Data is our Passion!
The Vertical Edge Business Intelligence (BI) team comprised of seasoned professionals, bands together because of a shared obsession, helping businesses and organizations see their data in ways that they have never considered. Each of our BI professionals has experience averaging 15 years and spanning a multitude of industries including Finance, Healthcare, High Tech, Hospitality, Manufacturing and many more. We strive to empower you with the broadest understanding of what your data can offer no matter which tool you choose.
Enabling our customers drive for excellence, and creating actionable, intuitive, proactive reporting is our brass ring. Our primary goal is to help you better understand your business with all the hidden insights your data can provide.
If you are looking for ways to maximize your investment and wrangle the data that you’ve stock-piled, let us guide you, mentor you and assist you in those goals. The BI Team will give you form for your function by creating an environment that gives you the very best your data has to offer.
Read About Catherine
Catherine started her Business Intelligence focus by accident around 16 years ago. The Siebel team she was part of found a new tool that Oracle had just acquired called Siebel Analytics, and wanted to kick the tires to see how it worked. The uses were sketchy, the installation documentation non-existent, but they knuckled (buckled) down and started to install. Two weeks later, she and her team had a hodge podge of components that didn’t work and no answer as to why. After another couple of weeks or so of blind hammering, they finally got it up and running, but then didn’t know what to do with it. They had no idea.
Since then, Catherine has spent a lot of time with numerous clients who are trying to figure out what to do with their new analytics tool. She has had to consider and ponder the question, “what to do with this?” dozens upon dozens of times with almost as many different solutions. Catherine says, “I spent more time than I can count explaining why analytics is not operational but should be management reporting and why it’s so crucial in an ever-evolving business environment. I’ve pondered people’s data. I’ve poured over their existing reporting and I’ve listen as they explained the same business processes in slightly different ways, over and over again.”
Catherine shares that although this is the biggest challenge for her, it is also the most fun as she discovers the possibilities in data. Catherine excitedly concludes with this, “Sitting with a client and talking to them about the things they can realize from their data or how we can look at data in a different way to expose trends and patterns they never dreamed existed is my passion. That ‘ah ha!’ moment when they stop thinking about what they have done and start thinking about what they can do.”
Vertical Edge and our many clients are thankful to have Catherine as vital and integral part of our growing Business Intelligience Team!
What’s New in BI
Machine Learning in Oracle Analytics Cloud that can tell you about your data before you even begin.
See how function gives you easy insight with the click of a mouse.
More BI News
Power BI Connects to Essbase Seamlessly
Are you looking for an uncomplicated option to connect your on-prem Essbase Cubes to a Data Visualizer for some easy adhoc queries? Power BI has made it happen. It connects to Essbase simply, easily and effectively for an uncluttered, cost-effective solution.
If you aren’t looking for an enterprise solution and don’t need all those fancy bells and whistles, try Power BI. It’s included in your Office365. Download it and connect it for quick visualizations that give you a picture of how your numbers trend.
If you’re looking for something with a little more razzle dazzle you can download the Oracle Data Visualizer here.Don’t forget to give Data Flows a try.
Tableau vs OAC Whitepaper
If you think you are getting the best value from Tableau you might want to think again. When you weigh the pros and cons you could discover that a more robust, enterprise-wide autonomous analytics tool is not only a better value, but saves valuable time with IT resources, up-time and ease of development.
Tableau vs. Oracle Analytics Cloud:
Before we begin let’s take a few moments to compare Autonomous to Managed solutions. If you are an organization that has limited IT resources Oracle’s Autonomous Analytics Cloud might just be the thing that seals the deal. Consider a system that manages itself. Very little intervention is required once you provision your services. The system patches, performs maintenance, does backups and most of those other tedious tasks required to maintain an enterprise software solution. What you can save on IT resources and expertise might be just the choice you are looking for in your Analytics and Data Visualization package.
Two Major Selling Points:
Two major selling points for Oracle Analytics Cloud for many organizations are the inclusion of Essbase Cloud in the product suite and OAC as a complete enterprise solution with an enterprise platform and security. If you are looking for a big data solution, OAC has that as well. With the addition of BIC– Business Intelligence Cloud you can have a more traditional BI solution as well as easily managed dashboards to display all your reporting needs.
Ease of Use:
For ease of use either tool is an excellent choice. The drag and drop interface on either tool is simple, clean and direct which assists users in exploring their data in foundational ways. Vibrant visualizations can be built allowing either tool to choose the format that best expresses the data or customize for a personal solution. Visualizations can be overlapped, interlaced or tiled in either tool. And both have a wide array of report and chart types that fit nearly any need.
Is High Performance Your Benchmark?
