TECHNOLOGY: Business Intelligence
Putting Business Intelligence on the MapBy Mark Rittman
Map geographies and business information together to see results.
Most business intelligence applications include an element of spatial, or geographic, data—with sales and performance data often analyzed in terms of dimensions such as customer location, geography, and sales territory. Oracle Database, Enterprise Edition 11g Release 2, with the included Oracle Locator feature and the Oracle Spatial database option, can store spatial data such as maps and points of interest along with your data for analysis, and the Oracle Fusion Middleware MapViewer feature can render this spatial data in the form of Web-based interactive maps.
Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11g, part of Oracle Fusion Middleware, is preintegrated with MapViewer and gives you the ability to create business intelligence analyses and dashboards that include maps. This article looks at how to create map views and combine them with other data visualizations by using Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11g.
If you would like to try out the examples in this column, you can download the sample data and installation instructions. Download the sample spatial data and maps used by the examples separately from Oracle Technology Network.
Creating a Custom Point Layer Map
In the first example, you are analyzing retail data for stores in your organization. Most of your stores are in the San Francisco Bay Area, and you will now create a map view that places each store in its correct location, along with a legend and a store icon colored either red, amber, or green, depending on how well the store is performing. Prior to creating this map, you will need to configure Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11g to work with MapViewer and associate the maps and layers within your maps with subject area columns in your data set. The sample data download provided with this column contains instructions on how to perform this configuration, and the configuration is also described in Oracle Fusion Middleware System Administrator’s Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11g Release 1 (11.1.1).
To create the first map view, do the following:
Figure 1: The store icons on this map view of San Francisco reflect performance data.
You have now created your first map view. Once you have viewed the map, click the Home link at the top of the common header menu to return to the Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition home page.
Creating Thematic Maps
Your first map, OBIEE_SF_MAP1, used x and y coordinates to plot the location of your stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. In this next example, you will display a larger-scale map of the continental U.S. and place pie charts over the states in which the company operates, with the charts showing the breakdown of sales across product categories.
To create this map, do the following:
Click OK to save the settings, and then with the map view displayed, use the pan and zoom buttons to display the U.S. West Coast. Locate Oregon on the map, place your cursor over the pie chart, and then click the legend. Note that the state name and the product categories are all hyperlinks—you can use these to pass filter values to other analyses, as you will see in a moment. For now, though, save this map to the Presentation Server catalog, using the name Country and State Map.
Using Master-Detail Actions
Because map views are fully integrated into Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11g, you can use links displayed in map legends to pass parameters to other views. By doing this, you can make selections by using the map view and use these to change the values displayed in associated chart, table, and other views.
In this final example, you will use the Country and State Map you created previously to drive changes in two other views. To do this, start by creating two additional analyses that you will later link to the map view.
Now you can start to add links between the map and these new analyses, using the new master-detail linking feature introduced in Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11g.
To make use of master-detail linking for these examples, first configure the analysis containing the map to broadcast master-detail event messages for the Product Category and Country and State Code columns and then configure individual views within the last two analyses you created to listen for these events:
To view the analyses together and check that the two detail-level analyses respond to selections made in the map view, select Dashboard -> My Dashboard from the common header menu and use the dashboard editor to add the three analyses to a new dashboard page, with the map displayed in a section just above the two detail-level analyses, as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: This dashboard page displays pie charts and detail-level analyses.
Save and then run the new dashboard, which should look like Figure 2. Move your cursor over the pie chart displayed over California, and click the legend to display the action links. Click the Gifts product category, and watch how the bar chart listens for and displays your product category selection. Now click the USA_CA link in the legend, and see how it changes the values displayed in the table. You can use map views to display data with a geographic component and use map selections to drive filter value changes in other analyses on the dashboard.
Most business intelligence applications include an element of geographic data, and the new integrated mapping feature in Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11g makes it easy to visualize this data in the form of rich, interactive maps. With master-detail links, users can connect map views to other views, creating an interactive query environment built around geographic and other data.
Mark Rittman is an Oracle ACE Director, cofounder of Rittman Mead Consulting, and an executive board member of the Oracle Development Tools User Group. He writes for the Rittman Mead blog at rittmanmead.com/blog.