For any organization, be it large or mid-scale, data is important for reviews and predictions and to analyze how effectively the business is running. Apart from generating reports out of daily transactional data, it is equally important that you take a deep dive and analyze the patterns in the historical data. Analytics is all about meaningful information at your fingertips.
Reporting solutions in Oracle has gradually evolved from BI Publisher to OBIEE (Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition) both on premise and cloud visualization and now Oracle Analytics PaaS solution. OBIEE is a Business Intelligence (BI) tool by Oracle and its proven architecture and common infrastructure producing and delivering enterprise reports, scorecards, dashboards, ad-hoc analysis, and OLAP analysis provides a rich end-user experience. Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) has data reporting, visualization, NLP and voice command capabilities to name a few. Oracle analytics cloud PaaS solution has in-built connectors to create source and target databases to extract, store and transform the data for better visualization.
This blog depicts the offerings of Oracle Analytics Cloud, connectors to different backend systems primarily Oracle Fusion SaaS, data warehousing options, data transformation and visualization options and future capabilities.
Insights for Oracle Fusion HCM, Time & Expense using OAC
We recently built a mobile application that can be integrated seamlessly with Oracle Fusion HCM and Financials cloud for few of the most frequently used HR functions like time sheets and expense reimbursements. As project based time entries and expense entries are extremely time-bound, it has huge impact on the month-end calculations. A deeper insight was needed for the various mobile, as well as normal fusion transactions to help business managers to take more informed decisions and derive agile results.
Hence, as a part of creating the mobile application for these features, we decided to explore and build analytics around the same, and at same time ensure that it should be ‘next-gen’.
- Personas using Analytics should be agile and easy for business users to configure dashboard reports.
- We also, wanted the data to be securely stored for future analysis as it involves lot of personal information, project data etc.
- It should have a wide range of Connectors for SaaS solutions like Oracle Fusion, data transformation tools and databases.
- Excellent support for databases and data warehouses.
- Should be cloud-driven and ‘next-gen’ with NLP, AI/ML and self-tuning.
Keeping these points in mind, we explored the options available for effective data storage, transformation, reporting and analytics.
Leveraging OAC & OADW for Agile Analytics
Oracle reporting solutions have developed a lot from being the naive BI publisher, and the better visualization options in Oracle Analytics Cloud are pretty evident from the improved solutions. Oracle Analytics Cloud has a lot of connectors to extract data from various sources like DB on cloud, on-premise, Oracle DB, OADW, OATP, SQL server, Oracle Taleo, Oracle Fusion and so on and so forth. It can, as well connect directly with Fusion BI Analytics which is a data set based connection. We can place these connectors as source and target connections within OAC. Few samples are shown below:
We have a lot of visualization options, filtering, and drill down details of the graphs in OAC. Also, it provides the legends to give more information on the data sets created. We can apply ML behind the scenes in OAC. It can search for the appropriate data sets, based on the keywords as if the instance is trained. Voice over commands also, helps in fetching the reports based on the voice recognition.
Data driven analytics give you an insight into the following queries related to expense reimbursements and time entries.
- What is the total cost incurred in my business unit per project?
- What are the most violated policies?
- Which cost centers are my top spenders?
- Who are the defaulters in my project?
- What is the labor cost of each project in my business unit?
- What is the total loss in the project billing cost due to the defaulters in the time entry?
Below are few snapshots from the Analytics, built on OAC integrated with Fusion SaaS.
Expense (Category Wise)
Time Sheet (Top Defaulters)
Building OAC using OADW & Data Replication
There are multiple methodologies used to fetch data for Analytics – Data set, Data Replication and Data Sync. Subject areas can be accessed in OAC directly using Data set connection. We can view the columns available in the subject areas and apply filter criteria to make our visualizations better.
The most promising method used to connect to OAC from Fusion BI is data replication. As the name suggests, it maintains a connection between Fusion BI cloud connector and the target DB of OAC and replicates the data. We have used Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse (hereafter, referred to as OADW) as the target DB since OADW is self-patching and scalable data warehouse which works well with OAC cloud
OADW, which works on columnar approach for loading data, is faster for analytics’ purposes and doing mathematical operations on selected columns. We loaded the raw data from using BI Publisher reports into OADW, using data replication with the help of cloud storage connections. The data is structured into master and transaction tables.
We have also, established connection using an on premise Oracle Data Integrator for the transformation of source data before loading it to the target DB.
The Benefits – Improving ROI
- Proper data mining and reporting, answers many queries related to the pain points in time entries and expense reimbursements.
- It also, helps the Personas to reduce the approval time, errors in expense reimbursement submission process, overall turnaround time.
- It avoids delays in month end activities due to the same.
- It also, helps in submission of project-based time entries on time to bill the client appropriately.
- Pattern of policy violated reports can be analyzed and that helps in educating the users and updating the policy documents as the case may be. This pattern analysis helps in sending appropriate reminders, as well.
Oracle Analytics Cloud & Autonomous Data Warehouse – Better Together
Oracle Analytics Cloud and Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse can provide useful data analysis and visualization. The Oracle Analytics Cloud leverages the Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse (ADW). The connection between OAC and ADW enables users to perform data visualizations and predictive and semantic analysis. OAC and ADW together, are regarded to have been setting the standard for cloud-based data warehouse and analytics deployments with respect to speed, flexibility, performance, self-service and advanced capabilities. Businesses are able to identify their critical KPI’s and metrics, address their data integration issues and contemplate on their future state data and analytics roadmap.
Oracle Technical Project Manager, RapidValue