If high performance is your benchmark either solution will work for you. Both products can return speedy queries for a full spectrum of data visualizations. Additionally, both products produce high quality, brilliantly stunning data visualizations. Tableau may have a slight edge on flexibility with some of the advanced functionality for visualizations being more adaptable—the color pallet being one. Tableau allows the user to modify and slide the color pallet to customize the weight of each color. OAC is more automatic and does not allow the user to slant the results by adjusting the color pallet to highlight specifically chosen information. Apples and oranges, if you are more interested in providing a non-biased picture of your report, OAC is your tool. Both tools allow interaction between visualizations— click one viz and the other responds with the corresponding information. This functionality is as simple as check a box in OAC and only slightly more complicated in Tableau.
Let’s move on to data integration. Both products have an impressive choice of data connectors that are continually being enhanced but that is where the similarity ends. Tableau requires a moderate to advanced understanding of SQL to build data relationships and queries. OAC has a feature called Data Flows that through a drag and drop interface allow you to perform Extract Transform and Load features like an expert. Data Flows use a combination of out of the box features that can intuitively build your Data Flow to create defined, curated data sets for your visualizations. And once those Data Flows have been built you can create a sequence to schedule and manage them. Additionally, you’ll find some nifty configurable Machine Learning drag and drops that let you train and explore your data like a pro.
Do You Need a Forum for Your Data?
If it’s a forum that you need for your data, Tableau is unmatched. There are many ways to share your visualizations including Tableau’s robust public solution. You’ll find dozens of blogs, webpages and other venues extending and enriching the Tableau footprint. The Tableau user community is wide-ranging and dense with potential solutions for any visualization you might choose to develop. OAC, a new product more focused toward the Enterprise, has a footprint that is just beginning to expand. The Analytics Cloud community has developed an assortment of downloadable plugins that offer a wide range of functionality including one that solves that pesky need for hierarchical reporting with a crazy simple click and drag.
Comprehensive Mobile Solution:
Both tools have a comprehensive mobile solution that can be accessed on phone, tablet or laptop in either Android or iOS. Both products have interactive interfaces with Tableau taking the lead for comprehensive usability. The newer OAC mobile app, Day by Day, allows less phone functionality, but the question is how much reporting interactivity do users want on something as small as phone.
OAC – Your Go To for a Holistic Solution:
For a holistic solution including collaboration, analytics, big data and security, OAC is the hands down champ. Because it is an enterprise solution offering the opportunity for across the board reporting it includes features in which Oracle excels. If you need to create dashboards for users with selective visibility, OAC with BICS is your tool. If you choose to use one of Oracles new Autonomous databases for your data not only can you integrate them to any portion of the product, but they provide Enterprise-wide security and collaboration. OAC is a one-stop shop encompassing all your reporting needs.
Ultimately, the choice comes down to how, what and when you do your reporting. If a visualization is all you need, Tableau could be the perfect solution. But if your organization needs something more comprehensive that pulls all your reporting into a single cloud-hosted environment, OAC might be just what you are looking for.
BI Practice Lead
Vertical Edge Consulting Group
INCORTA as a Data Tool
For most of us, reporting is the high-profile part of our Business Intelligence solution that showcases the many hours of sweat and toil getting the data into a form that makes reporting spectacular. Before we make a decision, we sit through demo after demo promising magic and moon dust, unicorns and sparklers all delivered to our hand-held device in the blink of an eye. We can report on anything, anywhere, anytime. We watch and listen, eyes wide imagining what could be.
We buy licenses, we prep environments, we train users, and, in the end, we discover that getting the data and putting into the form the tool requires is a months long effort full of disappointment, frustration and sometimes even out and out failure. We might consciously abandon the tool or maybe we just give up convincing ourselves we’ll get back to it later.
INCORTA hears you.
If you’re looking for a tool that focuses on data, INCORTA is it. If you’re looking for a way to relate your data easily, simply and smoothly INCORTA may be just what you’re looking for. It gobbles up data and spits it back quickly and cleanly. The dashboards are simple and intuitive, think Crystal or earlier versions of Microsoft BI without all of the flashy bells and whistles you might pay for in higher priced tools but never use.
If you want an inexpensive solution for adHoc reporting that removes complicated ETL from the loop and reduces data modeling to an exercise for classrooms, take a look. https://www.incorta.com/
Autonomous Data Warehouse
Oracle’s Autonomous Data Warehouse is nothing short of amazing. Not only does it take only FOUR clicks to provision one, it’s smart enough and it’s good enough and doggone it people like it enough to let it structure their data for them. But is it fast you might ask? Blindingly fast. Amazingly fast. Returning a half billion records in less time than it takes to click. We could tell you how it does that (hint: Columnar Data) but we’ll let Oracle unveil that.
And best of all, it minds itself. No more indexing, coaxing, tuning, back-ups, patches, sizing…just provision it and load the data and OADW takes care of itself. The toughest thing is figuring out a name.
