National Instruments Introduces New Business Intelligence Solutions—Runs Reports up to 30x Faster, and Expands Customer Insight
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National Instruments Introduces New Business Intelligence Solutions—Runs Reports up to 30x Faster, and Expands Customer Insight

Since 1976, National Instruments has equipped engineers and scientists with automated test equipment and virtual instrumentation software solutions that accelerate productivity, innovation, and time to market. Its open, graphical programming software and modular hardware provide an integrated platform that facilitates development of any system that requires measurement and control.

The company has 10,000 diverse products and offices in more than 40 countries. Historically, National Instruments was a product-driven company that was often ahead of the curve. It recently looked to balance this approach with an expanded focus on understanding its customers and their needs. Accurate and timely business intelligence (BI) was essential to this effort.




A word from National Instruments

  • “Oracle Exadata Database Machine was a game changer for our business intelligence initiatives, opening a new world of opportunity. We also gained headroom to grow without the need to rework our architecture. During our proof of concept, we saw a 15-fold to 30-fold improvement in reporting speed.” – Paul Franco, Business Intelligence Manager, National Instruments Corp.

  • Create a highly scalable BI infrastructure that can continue to grow as the company equips engineers and scientists with tools that accelerate productivity, innovation, and discovery
  • Improve performance of enterprise data warehouse and analytics solutions to expand employee adoption of BI tools
  • Accelerate rollout of new BI applications and dashboards, which took nine months on average to launch, to enable the company to use information as a competitive advantage
  • Provide accurate sales order and invoice information to each corporate location every morning


  • Deployed Oracle Exadata Database Machine and improved performance of the company’s BI environment, which is built on Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition—realizing a 125% increase in employees using BI tools in Q1 FY2013 over Q1 FY2012 and a 150% increase in reports created which help teams to better understand their customers’ needs
  • Accelerated extract, transform, load (ETL) processes by 6x to 10x and created BI reports 15x-to-30x faster in a proof of concept
  • Introduced new BI solutions and dashboards 25% faster within five months of deploying Oracle Exadata by eliminating the need to build out a physical data mart for each new application
  • Provided all branches and locations with timely, daily-order and invoice information by acquiring data from source systems every four hours instead of once daily and accelerating data warehouse refresh from eight hours to 90 minutes
  • Gained the ability to quickly load and process more than 300 gigabytes of web page activity data, so that it could be leveraged for customer analytics
  • Created a centralized data warehouse that follows a reference architecture, which enables faster access to data and a more efficient and cost-effective environment that is easier to maintain
  • Created a highly scalable infrastructure that can continue to grow with the test and measurement company
  • Used Oracle Advanced Compression to improve database performance and manageability, and leveraged Oracle Advanced Compression to optimize storage investment as data continues to grow
  • Used Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c to ensure high performance and streamline maintenance of the company’s business-critical BI environment

Why Oracle

National Instruments selected Oracle Exadata Database Machine, first and foremost, for its speed and performance. The company experienced exponential performance gains during a two-week proof of concept, in which ETL improved 6x to10x and reporting speed increased 10x to30x. The Oracle-to-Oracle migration would also facilitate the implementation and reduce total cost of IT ownership as the company and its IT team already had a strong Oracle skill set.

Implementation Process

National Instruments deployed Oracle Exadata within four months of its delivery. Oracle Consulting provided initial configuration support, and the company completed the balance of the turnkey implementation using in-house resources.

National Instruments is using Oracle Exadata in its BI solution development and production environments. It is beginning to use Oracle’s auto parallel capability and expects to see 20x-to-25x ETL performance gains.