Friday, November 21, 2008

Recession is perfect time to make the MDM business case, Gartner speaker says

"Instead of viewing the current economic downturn just as a dangerous time to be survived, companies should also consider it an opportunity to look inward to improve efficiencies, Lay said. Improved master data – be it customer or product data – can help companies do just that, he said."
"If, for example, you can illustrate how better master data will lead to improved cross-selling and – ultimately -- increased profits, executives and line-of-business managers are more likely to listen.

Or identify "processes that are on fire," which, once corrected by MDM, will give the company a leg-up on competitors that are content to maintain the status quo during a downturn.

"Now is the time to start putting the fires out," Lay said. "[As data management pros], we must be savvy about business processes" like supply chain management, cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, and marketing campaigns, and understand how MDM can improve them, he said."
"It is important, too, for data management pros to target their MDM business cases to the right people, he said. To do that, having identified a broken business process that better master data can help fix, the next step is identifying the correct business stakeholder to pitch.

"Find something that really matters, a hot-button issue," Lay said, "then find the person who owns the broken process."

If data management pros follow this advice, he said, they are virtually guaranteed success. "I've never seen this thing fail to get a constructive response.""

Recession is perfect time to make the MDM business case, Gartner speaker says
By Jeff Kelly, News Editor19 Nov 2008,289142,sid91_gci1339507,00.html?track=NL-340&ad=675432&asrc=EM_NLN_5063783&uid=4087156

Thursday, November 20, 2008

12 Technologies That Pay Off in a Recession

  • "Open-Source Software – It’s true that over a three- to five-year return on investment window, proprietary software can be viewed as being less expensive, but with a price of acquisition near zero, open source is hard to ignore.
  • Virtualization Software – The basic concept of virtualization is to increase the utilization rate of existing hardware assets. That’s music to the ears of customers under extreme budget pressure.
  • Managed Services – Labor is still the biggest expense when it comes to IT. Reducing the cost of labor around IT is at the top of the CFO’s agenda.
  • Cloud Computing – Perhaps this is little more than hosted services by another name. But when everybody is using the same set of buzzwords, it’s best to pay close attention.
  • Software as a Service – Whether it’s delivered by a major vendor or a local solution provider, SAAS is a solution to be considered for customers short on capital expense budgets required to build on-premises applications.
  • Security – How security is achieved may be going through a major transformation, but the need for it has never been more acute. Governance – Along with risk management and compliance, the whole downturn in the economy has empowered government officials to introduce even more regulations.
  • Business Intelligence – The downturn in the economy has people all over the business community looking for more insight. Systems Management – Reducing the number of people required to manage IT systems is going to resonate with customers as they struggle through the downturn.
  • Storage Management – Regardless of the state of the economy, the amount of data that needs to be managed continues to grow exponentially.
  • Video Conferencing – All the talk is about unified communications, but when you get right down to it, customers are trying to reduce travel costs.
  • Green IT – This is going to be a whole lot less about saving carbons and a whole lot more on reducing energy costs."

Making Money on Technology in a Recession
DATE: 2008-11-19
By Michael Vizard

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Interesting quotes and links about economic condictions and BI

"BI has remained a number-one priority in good times and bad for the last three or four years. Whether you're reading Gartner or a variety of other people who track these things, people are just trying to do everything they can to have better operational efficiency," he indicates. "They need to grow their sales and cut their staff and slash expenses at the same time. Look at Starbucks. They just said they want to close something like 400 stores. Obviously, they want to keep the profitable ones open and close the unprofitable ones. They want to know where they can best allocate resources to open new stores. Only business intelligence can give them that kind of insight."

Is Open Source BI at a Tipping Point?
By Stephen Swoyer

The building blocks of (and biggest impediments to) analytic success, proponents say, are the same people and process issues that frustrate all would-be transformative efforts. You must understand your business processes. You must have done the infrastructure heavy lifting to optimize those processes (by delivering timely connectivity to operational systems or by ensuring the quality of the data that you're feeding into your analytic pipeline). You must have creative, talented folks on staff. Without these elements, even best-in-class analytics (with the most elegant data models or smartest algorithms) won't help you.
"Our point of view is grounded in convergence -- the convergence of analytics, business processes, and the IT architecture. No longer can we approach our customers by only focusing on analytics; we have to broaden our view a bit and look at the bigger picture -- [such as] what is the existing business process that we're looking to optimize, or how can we integrate predictive analytics into the IT infrastructure that supports the business process," says Chris Hamlin, vice-president of enterprise solutions with statistical analysis powerhouse SPSS Inc.
"For our customers, that means understanding those [business processes and] making investments in really smart people, people with enterprise architecture experience, [and] people who understand Web infrastructure."
"It starts with the data itself. You're always measuring things. Stepping back, you need to look at what you're measuring. Are you measuring what matters most? What else could you measure? Where do you perhaps have a blind spot?" says Ann Milley, senior director of analytics strategy with SAS.
It's tempting, Milley says, to sift through everything. There's a finite amount of what she calls "analytic bandwidth," however. "There's a lot of data out there, so … what it comes down to is a case of analytic bandwidth. There's a shortage of analytic talent that can really help you tap into the value of your data. If you're measuring everything -- if you're not trying to understand what you're measuring and prioritize it accordingly -- you're going to saturate that bandwidth."
Analytic talent is a rare and pricey commodity -- one that tends to be difficult to attract (and considerably more difficult to retain) during times of economic tumult. The paradox of economic hardship, as Gartner Inc. and other industry watchers like to point out, is that companies that have the means will in many cases pay more to acquire and retain top IT talent.
"Sometimes it's a good thing to outsource. Bring in a fresh perspective and a new set of eyes. Most of our Global 2000 [customers] typically have some analytic expertise, but you've still got departments where analytics isn't as widely adopted," she says. "Most companies know that they've got to do … something about the problem that they want to solve. If it's just a matter of analytic bandwidth, it might be time to say, 'Let's go outside of our organization and tap into someone else.' It might be temporary, but if we get good results, it might be project after project."

There's much to be said for a fresh perspective, she argues. "We get cases where [customers have] brilliant model builders but someone else will say, 'You know what? This is the way we've been doing it for a long time. We just want you to come in and take a look at our model and our approach and tell us if there's anything we can do to make it better.'"

There's a further wrinkle here. According to SPSS' Hamlin, one goal of any analytic investment should be to make it pervasive: to expose it to as many consumers as possible and to present it in such a way that it can meaningfully influence (and in many cases drive) decision-making. In this regard, then, analytic technology must above all be usable, either on a standalone basis (via a spreadsheet or analytic workbench, for example), or embedded in third-party software.
"One area that we've paid a lot of attention to is how we deploy analytics or guidance around a decision, or how we integrate [analytics] around a business process. That means embedding analytics as part of the process" she asserts.

"If I am a call center agent for an insurance company and I have to walk a customer around a series of questions to help them determine how to handle their claim, I'm not focused on the predictive process that's going on in the background [that] drives those questions and determines where to route that data," Hamlin continues. "A real focus for us has been how do we prepare an environment and build an environment where predictive analytics are being deployed seamlessly into where people already work?"

Analytic Insight: It's All About People and Processes
By Stephen Swoyer

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Essabse + OBIEE = Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)

  • Essbase is a key part of Oracle’s Business Intelligence Foundation Layer
  • Essbase and Hyperion Performance Management Applications can play several roles in this architecture
    ‣ As a data source
    ‣ As a data consumer
    ‣ As a portal for all Oracle BI
    ‣ As a MS Office integration point
  • Essbase can benefit from Oracle BI Enterprise Semantic Model
  • OBIEE can benefit from Essbase calculations and analytics

Performance Management and BI Applications:

  • Share two common ETL tools
    ‣ Informatica PowerCenter, a.k.a. Essbase Data Integration Management
    ‣ Oracle Data Integrator, uses custom Knowledge Modules for OBIEE / Essbase load
  • ODI likely to be the strategic ETL tool going forward
  • Potential to combine Performance Management Applications loading with the main DW ETL process of BI Applications

Essbase and Oracle BI EE Integration Points

1. Essbase can be a data source for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition

  • OBIEE can connect to multidimensional as well as relational sources (Microsoft Analysis Services, SAP B/W, now Essbase 9.3.1/11.1)
  • Import process converts the multidimensional view into a relational view
  • Essbase cubes, dimensions, hierarchies converted to a logical relational star schema
  • Essbase data can then be combined with data from sources
  • Typically used to bring in budget, forecast data etc from Essbase into OBIEE logical model
2. The OBIEE Semantic Model can be a data source for Essbase cubes
  • Essbase Studio can connect to Oracle BI Server as a data source
  • Oracle BIEE Presentation Layer Folders appear as databases
  • Connects via HTTP rather than ODBC, JDBC
  • Brings across tables, columns (not hierarchies)
  • Provides access to the data federation & metadata capabilities of OBIEE

3. SmartSpace can consume both Essbase and OBIEE data sources

  • Smart View and Smart Space 11.1 support OBIEE from releases
  • Works through Provider Services, but Provider Services / Essbase license not required for use
  • OBIEE added as a data source, connects via JDBC
  • OBIEE content can be viewed within Smart Space gadgets
    ‣ Oracle BI Answers
    ‣ Oracle BI Publisher
    ‣ Oracle BI Delivers
    ‣ Oracle BI Dashboards

4. Hyperion Workspace can host OBIEE Dashboards, Answers, Delivers and Publisher

  • From OBIEE and Hyperion EPM 11.1, OBIEE tools can be embedded in Hyperion Workspace
  • Access all tools through a common UI
    ‣ Oracle BI Dashboards
    ‣ Oracle BI Answers
    ‣ Oracle BI Delivers
    ‣ Oracle BI Publisher

Monday, August 4, 2008

From Operational Business Intelligence to Competing on Decisions by James Taylor

I recommend this article. Real time analytics is not the same as Operational Analytics.

Oracle BI Applications offer pre-built content for accomplishing operational BI. Collaboration between ERP and Analytics teams is required in order to successfully integrate Operational BI solutions. Learn more about Operational BI:

Competing on decisions requires a number of changes to the way you think about business intelligence and about data more generally.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Using Embedded BI Analytics for Near-Real-Time Decisions and Actions

What is the Simple Object Access Protocol?
The Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) is a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommendation for an XML protocol for exchanging information on the Web.

What is Oracle BI Web Services?
Oracle BI Web Services is an application programming interface (API) that implements SOAP. Oracle BI Web Services allows you to perform three types of function:

  • Extract results from Oracle BI Presentation Services and deliver them to external applications.
  • Perform Oracle BI Presentation Catalog management functions.
  • Execute Oracle Business Intelligence alerts (known as iBots).

Oracle BI Web Services allows external applications such as J2EE and .NET to use Oracle Business Intelligence as an analytical calculation and data integration engine. It provides a set of Presentation Services that allow external applications to communicate with Oracle BI Presentation Services. One can use Oracle BI Web Services to extract results from Oracle BI Presentation Services and deliver them to external applications and Web application environments. One can reference a saved report or send the criteria for the report to Oracle BI Web Services.

The formal definition of services and methods in Oracle BI Web Services can be retrieved in WSDL (Web Services Definition Language) format. Proxy classes for the services can be generated automatically.

The XML Schema Definition (XSD) file for the services is the file SawServices.xsd, which is located in the \Web\App\Res\Wsdl\Schemas directory in the Oracle Business Intelligence Platform installation directory. The XSD file is used internally and cannot be used separately.

Oracle BI Web Services is supported on Oracle JDeveloper, Apache Axis, and the Microsoft .NET framework.

For more information about the SOAP recommendation, consult a reference such as the Microsoft Developer Network or the W3C Web site.

In conclusion, this is SOA technology which can be leverage to build operational BI application, so organization can accomplish Near-Real-Time Decisions and Actions by using Embedded BI Analytics in OLTP.

For more information: read How Oracle BI applications handle real time analysis? or view on demand webcast Using Embedded BI Analytics for Near-Real-Time Decisions and Actions.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Whirlpool Saves Millions Optimizing Marketing Programs

When faced with a series of business challenges—how to centralize customer information, manage marketing campaigns internally, and better-capitalize on sales opportunities—Whirlpool chose to implement Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition.

