Oracle Essentials Chapter 10 Update: BI Applications & Data Models

By Robert Stackowiak
July 17, 2009

In Chapter 10 of the Oracle Essentials: Oracle Database 11g book, we have a section describing Oracle's Business Intelligence Applications. Since the publishing of the 4th Edition of this book, Oracle has continued to evolve the business capabilities and sources supported by what are referred to in the book as the former Siebel Analytics applications.

As a quick refresher, the Business Intelligence Applications consist of data models with conformed dimensions, pre-built extraction, transformation and loading (ETL) scripts from Siebel and common ERP sources (e.g. Oracle e-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, and now also JD Edwards as well as an adapter available for SAP), and pre-populated reports and dashboards built using the Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition Plus (OBI EE Plus) suite of BI tools products. The ETL scripts for the most current Oracle Business Intelligence Applications release, version 7.9.6, were built using Informatica. (As a side note, prior releases of the BI Applications also include ETL scripts for Informatica though there is now also a limited release that offers scripts for Oracle Data Integrator.)

Significant functionality was added in the most recent Business Intelligence Applications release extending Human Resources workforce management to better analyze PeopleSoft Human Resources data. For example, recruiting / absenteeism, talent management, and learning management were added. In Financials, more sophisticated capabilities were added around PeopleSoft ledger and the PeopleSoft hierarchy. Thus, Oracle now positions these BI Applications, and not PeopleSoft EPM, as the favored choice for rapid deployment of business intelligence and data warehouse solutions where PeopleSoft ERP is deployed.

Other new areas of functionality were added in Sales (leads conversion) and Marketing (leads analysis, price performance, and customer loyalty). An entire horizontal area called "Projects" was added and is used in analysis of revenue and billing, costs incurred, project profitability, budget management, funding analysis, and cost to complete.

All of this is consistent with Oracle's strategy to provide more applications-like solutions for business intelligence and data warehousing, including industry solutions. Recent examples of emerging industry solutions include an enterprise class data model for Retail, SPL Customer Care and Billing and Loadstar Smart Metering solutions for utilities, and Demantra demand planning analysis.

As you would expect, these are commonly customized in specific deployments to match unique business needs and data sources. However, such solutions do greatly speed deployment and return on investment by providing a starting point.


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