But if you want just a bit of tinkering you can size up and down on the fly. Well, up on the fly and down when the job that takes ultra-processing power completes. And the pricing follows with it.
So, if you’ve ever wished for a data warehouse that is at least as smart as your average two-year-old, Oracle has something special for you.
For more on the Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse: https://www.forbes.com/sites/oracle/2018/03/27/how-oracles-new-autonomous-data-warehouse-works/#3adbec755c7f
According to BARC BI Trend Monitor, this is a high priority for businesses. It enhances self-sufficiency and user independence in completing BI related tasks. It puts more control, as well as responsibility in the hands of business users as opposed to IT personnel.
The important aspect of self-service BI to note here is that, it does not just pertain to data visualization, but all aspects of the BI project lifecycle are moving towards self-service. From infrastructure to databases, to ETL and data integration to performance tuning to delivering powerful visualizations, there is no area left untouched.
PaaS BI solutions allow for quick infrastructure setup and instance creation, allowing for quick BI infrastructure setup. No complex tool installation and configuration is needed anymore. Additionally, self-managing Databases help ease the task of managing underlying databases. And finally, as data visualization become more and more effortless and powerful, it allows users to build powerful visualizations with a few mouse clicks.
Autonomous Analytics and Machine Learning
By leveraging machine learning to power data Analytics, the autonomous analytics starts with discovery, data preparation and modeling, analysis and finally leads to prediction, all running autonomously.
We no longer must begin our data visualization from scratch. With autonomous BI, ideas for reports start with insights that are automatically generated by the system, based on the patterns, predictions and correlations in the data that the system identifies.
Tips and Tricks: Make your Smart View Blazing Fast
If you or your users are getting “Timeout” errors in Smart View, there is an easy way for them to fix this themselves:
From the Smart View ribbon: Help→Health Check
This will open a window which displays your computer’s settings:
When you click on “Recommended Settings”, you are prompted to change the Timeout settings to the recommended value of 15 minutes.
BI Success Stories
Professional Builder of Custom and Premium Homes
Goldengate and Oracle Data Integrator Implementation
Our client has been committed to excellence in building homes for four generations and has been family owned and operated since 1928. They are celebrating their 90th anniversary in 2018. While their homes are inspired by their strong tradition of excellence in home building, their homes are also built around the future. In each of their 12 markets, they have built a new anniversary model home to showcase the innovative new construction technology that is continually incorporated into every new home that they build.
Our client had the bulk of their ETL in Data Stage and Decision Stream. They were split between various versions therefore making the maintenance and licensing cost prohibitive. They chose the simpler and more streamlined Oracle Data Integrator with an eye toward sunsetting and consolidating their old code. They had also chosen Goldengate to facilitate their change-data-capture to expedite their data flow. Their expertise level with ODI was minimal and with Goldengate it was baseline. Additionally, they had a limited timeline and budget.
Vertical Edge needed to consolidate and inventory the existing ETL to determine how to achieve the best value and incursion for the timeline and budget. We chose to address their star schema data warehouse, specifically GL Transactions, GL Balance and PO. After installation and configuration of ODI and Goldengate we worked with their team to convert the target ETL to ODI. After the implementation, we provided several training sessions and documentation to enable them to manage their new environments. Additionally, we provided them with a go-forward plan to help them best address their remaining challenges.
The Success Factors:
Implementation of Goldengate to better manage their change-data-capture process
• Implementation of ODI to streamline their ETL and reduce risk
• Teaching our client’s team to manage ODI and Goldengate
• Addressed our client’s potential data challenges and provided them an additional plan to move forward with the work we had begun
Company Annual Revenue:
The Solution Products:
• Oracle Data Integrator
• Oracle Goldengate
National Manufacturing Company Specializing in Consumer Packaged Goods
BI Cloud Implementation
Our client is a world-class leader in the development and production of high-quality color cosmetics, skin care, hair care, bath and body care and OTC products.
They are an outsourcing partner to major global brands and trend setting players across all distribution channels, from high-end to mass market.
Through discussion, it was determined that this company needed our team to develop an enterprise analytics and data integration solution that would provide dashboards, analytics, and operational metrics from their Oracle EBS, ERP and Shop Floor Production Systems.
They were facing a data issue within their production operations group which was delivering inaccurate and untimely data to key company executives. Their systems were constrained by a multitude of ERP data dumps and spreadsheets with multiple variations of the “truth” and lacked a true enterprise analytic system or data strategy to manage the operational and executive reporting requirements.
Vertical Edge was able to provide the manufacturing and production operation expertise necessary to understand the complex production process Oxygen Development utilizes, and create a full enterprise-level suite of Analytics. The KPIs, