Oracle Mobile Analytics

Imagine yourself without a mobile device. There was a time we used our mobile phone to make calls only. Ok, we did some text sending via sms. But that was it. Nowadays (if I look at myself) I do not use my phone to make phone calls. Yes, when I am in the car the phone comes in handy to speak to others and to kill time. The main reason I use my phone is to lookup information or to interact with other people. This is not by speech but by sending messages.

In lot’s of situations the smartphone or the tablet have taken over the role of the desktop computer. The same goes for Analytical Applications. People use their mobile devices to run analytics where the used to do that via their pc connected to the local network.

Also Oracle has a strategy for mobile analytics. Oracle currently offers three different mobile apps for analytics:

  • Oracle BI HD
  • Synopsis
  • Day By Day

 

Although it looks a little bit confusing, there just is a separate app for a different purpose.

Oracle BI HD is Oracle’s first mobile application for analytics. It’s basically another platform to run your desktop reports. Oracle BI HD can be licensed on top of on-premise OBIEE and is integrated with the Cloud license.

If you download the application from the app-store (Apple in my case) you can just connect to any Oracle BI Server you have available. I chose to connect to our Quistor BI Cloud environment. Of course you can add any other Oracle BI Server URL you want to connect to.

 

 

 

 

You have to enter a host. In the case of the Quistor BI Cloud environment you will enter the Service Instance URL which you can find in the BICS Service Details.

After the server is added and you connect to it, you have to enter the login details. This is similar to logging into the BICS environment.

 

 

 

 

Now you enter into the Analytics Environment where you have access to the same dashboards as you have available in the Cloud. Check here the General Ledger Dashboard of our Quistor BINGO environment.

The same dashboard on the left as it shows on my smartphone. Of course you do not have the same experience as on the desktop or even the tablet. But it is nice that you can bring your dashboards with you and analyse data while being on the road.

 

 

 

Synopsis allows a user to analyse files (received on) a mobile device without the need to access a Oracle BI Server.

Imagine you have an Excel spreadsheet available in a Box Cloud environment. In this case it is the Pipeline.xlsx.

After you download the application from the app-store (Apple in my case) you can import this spreadsheet directly into the Oracle Synopsis mobile application.

 

 

After the data is imported into the application, you have a project with the imported spreadsheet.

 

 

You can immediately analyse the Pipeline data. The application already prepared some analysis for you based on the data it finds.

Check out Youtube to see Oracle Synopsis in Action.

 

 

 

 

Day By Day is Oracle’s latest addition to the Oracle Mobile Application offering. This application is different from the Oracle BI HD application. You will use search technology, either by voice or by typing, to create your analysis.

You can download the application from the app-store (Apple in my case).

Starting up the application allows you to enter. One of the prerequisites of this application is an Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) environment with BI Author and DV Consumer roles. At this moment I do not have an OAC environment at my disposal. There is a demo included in the app. Select ‘Try a Demo’ and after you are welcomed to the application you can start analysing data.

 

 

Via a typed or spoken search string (in this case; ‘revenue per customer segment’ you can create an analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This search leads to the graph on the right. Of course this is only an easy example. For more details and examples, please have a look here.

 

 

 

 

Interesting applications to check out. They might not all be evenly useful, but it’s good to have a choice of functionality to satisfy your mobile analytical needs. What I don’t get is that all the applications start with a blue screen. Not the bsod, but why Oracle did not choose an Oracle Red startup screen is a mystery for me.

This post is written as part of my Exploring Oracle Business Analytics series.

Thanks for reading.

Exploring Oracle Business Analytics

In the blogpost about “Gathering new Knowledge” I decided to investigate a few different areas of the Oracle atmosphere. Oracle Business Analytics was one of them. In a series of different blogposts I will cover different parts of the Oracle Business Analytics  product suite. At the end of this post there will be a list of different links to the blogposts I will be sharing.

I will begin with a post I created earlier. This is because of the importance of the subject. One crucial element in Oracle Analytics is the Oracle BI Server. Thanks to Christian Berg, we were able to go to the Core of Oracle Analytics.

Last month Oracle released a new version of Oracle Data Visualization V3.0. In this upgraded version you can expect some new functionality regarding:

  • connections to data sources & data preparation,
  • enhanced data flow
  • intuitive data visualization process setup & formatting
  • comprehensive system management toolset

When the posts are ready, I will post the links below. I hope you will find my findings interesting. Please share your comments.

This post is written as part of my Gathering new Knowledge series.

Thanks for reading.