See the successful results. (PDF)

Field Reference Forum

How Oracle BI applications handle real time analysis?

First lets define what real time means:

"There is a wide variety of definitions for the different types of right-time BI processing that exist, but most real-time BI requirements can be placed into one of four main categories: right-time data integration, right-time data reporting, right-time performance management and right-time automated actions." Colin White DM Review Magazine, September 2004

Drill between dashboards and transaction applications.
You can click a link in an interactive dashboard or report to drill to a transaction page in a new browser window for more details, while maintaining the data and security.The following case scenarios explains the concept of drill through available since Siebel Analytics Applications 7.5.

Companies need to provide their sales force with the ability to interact with the data in a rich and meaningful manner – so they can diagnose issues and not just spot them. In short, sales force organizations need to be able to see both the forest and the trees if they wants to be able to understand why things are happening. They needs to ability to see something and drill into it (click) to understand what’s going on – like in this example where the user sees something he or she does not like in the pipeline and drills into it (click), eventually seeing the actual deals that comprise the segment he or she is most interested in (click).

Creating a Micro ETL Execution Plan using the Data Warehouse Application Console (DAC)
Micro ETL execution plans are ETL processes that you schedule at very frequent intervals, such as hourly or half-hourly. They usually handle small subject areas or subsets of larger subject areas. The DAC tracks refresh dates for tables in micro ETL execution plans separately from other execution plans and uses these refresh dates in the change capture process.

Caution: Micro ETL processes can cause issues with data inconsistencies, data availability, and additional load on the transactional database. Therefore, you should consider the following factors before implementing a micro ETL process:

  • For related star schemas, if one schema is omitted from a micro ETL execution plan, the cross-star reports may be inaccurate. For example, if the Person fact table is refreshed more frequently than the Revenue fact table, a report that spans the Person and Revenue dimensional schemas may produce inconsistent results.

  • If you omit dimension tables from a micro ETL execution plan, the foreign keys for the fact tables will point to Unspecified rows for the new dimension records. The foreign key references will be resolved when the Complete ETL execution plan is run, but users of the reports should be aware of such inconsistencies.

  • If you do not include aggregate tables in micro ETL execution plans, the reports that use data from these tables will be inconsistent with the reports that use data from the detailed fact tables. However, if aggregate tables are included in the micro ETL execution plan, the aggregate calculations are performed for each ETL process, which will take a constant amount of time and may be inefficient to perform at such frequent intervals.

  • Hierarchy tables are rebuilt during every ETL execution plan by querying the base dimension tables. This operation takes a constant amount of time. If the base tables are big, this operation may take a long time and may be inefficient if the micro ETL execution plan runs several times a day. However, if you avoid populating the hierarchy tables during micro ETL processes, data inconsistencies will occur.

  • With micro ETL execution plans, caching will occur more frequently, which may have performance implications.

  • Micro ETL execution plans will put more load on the transactional database because of the frequent extracts.

How Oracle BI Applications handle real-time is one of the many advantage that they have to offer. My advice is to work with your clients and first define what real-times means to them; then innovate in stead of reinventing the wheel. The out of the box functionality, in my experience, tends to over deliver the BI requirements of every project that I have worked. I always keep in mind that Siebel now Oracle has smart people working with the biggest organization in the world. Their business is to build software application. I rather reuse and learn new techniques than increase the risk by creating from scratch. I am in the business of implementing software solution. Data entities are constants what change is the context of their use; therefore, trying to understand business requirements from the data and process view will help in the gap analysis and mapping process.

Three distinct pieces of metadata: ETL, rpd and webcat.
One single model – not building separate marts, just extending the same central mart. This is why.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Hyperion System 9 and Oracle BI EE Plus

Basic Definitions before we dive into Hyperion System 9 and Oracle BI Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) Plus

What is a data warehouse?

A data warehouse is a collection of data marts representing historical data from different operations in the company. This data is stored in a structure optimized for querying and data analysis as a data warehouse. Table design, dimensions and organization should be consistent throughout a data warehouse so that reports or queries across the data warehouse are consistent. A data warehouse can also be viewed as a database for historical data from different functions within a company.

