Business Intelligence for All

Employees get complete analytics from Oracle’s New Global Single Instance.

November 2009

Oracle has seen great success in improving business processes by bringing its global enterprise resource planning (ERP) operations onto a single instance. In 2008, Oracle began implementing its own industry-leading business intelligence (BI) solutions to create a single instance for BI. Mark Field, Oracle’s vice president of enterprise reporting systems, reveals how Oracle’s BI single instance is helping the company enter a new era of business transformation.

Profit: How will Oracle’s BI single instance help contribute to management excellence?

Field: Implementing a BI single instance will impact operational excellence by allowing managers to get the information they need to run their organization based on information and fact instead of experience, fears, or opinions. Prior to having a BI single instance, Oracle had individual data warehouses with silos of information. Each was good at delivering information about individual business units, but it was very difficult and expensive to provide a corporatewide view of data. There was no one Oracle standard. Now, with a BI single instance, we can have an enterprise vision for BI that not only provides executive management with their dashboards, but that will ultimately provide BI information to every employee of the company from the same, single source. That is the vision that we now have. We’ve created the majority of the content, and the majority of the core BI and BI dashboards are in place. Now we’re just adding value to assets to provide a better perspective for business management.

Profit: What products are being used for the BI single instance?

Field: We’re using Oracle Database 11g; Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition Plus for the analytic technology; and Oracle Business Intelligence Applications 7.9.4.

Profit: How does a BI single instance help management set and reach business goals?

Field: The BI system enriches information. It transforms data into intelligence and aggregates it to show how we’re doing day-to-day and how to plan for where business needs to go in the next quarter or next year. BI is really helpful in defining new opportunities because you’re able to set goals and monitor progress toward obtaining those goals on a daily basis, instead of waiting until the end of the quarter to see if you’ve succeeded or not. So, the future you have in mind is the future you obtain. It’s extremely important because it is much easier to make a minor course correction on the second day of the quarter than on the second-to-last day of the quarter.

Profit: What are the latest improvements made to the BI single instance targeted at management?

Field: In summer of 2009, we launched the expense analytics solution to 11,000 managers. We’re also implementing Oracle Hyperion applications to provide a really tight enterprise performance management solution. Hyperion software will be used by finance at Oracle for financial analysis and planning. If users want details, they’ll go to a global corporate warehouse, where all the details will be stored. From the time we went live in January 2008 to May 31, 2009, 14,000 users have used the system and created 16,000 reports, on their own, which they ran 6 million times. Users can produce really sophisticated dashboards and reports, by themselves, without needing to go to IT to get them done. Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition Plus also comes with a usage tracking module to help us monitor how often reports get run and find out which solutions are not being used. We can see if there are areas that are not providing the return that we want.

Profit: What’s the biggest challenge to using the BI single instance to achieve management excellence?

Field: Not all managers will use the new reports—they have to be encouraged to do so. We can produce the most amazing reports, and when we demo them to the users, they say, “Oh, that looks fantastic.” But they don’t know what to do with information. They don’t know how to use the data in their day-to-day jobs. They’ve never been trained to use business intelligence when making decisions, so they don’t. It’s a challenge to encourage management to change and adopt new technology, but managers who can transition to managing using BI will likely succeed and thrive.

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