Business Intelligence for Business Users
New version of Oracle’s BI Suite simplifies access to powerful analytics.
According to a recent Gartner survey, business intelligence (BI) is currently used by only about 28 percent of potential enterprise end users. It’s an ironic fact, given that BI is a powerful potential avenue for executives to mine swelling stores of transactional data to solve business problems, improve competitiveness, and make business processes more effective.
“Up until now, business intelligence tools have presented barriers to widespread, pervasive adoption by business users, as opposed to just analysts and power users,” says Paul Rodwick, vice president of product management, Oracle Business Intelligence.
That’s about to change, thanks to one of the most extensive BI research and development projects in the industry. The new version of Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition 11g, introduced in July 2010, provides a unified, interactive environment for business users to navigate and easily find the information they are looking for—delivered at the right time and in the right format.
Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition 11g provides a common environment for doing any kind of reporting and analysis. Business users can access business data through rich dashboards that feature a wide range of interactive charts, including visual displays such as geospatial information. The system also features powerful search technology that makes BI data accessible through keyword queries—much like a consumer search engine.
Collaboration capabilities allow users to share and discuss information in the system and to build consensus around data-driven decisions. Users can even elect to have relevant information proactively sent to their dashboard or e-mail, on their computer or mobile devices. “What Oracle has done with this latest release in a big way is to break down barriers and make BI usable by anyone in the organization,” says Rodwick.
Additionally, Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition 11g allows users to integrate BI content directly into transactional applications, such as Oracle E-Business Suite; Oracle’s PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and Siebel applications; and even SAP applications.
And with the new Action Framework feature, users no longer have to leave the BI environment to navigate to another application to take action. For example, if a dashboard is built for a procurement manager, they can easily move to order more products. For an accounts receivable manager, they can quickly place a credit hold on a particular customer. “Users shouldn’t have to figure out where they are or what tool they’re using,” Rodwick says.
Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition 11g offers business users incredible flexibility. Customers can create their own custom-built applications and dashboards, or they can purchase prebuilt Oracle BI applications that include role-based reports and dashboards across a wide variety of subject areas—such as sales, service, marketing, HR, and finance. In addition, while Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition 11g is optimized for Oracle assets, it is open and actively embraces all different data assets and all different environments.
“Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition 11g is appropriate for Oracle customers, customers with mixed or heterogeneous environments, or organizations that don’t even have any Oracle applications or databases, because Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition, and specifically the BI server, allows users to map to any business-relevant datasource in the organization,” Rodwick says.