What is a data mart?
A data mart is a segment of a data warehouse that can provide data for reporting and analysis on a section, unit, department or operation in the company, e.g. sales, payroll, production. Data marts are sometimes complete individual data warehouses which are usually smaller than the corporate data warehouse.

What are the benefits of data warehousing?
Data warehouses are designed to perform well with aggregate queries running on large amounts of data.The structure of data warehouses is easier for end users to navigate, understand and query against unlike the relational databases primarily designed to handle lots of transactions.Data warehouses enable queries that cut across different segments of a company's operation. E.g. production data could be compared against inventory data even if they were originally stored in different databases with different structures.

Queries that would be complex in very normalized databases could be easier to build and maintain in data warehouses, decreasing the workload on transaction systems. Data warehousing is an efficient way to manage and report on data that is from a variety of sources, non uniform and scattered throughout a company. Data warehousing is an efficient way to manage demand for lots of information from lots of users. Data warehousing provides the capability to analyze large amounts of historical data for nuggets of wisdom that can provide an organization with competitive advantage.

OLAP - Online Analytics Processing
OLAP tools typically provide multi-dimensional functionalities, such as slicing and dicing, and pivoting query results, which require the underlying database to be designed in a multi-dimensional schema. Furthermore, some OLAP tools have specific preference for either star schemas or snowflake schemas (ROLAP), and some tools(MOLAP) even provide their own proprietary DBMS engine (e.g Hyperion System 9) Using the wrong database design could prevent the OLAP tool from functioning properly – or at all.

Hyperion System 9 is a comprehensive Business Performance Management system that
integrates modular suites of financial management applications with the most comprehensive
business intelligence (BI) capabilities for reporting and analysis.

Major components of Hyperion System 9:
Hyperion System 9 Foundation Services
Hyperion System 9 BI+ Analytics
Hyperion System 9 Applications+
Hyperion System 9 Data Management Services

To download System 9 Components, read my previous entry Oracle BI EE Plus and Hyperion products available for download

Foundation Services:
Hyperion License Server
Hyperion System 9 Shared Services
Hyperion System 9 Smart View for Office
BI+ Analytics:
Hyperion System 9 BI+ Analytic Services
Hyperion System 9 BI+ Analytic Administration Services
Hyperion System 9 BI+ Analytic Integration Services
Hyperion System 9 BI+ Analytic Provider Services
BI+ :
Hyperion System 9 BI+ Interactive Reporting - OBIEE Plus
Hyperion System 9 BI+ Financial Reporting - OBIEE Plus
Hyperion System 9 BI+ Production Reporting - OBIEE Plus
Hyperion System 9 BI+ Web Analysis - OBIEE Plus
Hyperion System 9 BI+ Enterprise Metrics
Hyperion System 9 Planning
Hyperion System 9 Financial Management
Hyperion System 9 Performance Scorecard
Hyperion System 9 Strategic Finance
Hyperion System 9 Translation Manager
Data Management Services:
Hyperion System 9 Master Data Management
Hyperion System 9 Data Integration Management
Hyperion System 9 Financial Data Quality Management

Hyperion System 9 Workspace is the Web client for BI+, Planning, and Financial
Management and is part of the BI+ installation. Hyperion System 9 BPM Architect is part
of the Financial Management and Planning installations.

System 9 OLAP Data Sources:

System 9 Relational Data Repositories:
Some relational databases are supported as both data repositories and data sources.
Products that require a dedicated data repository:

  • Analytic Administration Services—A dedicated database repository is required for Analytic Administration Services only if Log Analyzer is used.
  • Analytic Integration Services
  • BI+
  • BPM Architect—Oracle client must be installed on the Dimension server.
  • Data Integration Management
  • FDM
  • Financial Management
  • Hyperion MDM
  • Performance Scorecard
  • Planning
  • Shared Services
  • Translation Manager

Products on which Oracle 10g- is supported:

  • Analytic Administration Services
  • BI+
  • BPM Architect
  • Data Integration Management
  • Financial Management
  • Planning
  • Shared Services
  • Translation Manager

  • Siebel Analytics Platform ~ OBIEE

    Supported Databases:

    Certified Multidimensional Data Source:

    The Essbase cubes will be a data source for the Siebel Analytics/Oracle BI Server. Oracle has the connectivity built but has to get it in a release, most likely the end of the year.