Oracle Data Visualization V3.0

Last month Oracle released a new version of Oracle Data Visualization V3.0. In this upgraded version you can expect some new functionality regarding:

  • Connections to data sources & data preparation,
  • Enhanced data flow
  • Intuitive data visualization process setup & formatting
  • Comprehensive system management toolset

Check out the presentation of Philippe Lions below where he gives a tour of the Oracle Data Visualization V3.0 new features.

 did an excellent job outlining the new features. Also Francesco Tisiot has put his thoughts about V3 into a blog.

You can also directly have a look at this Youtube video below.

If you want to have a more detailed look (also mentioned in  blogpost), please check out these Oracle PM video playlist.

The opportunities within Oracle Data Visualization are expanding and improving. Sometimes it is just too much to catch up with. Fortunately there is the Oracle Analytics Store. Here you can find different examples of the capabilities of Oracle Data Visualization. Some are create by Oracle PM and some by Oracle Partners. These examples can be downloaded and imported into your own environment. You should really check this out.

Also nice to see is the Oracle Data Visualization Interactive Demo.

This post is written as part of my Exploring Oracle Business Analytics series.

Thanks for reading.

What is a figure without any context?

We are currently living in the information age. Several devices, (mobile) applications and computer programs are generating and collecting lots of data. A lot of decisions are made based on a “gut feeling“. In a lot of cases, this will not be any problem. If you cannot trust your gut, who or what can you trust? Still, I think that your gut is based on several years of experience. Why not use data to validate your gut? It will improve your decision-making process. You do not only have your gut, which might be difficult to understand for others, but you have the figures to prove it. Sounds easy, right? Just report some figures and you are done. The real added value to the decision-making process comes when you are able to really understand the data.

Lately, we have seen several examples of not being able to put data into the right context. The public was absolutely sure that Brexit was not going to happen. Who would have thought that Trump would be the next US President? A lot of data about these matters has been collected. Still, it was not possible to predict the outcome. Some important questions can be asked. How was the complete data set constructed? Was the data set representative for the total population involved?

“A picture says more than a thousand words“. This sounds like a true statement. Our brains are better suited to process images than they are able to make sense of a table of figures. But what does a certain visual tell you? What does it exactly mean if we see a decrease in sales for the year 2016? It is not enough to make decisions solely based on the output of a chart. It is the story behind the chart that counts. If we had known the weather was bad in June 2016, we might have been able to explain the drop in ice cream sales in that same month. Being able to visualize the data is one thing. Applying context to the visual is key to make the right decisions.

“Drive change by converting Data into Insight”

If we want to stay ahead of our competition, we need to do things differently. This means the organisation has to change, as in doing things differently and better. Better than last time and better than the competition. Change can be driven by converting data into insight. This whole process consists of a few different steps. First, you have to capture the data. Think about data sources already present within the organisation. Sometimes, it can be valuable to add additional data sources. It might be good to add data about the weather to predict or clarify ice cream sales for a certain period. After the data is captured it needs to be processed. Different data sources need to be combined and some attributes and / or measures might need some additional formatting. If the data sets are ready to be presented, it’s time to think about the best way to visualize data. Not all visualizations are equally suitable to present figures. It makes no sense to present time series in a pie chart. Also the choice of colors can have a huge impact on the interpretation of a visual.

Traditional BI is really focused on answering known questions. How were sales in 2016? Who achieved the highest revenue in 2016? These questions can be modeled upfront in a BI system. The answers to these questions can lead to new questions: why were sales so low in the month of June in 2016? These questions may require new data sources. These data sources can be combined with existing (modeled) data sources. A combination of data sources might yield different insights. This is the process of data discovery. Adding data about the weather or adding information about visitors to a city or a store can give valuable additional information. This additional information adds more value and makes the insights more complete. It gives the possibility to identify interesting patterns, opportunities and previously unknown trends.

Eventually the insights can be shared among other people like your colleagues. A story can be told based on the different insights as a result of the data discovery.

 

“See the Signals”

The Oracle Business Analytics philosophy is to support both traditional BI as well as data discovery. Traditional BI is a process, which is supported by IT. In a traditional BI environment, the IT department guarantees the validity and availability of the data. This data can be traced all the way back from the presentation to the source. Although one can really trust on this data, these environments are not as flexible as the business would like them to be. Sometimes, the business wants to play around with some other data. They want to explore data, which is not yet modeled and governed by the IT department. This data discovery needs to be a self-service process. Waiting for an IT department is not an option. The business wants to be able to visualize their data when they need it.

Oracle’s answer to self-service BI is Oracle Data Visualization (DV). Oracle DV offers the opportunity to add different data sources. With some lightweight ETL capabilities, Oracle DV is able to support the combination of different data sources and the manipulations of the different columns within these data sources. Like the name of the tool tells us, Oracle Data Visualization is a tool to visualize various sources of data in an easy way. This means that complex data sets can be turned into easy to digest and supporting insights. These insights can be shared in separate visual, which allows you to both visualize the data as well as telling the story behind the data.

