What’s new in OBI EE 11g?

In August, Oracle released the 11g version of Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBI EE). This version represents the most significant OBI EE release since Oracle acquired Siebel (and the technology that has become OBI EE) in January 2006.

With the 11g release, Oracle has completely integrated OBI EE with its Fusion Middleware – a collection of server applications and other software products that provide the foundation for application development. Most significantly, OBI EE 11g requires the WebLogic application server. While these changes make the OBI EE suite more scalable, they also make OBI EE 11g considerably more complex. Many of the administrative tasks for OBI EE (including security features that are now part of Fusion Middleware) are now accomplished through Oracle Enterprise Manager.

From an end-user standpoint, there are quite a few intriguing changes. Improvements have been made in BI Answers (the ad hoc query and reporting tool that includes BI Interactive Dashboards) and in BI Publisher (the tool for delivering “pixel-perfect” reports). BI Answers has improved master-detail capabilities, new hierarchical column display options, sophisticated filtering features, and a new mapping engine. BI Publisher has added a new WYSIWYG layout designer, along with new interactive capabilities for viewing the report output.

Finally (and of significance for Noetix customers who use OBI EE), there are some big changes in how the Enterprise Information Model is created and managed. There is a new API for programmatically creating and modifying the model (which Noetix will take advantage of in an upcoming release of Noetix Generator for Oracle BI). There are also impressive new features for updating the models, along with some additional support for advanced hierarchies within the model itself.

© Oracle Corporation – September 2010
Overall, this is a major release. Customers will want to plan their upgrades from earlier versions of OBI EE and move to the 11g release sometime in 2011.

For more information on OBI EE 11g including what’s new in this release and how Noetix can help customers take advantage of those new features, view Noetix’s On Demand Web seminar, “Achieve Transactional BI and Analytical BI Today with OBI EE 11g”.

Noetix Featured in IDC Analyst Connection Report

Business Intelligence Solutions – Now More than Ever

Tech industry analyst firm IDC recently invited Noetix to participate in an Analyst Connection trend report on business intelligence. Noetix posed a series of questions to Dan Vesset, program vice president of IDC’s Business Analytics research, on behalf of Noetix’s customers. An excerpt from the report follows. To read the full report, click here.

Q. How does the economy affect the way companies think about and invest in business intelligence (BI) and analytics solutions?

A. Lack of visibility has been one of the key effects of the recession and the current slow economic recovery. Managers have been required to react to a growing number of unknowable factors. This requirement drives the need for flexibility and agility at the operational and tactical decision-making level. As a result, decision makers at all levels of the organization are seeking support from tools that enable rapid access to the freshest, most relevant, and actionable information. In addition, there is a growing body of evidence that BI and analytics solutions play a significant role in creating competitive advantage. In combination, these factors contribute to a continued investment in BI and analytics technology and processes across organizations of all sizes.

Managing the Data Policy Life Cycle

Since 1999, David Loshin, president of Knowledge Integrity, has developed technical and management methodologies for instituting data quality, master data management, data standards, and data governance in many different industries, including financial services, banking, insurance, health care, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and government agencies. Read more

Data Governance Maturity? Or Immaturity?

This autumn, we launched an online tool for assessing data governance maturity. Based on our Data Governance Maturity Model, we wanted to provide a means for people to determine how their organization ranks in terms of the business process for defining, implementing and enforcing data policies. We broke it out into people, process, technology and overall maturity so that companies can understand where they stand and pinpoint where they may be lagging behind.  We never intended for the tool to be a formal survey, but since approximately 100 companies have taken it to date, we’ve collected a good amount of data. Let’s take a peek! Read more

What is a star schema?

QUESTION: What is a star schema?

ANSWER: A star schema is a database structure in which data is organized into one or more fact tables that are linked to one or more dimension tables. A fact table contains data that you want to measure (usually numeric information) and can often grow very large, containing millions of rows of data. Examples could include sales volumes, order details, or salaries. Dimension tables contain attributes that describe the facts (and are usually much smaller). Common examples are time (year, quarter, month), geography (country, state, city), or product. Dimensions are frequently organized into hierarchies, as with the time and geography examples above.

A “star schema” is so named, because, if you draw the connections between tables, with the fact table in the middle, it resembles a star, as in the attached diagram.

Organizing data into star schemas provides advantages for reporting. Queries can be designed very simply – they typically connect a single fact table directly to one or more dimension tables. In our example above, we could easily analyze our sales “by state, for each quarter” or “by product, for each country”.

There are also other benefits to this structure. Fact tables can be aggregated, allowing for calculation to be done in advance, so queries perform optimally. In addition, fact tables can contain snapshots, providing the ability to analyze historical trends.

Submit a question to Noetix and check back for the answer in an upcoming blog post!


Noetix Gives Back

Noetix employees share a strong belief about the importance of making a positive impact on the communities in which we live. In a corporate-wide effort to give back, Noetix formed its Charitable Contributions Committee at the end of 2006. Since then, Noetix has donated over 2% of its earnings over the past 3 years to 38 different organizations, including medical charities, children’s causes, and disaster relief efforts worldwide. Read more