    Support for ODBC Data Sources

    Oracle Business Intelligence support for ODBC allows Oracle Business Intelligence Server, when operating on Windows, to query any relational database management system—either as a data warehouse, an operational data store or as a transactional system—that supports the ODBC 2.0, 2.1 or 3.5 standards.

    Friday, August 10, 2007

    Oracle BI EE Plus and Hyperion products available for download

    A week ago Oracle announced a new version of its flagship BI suite of tool "Oracle BI Enterprise Edition Plus"

    It includes four products from Hyperion:

    • Hyperion Interactive Reporting

    • Hyperion SQR Production Reporting Hyperion SQR Production Reporting

    • Hyperion Financial Reporting g Hyperion Financial Reporting

    • Hyperion Web Analysis Hyperion Web Analysis

    Oracle BI EE Plus goes for 1,700 instead of 1,500 - Oracle BI EE.

    For a brief description of Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition Plus Components can be found here

    Finally, Hyperion products are available for download. I recommend all certified Siebel Analytics ~ Oracle BI consultants to take advantage of this opportunity.

    The Essbase cubes will be a data source for the Siebel Analytics/Oracle BI Server. Oracle has the connectivity built but has to get it in a release, most likely the end of the year.

    Thursday, August 9, 2007

    How much a Siebel Analytics/Oracle BI Consultant is worth these days?

    HotGigs collects and aggregates hourly bill rate data from the thousands of consultants on their Staffing Exchange and provides rate research summary data as a free service to their visitors.

    According to HotGigs the average hourly bill rate for a Oracle BI Consultant is 137.50. I recommend using this service to plan for contract resources and to compare bill rates against the market.

    Tuesday, August 7, 2007

    Operational Analytics

    In Fall of 2003, Siebel Systems conducted a test in which user of Siebel eBusiness Applications could drill down to an Analytics Dashboard. The test was a success. The ability to drill down from an operational system to an analytics application was first announced with release of Siebel Analytics application 7.7.
    By mid 2004, the sells of Siebel Analytics applications surpassed the Sales of Siebel Analytics Platform ~ BI Suite of Tools. By the end of the same year, Siebel Analytics (application and tools) sales revenue was second to revenue in sales of Siebel eBusiness Application or CRM offering. At the time Siebel Systems was acquired by Oracle, it was considering the industry leader in CRM applications. Nevertheless, it was not known by its BI offering.
    Last week Oracle announced Industry's First Enterprise Performance Management System which is the integration of Transactional Systems, Financial Performance Management and Operational BI Systems.

    I am a Siebel Analytics Certified Master Consultant. I have clients who had integrated Siebel CRM and Analytics applications in order to provide true pervasive capability. Oracle's Vision for an EMP system is a reality. Just asked any organization that is able to drill from a Siebel CRM application into Siebel Analytics application.

    Oracle BI EE = Siebel Analytics Platform
    Oracle BI Applications = Siebel Relationship Management Warehouse (RMW) and Customer Centric Warehouse

    Oracle's Vision for an EMP system

    This is a demo of Oracle's vision for Industry First Enterprise Performance Management System, from the EMP view of the world.

    Oracle Business Intelligence (BI)

    Oracle Business Intelligence (BI) is a portfolio of technology and applications that provides the industry's first integrated, end-to-end Enterprise Performance Management System, including category-leading financial performance management applications, operational BI applications, BI foundation and tools, and data warehousing.