Oracle Data Visualization is available both on-premise as well as in the Cloud. Moreover, Oracle DV is available as part of a platform (OBIEE and / or BICS) and stand-alone (Oracle DVCS). If you have acquired a license for Oracle DVD, you are allowed to use the Oracle Data Visualization Desktop (DVD) tool. Oracle DVD cannot be licensed separately. It comes with an Oracle DV license. Using Oracle DV allows you to “See the Signals” on any device. Desktop, tablet or browser, it does not matter.

Oracle DV uses the same platform whether you use it in the Cloud or on-premise. This means that you can start very small. If you start with an Oracle Data Visualization Cloud Service, you can start with a subscription of 5 users for as little as $75 per user per month. If Oracle DVCS proves its value, you can easily choose to move to e.g. the Oracle BI Cloud Service (BICS) without the need to start all over.

The Quistor Business Analytics and Big Data practice is specialized in the Oracle Business Analytics offer. If we need to put the offer into more context, we are happy to help you out. Although Oracle Data Visualization is designed to be easily executed by the business, you might need some help to get started. Again, we are happy to put you on the right track.

Please get in contact with me, so we can start telling the story behind your figures.

This article was originally written for the 4th edition of the Quistor QPulse.

New pricing for Oracle BICS & DVCS

For those who have missed the news, Oracle has lowered the prices for Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service (BICS) and Oracle Data Visualization Cloud Service (DVCS)!

Find below the list pricing per month for both products:

** BICS **

Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service: 130 euro per month, per user

Oracle Database Schema Service: 868 euro per month

** DVCS **

Oracle Data Visualization Cloud Service: 65 euro per month, per user

Self Service Business Analytics is great but there is more.

Last week I read an article from Bernard Marr about why #SelfService #BI, #Analytics and #Reporting might not be such a good idea.

There is a growing need with Business Users to do things themselves. The world is changing fast and there are situations where people want to act quickly to stay ahead of the competition. In this situations the use of various (sources) of data is essential. Some of this data is available in environments managed by IT. This data is modelled, governed and validated. Everyone who looks at these figures will get the same results; ‘One version of the Truth’. But what if there is additional data necessary? What if Sales data needs to be combined with figures about vistors or weather data. This kind of data normally is not available in an IT managed Data Warehouse. Still this data can be essential to make deciscions about increasing Sales based on visitors and weather conditions. In these case it might not be desirable to wait for IT before they combine and deliver the different data sources. Self Service capabilities would offer a Business User the tools to analyse this data.

“Oracle’s Business Analytics Product offering focusses on IT as well as the Business. It’s Oracle’s vision to support both to be able to realize the full potential of Analytics.”

Early this year there was a lot of noise about the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms. I wrote about the differences of opinion between Oracle and Gartner.

Gartner writes the following in their Summary; “The BI and analytics platform market’s multiyear shift from IT-led enterprise reporting to business-led self-service analytics has passed the tipping point. Most new buying is of modern, business-user-centric platforms forcing a new market perspective, significantly reordering the vendor landscape.”

Oracle’s Business Analytics Product offering focusses on IT as well as the Business. It’s Oracle’s vision to support both to be able to realise the full potential of Analytics.

Oracle’s Business Analytics Product offering

From what you can see from the picture below is that Oracle’s Business Analytics offers a Business Driven Data Visualization Suite. This suite includes products like Visual Analyzer and the Oracle Data Visualisation Desktop (DVD). Read some more about Oracle Data Vizualisation License Pricing here. Next to the Business Driven Data Visualization Suite Oracle offers IT Supported integrated platforms like OBI 12c and the Oracle BI Cloud Service (BICS).

Oracle’s strategy is to deliver the Oracle Business Analytics Product offering both On-Premise as well as in the Cloud. It does not matter where you use Oracle’s products, they are build on the same footprint.

One of the great advantages of the Oracle Business Analytics Product offering is that Oracle is able to combine IT curated data and additional data at runtime. If we go back to the previous example of the Sales Data combined with figures about vistors or weather data. Oracle Business Analytics allows you to upload a sheet or connect another Data Source. A Business User is able to connect the Sales data from the IT Supported Data Warehouse with external Data Sources (visitors, weather). All of this without interference of IT.

See the picture below. There is one Source of Truth where we can retrieve Revenue Data. The Oracle BI Server’s Computation Engine allows to combine Revenue Data with personal Forecasts. Both Data Sources can be combined into one visual. No need to export data to e.g. Excel and analyse data there.

 

I believe in Oracle’s strategy when it comes to Business Intelligence and Analytics. If necessary or desired, I would be happy to put things in context.

Daan Bakboord

Originally written for LinkedIn.