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In the Know

Expanding the range of enterprise analysis puts new insight into workers’ hands.

by Alison Weiss, November 2013

International Data Corporation predicts that digital data will likely reach 40 trillion gigabytes by 2020. Managers must make sense of this large unstructured data, applying business intelligence and discovery capabilities to gain new insight, innovate, and keep ahead of competitors. Release 3.1 of the Oracle Endeca Information Discovery product family enables regular enterprise users—not just analysts and IT—to easily upload data from diverse sources to look for patterns and discover trends.


According to Richard Tomlinson, director of product management for Oracle Endeca Information Discovery, the product can consume any type of data—anything from personal files on a user’s desktop or big data in Apache Hadoop. Oracle Endeca Information Discovery uses a NoSQL-like approach to organize data, and then uses search to index every attribute consumed. This instantly gives end users, not just data scientists, a platform for discovery. “We can bring in data from a variety of sources and run it in-memory—crossing traditional analytics with search and making it all interactive,” Tomlinson says.

This new release provides a much wider variety of datasources for end users and the ability to easily build data discovery applications using a “mashup” of sources that can be layered together—including data warehouses and Hadoop, Microsoft Excel, Oracle Business Intelligence, and data from social media and the web.

The newest release also makes it very easy to share data with people across the enterprise by exporting insights into familiar tools such as Microsoft PowerPoint and e-mail. And release 3.1 offers robust features for creating modern, rich charts and graphs in addition to multilayered heat maps. “New insights are discovered not in isolation but by people collaborating,” Tomlinson says.

In this age of insight, everyone needs access to quality data analysis.
Richard Tomlinson,
Director of Product Management, Oracle Endeca

While Oracle Endeca Information Discovery can be used across all industries, it offers real benefits when answering key supply chain management questions related to tracking product supply, managing inventory stores, and even monitoring supplier relationships.

For example, Oracle Endeca Information Discovery answers more-traditional analytical questions: How much is a particular snack food selling? If the sales numbers are down, the ability to explore a new breadth of datasources can produce insight into why numbers may have dropped.

Regarding supplier relationships, the tool can reveal not only what vendors are being used but also whether these vendors should be used by searching and comparing current expenses with competitors’ prices.

40 Trillion Gigabytes
Amount of electronically stored digital data by 2020 (Source: International Data Corporation, The Digital Universe in 2020, 2012)

According to Tomlinson, business insight comes from users effectively querying as many data sets as their creativity, experience, and intellect require. That flexibility exposes different data associations, new complexity, and better decision-making.

“Managers and line workers are literally hands on with a great excess of data—searching, questioning, and finding new insights buried in the enterprise,” says Tomlinson. “In this age of insight, everyone needs access to quality data analysis.”

Alison Weiss is a freelance writer in the San Francisco Bay Area and a frequent contributor to Profit.

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