    Oracle Business Intelligence Suite—Enterprise Edition Plus

    Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition Plus (EE) is a comprehensive BI platform that provides the best foundation for building enterprise BI solutions. Featuring a unified, highly scalable, modern architecture, BI EE provides intelligence and analytics from data spanning enterprise sources and applications, empowering the largest communities with complete and relevant insight. It includes a full range of easy-to-use and intuitive end user tools such as:

    Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition Components:

    • Oracle Interactive Dashboards

    • Oracle Answers

    • Oracle BI Reporting and Publishing

    • Oracle Disconnected Analytics

    • Oracle Office Plug-in

    • Oracle BI Server

    Hyperion Essbase:

    • Hyperion Interactive Reporting - System 9

    • Hyperion SQR Production Reporting - System 9

    • Hyperion Financial Reporting - System 9

    • Hyperion Web Analysis - System 9

    Information Week Research: Many Companies Plan to Increase BI Spending (March 2007)

    Thursday, August 2, 2007

    Enterprise Performance Management System

    For those of you that missed today web cast from Oracle, here is the link

    The future is called Oracle BI Suite Enterprise Edition Plus. The past was Siebel Analytics and Hyperion. In order for Siebel Analytics or Hyperion consultants to claim the title of Oracle BI Suite Enterprise Edition Plus consultant. We need to transfer knowledge and increase cooperation between the two groups. Break all barriers and seek a common goal which is to provide value to our customers.

    There is not a better example than the one Oracle and Hyperion are showing us in this web cast. No other product in the world come close to what this suite of tool is capable to deliver. Finally, in terms of BI applications, there is nothing out there able to compete against Oracle BI applications and when the integration with BMP applications from Hyperion is completed; it would take a long time and resources for the Germany to developed something similar organically. This is why Oracle acquired Hyperion, to position itself to delivery an
    Enterprise Performance Management System

    Wednesday, August 1, 2007

    Good example of implementing Siebel Analytics Right

    I know that because I was there working with the most incredible and committed staff from a client committed to do things right.

    Sunday, July 29, 2007

    Oracle Real-Time Decisions


    The Oracle Real-Time Decisions (Oracle RTD) platform allows you to develop enterprise software solutions that analyze business process behavior and make recommendations in real-time, allowing you to identify and address problems and opportunities as soon as they emerge.

    Inline Service refers to the configured application that is deployed using the components in the RTD environment. Oracle RTD consists of five components: Decision Studio, Real-Time Decision Server, Decision Center, Administration (JMX), and Load Generator. Inline Services are configured and deployed using Decision Studio and analyzed and updated using Decision Center. Inline Services run on Real-Time Decision Server. An Inline Service can gather data and analyze characteristics of enterprise business processes on a real-time and continuous basis. It also leverages that data and analysis to provide decision-making capability and feedback to key business processes.

    Related Information
    To learn more about Oracle RTD you can refer to:

    Tuesday, July 24, 2007

    ETL tool from Talend a member of Open Solutions Alliance

    Talend Open Studio provides advanced capabilities that dramatically improve the productivity of data integration job design; and proven scalability to ensure optimal execution.

    Talend Open Studio key benefits include:
    Business modeling
    Graphical development
    Metadata-driven design
    Real-time debugging
    Robust execution

    This is an Open Source ETL solution from Talend, a member of the Open Solution Alliance.

    The architecture is similar to Oracle Data Integrator and WhereScape Red. I recommend all three products to be included in an ETL solution selection task when it is required.

    Informatica is the tool of choice for an implementation of Siebel Analytics Application/Oracle BI Application. It is the leader in the market and it is a great product reason why Siebel chosen to partner with it. Nevertheless, these new products specificall WhereScape Red, are offering embedded best practices for multidimensional modeling and data warehouse design, part of the new paradigm of Service Oriented Architecture technology of which Siebel Analytics Application is a good example of it.

    WhereScape RED
    Oracle Data Integrator:
    Talend Open Studio:

    Monday, July 23, 2007

    How much is a Siebel Analytics Consultant worth now days?

    They are a lot of people out there who claim to be a Siebel Analytics consultant. Most of them do not have the experience or knowledge they claim in this technology. In order situations I found consulting firms claiming to specialize in it but in reality do not have the personnel nor the skills to handle the implementation.

    These people and/or organizations get the contracts because the underbid us. Then again, having the knowledge does not guarantee success. Chip Camden in his blog entry "Getting beyond the ‘bull’ perception"
    says it all.

