This is a continuation of my review of the Oracle Developer Tools User Group (ODTUG)’s annual Kscope14 conference Business Intelligence track, which focuses mostly on Oracle Business Intelligence (OBI) and Oracle’s related analytic applications. This post focuses specifically on my learnings around Oracle’s roadmap for BI solutions, new features in the Oracle Business Intelligence Mobile offering, and the Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service.
As I mentioned in my last article, the next major version of OBI will be 12c and will be introduced sometime in 2015. Here is a look at some features I believe we can expect to see in that release, however, please remember that the Oracle team could change their mind and go in a different direction by the time that release goes public. I (nor Performance Architects) make no representations or warranties about the accuracy of this information.
Better and Smarter Visualizations
We can look forward to a wider range of visualizations with better quality overall. One of the key pieces of functionality Oracle is looking to introduce for visualizations is the ability of the application to suggest and auto-generate reports based on the underlying data. Some of you already know that a similar piece of functionality already exists in Exalytics called Presentation Suggestion Engine (PSE). In Exalytics, OBI provides recommendations on the type of visualizations to use to best represent a data set. So “new” is a relative term here depending on how much you are invested into the Oracle technology stack.
Useful Search Capabilities
I’m happy to hear that fully integrated, better search capabilities will be released within OBI. You will be able to search the RPD, WebCatalog, and data. My guess here is that this will simply be Endeca running behind the scenes – but running seamlessly as part of OBI – much like BI Publisher – which is actually a completely different tool than OBI.
Personal Data Set Integration
Oracle is feeling the pinch from companies like Tableau and QlikView and therefore is investing more heavily in end-user driven “visual analysis.” I believe Oracle wants to eliminate the distinction between database and personal data sets, providing the end-user with all the tools they need to accomplish their job. This extends the concept of self-service we find within OBI in tools such as subject areas. Oracle said that they are going to “fundamentally change the RPD by allowing it to extend itself to personal data sets.” At the moment, what that really means, in my opinion, and how it will look and work remains a mystery, but my hunch is that they will leverage the same technology Oracle’s team created for RPD modeling in their cloud offering, which I will discuss in an upcoming blog post.
As you may or may not know, today OBI provides the ability to use Oracle R technology to do advanced analysis. What Oracle is looking to do is to make advanced analytics integration more seamless. An example is to easily add custom visualization to OBI with a right-click action. Today you can add custom visualizations, but the process involves deploying your code to WebLogic – and then referencing it through an object like a Narrative – to get your results (not something a business person can do). Another aspect of this prospective functionality is to give the RPD the ability to extend itself by referencing analytical scripts that perform complicated calculations.
More to come in an upcoming blog post (Part Three of this series)…want to see Part One of this series? Read here.
Author: John McGale, Performance Architects