A chart is worth a thousand words – only when it’s used appropriately (Part 2)

| Aug 26, 2012
Charts are informative and widely adopted in Business Intelligence. However, sometime they are misused and generates no business insights but confusion. In my last post, we've discussed about Line Chart and Pie Chart. Today let's continue the same topic by examining map, gauge and Trellis.

Map Chart

Maps have been used to visualize information since the early phase of human civilization. Now in the recent years, thanks to the digitalization of maps more and more quantitative analysis of location related information can be performed on top of map. Furthermore, with powerful spatial systems such as Oracle Spatial, the business (more...)

A chart is worth a thousand words – only when it’s used appropriately (Part 1)

| May 6, 2012
People love charts and graphs. They are intuitive, less intimidating (compare with big fat spreadsheet) and more informative. However, every now and then, I've seen people force data into unsuitable charts, not for revealing business insight purpose but for just having some color and graph on their BI reports. In those cases charts provide no value add but duplication or confusion, in terms of analysis. In this post, I will examine a few OBIEE chart types which I believe are important but sometime not used in the most appropriate way by end users.

Line Chart

Lines work better than any other means to make (more...)

Endeca – upgrade release and learning material from Oracle

| Apr 29, 2012
It has been about 3 months since the finish of Oracle's Endeca acquisition. Last week, a new version was released: Endeca Information Discovery (EID) 2.3. This new release comes with enhancements for three major parts of EID - Latitude Data Integrator, Endeca Server and Endeca Studio. 

For Endeca Latitude Data Integrator, the enhancements are focus on the ease of use for developer, and text enrichment with Sentiment. 

Endeca Server, a new Java Server are introduced to simplify process management. As a single access point for query, Endeca Server manages named data stores (previously known as "DGraph"). Endeca Server (more...)

Discovery channel – provided by Endeca Studio

| Feb 28, 2012
Besides a unique way of organizing data, Endeca also provides an innovative interface for exploring and discovering information. Today let's have a closer look at the end user layer of EID - Endeca Studio.

Endeca Studio is a interactive, component-based environment for building analytic applications powered by MDEX Engine. It is built on web-based Liferay infrastructure that enable building analytic applications delivered through the use of Web browsers.

In Edeca Studio, a login user can have access to a number of Endeca analytic applications. Each analytic application may have multiple tabs and read data from more than one DGraphs. (more...)

Under the bonnet of Endeca

| Feb 12, 2012
Endeca Information Discovery (EID) grants BI users agility of querying, navigating and searching across structured, semi-structured and unstructured data. The backbone of all EID applications is MDEX Engine. It stores data and receive requests via Endeca Web Services. After the execution of query request, MDEX Engine will return result to Endeca Web Services in XML format. Then front-end application in Endeca Studio performs formatting of the query result and return them to the client browser.

Today let's open the bonnet of EID and have a look at the nuts and bolts inside MDEX Engine.

Firstly of all, everything is running (more...)

Agility Acquired

| Feb 5, 2012
Together with well-designed ODS (operational data storage) or Data Warehouse, OBIEE is a comprehensive, reliable and scalable BI solution. Users get information in variant ways, operational reporting, dashboard, scorecard, ad-hoc analysis, what-if analysis, proactive alerting, mobile, etc. It can grow quickly and smoothly . From Gigabyte to Terabyte, from single server to cluster, from disk to In-Memory, hundreds or thousands  users can access business information concurrently.

But what about Agility? Can I quickly perform data navigation without going through the modeling practice in DW or BI Server? What if my data is volatile and includes unstructured or semi-structured information? Is (more...)

Minority Report

| Jan 24, 2012

Ranking is a very usual requirement of BI reporting. People tends to sort things in order and focus on the top performers. Which sales region is generating the most of revenue? What are my most popular products? Who are my best performing employees? All these type of queries can be easily answered via invoking the Rank() function on relevant fact measure.
What about "the other 80%" (Pareto Principle)? We normally are not interested in the details of "insignificant" individual contributors. But the overall collective contribution of "the others" can be very valuable business information. One example can be (more...)

Miss is as good as a mile

| Jan 15, 2012
A few days ago, I was reviewing my prior post and something unusual caught my attention.

How come those densely populated suburbs in Sydney are not covered by the thematic view for postal areas??? In order to further confirm the issue, I moved the map around to another state and I found some thematic views are put on Tasman sea (see below)!!! I've got an alignment issue.
This is a critical issue for a BI Mapview as Business Intelligence are not accurately aligned with the real location on map. A few centimeters shifting of map theme (geometries that represents regions) (more...)

Put Intelligence on the map (part 2)

| Dec 17, 2011
In my last post, we discussed how OBIEE enables geospatial analysis on digital map. Now it’s time to get hands dirty and learn more from practice.

Out of the box, the deployment of OBIEE includes Oracle Mapviewer. However, no geospatial data or map tiles are provided with the product installation. Those can be acquired separately from NAVTEQ. A package of free sample NAVTEQ data with relevant deployment instructions can be downloaded from the URL: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/bi-foundation/obiee-samples-167534.html

The free sample NAVTEQ data contains two components: geospatial data (coordinates, boundaries, etc) and map tiles (background images for different zoom level) (more...)

Put Intelligence on the map (part 1)

| Nov 21, 2011
Business has been collecting and analyzing geospatial information for a long time. Being able to view information such as, volume of revenue from different regions or number of events happened in different suburbs, on a zoomable map is of great value to people who manage the business. Since the 11g release, users of OBIEE are enabled to visualize BI on digital maps. From world level to street level, users can easily overlay business information on maps. The correlation between location and business can be seen intuitively. In this blog post, I will walk you through the things behind the scene (more...)

What is Business Intelligence?

| Nov 6, 2011

Back in 2008, one of my friends had the following conversation with me in a BBQ party:
"So you work in an IT company, what specific area?" He asked.
"BI - Business Intelligence" I said.
"That sounds pretty cool. Do you spend a lot of time with things like Robots?" He asked again.

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of "Intelligence" is
A) The ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations: REASON: also: the skilled use of reason
B) News or information concerning an enemy or (more...)