    Clients most often go for the lower bid. It is understandable from the point of view of minimizing cost and bring profits up. Then again it is true what they say "you get what you paid for it".

    Saturday, July 14, 2007

    Labs Tip Dont Reinvent the Wheel

    It is amazing how much similarity I found between the subject of this article and common mistake made by most Siebel Analytics professionals in the field. My opinion has always been to improve upon existing ideas or solutions. It is a waist of time and resource to reinvent the wheel.

    I have clients calling with performance problems of ETL recurring daily jobs that takes more than 34 hours to complete. Just recently, I had a talk with a a fortune 500 with query performance of its application when the OLAP database is not more than 10 GB in size. Whenever I ask if they have built custom stars instead of trying to re utilize the one that come out of the box. I get an excuse that I have proven so many time to be wrong "Our needs were to specific or our OLTP is heavily customize"

    People, you are dealing with a new paradigm now. It is call service oriented architecture (SOA) Stop looking for programmers to implement these applications. They are all moving to the offshore centers so they can write the reusable code of these wonderful applications. What you need is the collaboration of your business and IT teams in your BI efforts. You will also need architects who understand the new technology and are able to interact with your team.

    Siebel Analytics Applications answer the who, what, where and when. Who are customers, vendors, employees, partners, etc. What are tangible and intangible products. Where is usually a refer to a geography dimensions or markets where you conduct business. When is your time dimension. It is unreal to believe what this client just told me yesterday "We had to build custom dimension because they were missing from the OOB model" I still thinking what does this client mean by that. I bet you own or have owned a product item from this client. That means that you are or were a customers of it. So why they did not use the W_PRODUCT_D, W_CONTACT_D and W_TIME_D is beyond me. Just take a look on how rich this model is by the picture of the star schema attached to this entry.
    Come on people, be serious, the model provides more than what any company needs. I believe the root of this problem is the lack of understand to dig into the intellectual property that comes with these applications.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2007

    This lady is one of the experts in the industry that I admire

    "It's been my experience that companies whose BI initiatives are aligned with their corporate strategies take two important steps. They:

    • Focus on the business value and eliminate their BI anarchy, and
    • Bring the appropriate resources to bear and use a collaborative approach to problem solving.

    I know it seems like there should be more to it than that, but these two steps can be applied to almost any company and situation. Every company has individual needs, of course, but I've found that companies that take these two steps are generally more effective at aligning BI and corporate strategy."

    Information Strategy:Putting the Business Back into Business Intelligence, Part 2

    Column published in DM Review Magazine
    June 2007 Issue

    Jane Griffin

    This is a very smart lady. I had the pleasure of meeting her in ATL while interviewing for a position. I still remember the set of questions she asked me. They had not relation with BI or Data Warehouse but some how I recognize their intelligent content, reason why I still remember them after 7 years and so many other interviews since them.

    I recommend this article from DMReview Magazine

    "A different view of BI is needed. The notion that BI projects are IT projects must be left behind. It's an outmoded way of using technology. BI projects should not be owned by IT. They are, at their very core (as the name implies), business projects that require extensive support from IT to implement."

    Information Strategy:Putting the Business Back into Business Intelligence Initiatives

    Column published in DM Review MagazineFebruary 2007 Issue

    By Jane Griffin

    I recommend this article from BI Review Magazine

    "It is clear that technology is not the root cause for the failure rate reported in the Howard Dresner article. Most failings rest on the shoulders of the business consumer who continually focuses on technology and data sources instead of the business strategy, processes, and definitions. Politics and unwillingness to accept the new paradigm, the continued application of traditional approaches and the lack of a cohesive workforce keeps many organizations in the batter's box and others at first base. BI is not about fancy Web-based reports providing statistics from compiled information in a data warehouse. BI is no longer just looking backwards. Technology now enables us to look at what is occurring at this instant and to forecast what may materialize. BI today is about guided decision-making through the delivery of information from a variety of available resources. The concept Howard Dresner raised 17 years ago is now accessible at new levels"

    Business Intelligence: The Chicken or The Egg
    From BI Review Magazine
    June 2007 IssueBy John Zeller June 1, 2007