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

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)

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

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

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

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

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


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...)