback on Fluid, the new UI refresh, mobile usage, and more. In the meanwhile, if you missed Paco’s RECONNECT Envision keynote: PeopleSoft Investment Strategy & Roadmap, it's worth watching. If you missed the conference, all sessions are now available for replay on Quest’s website.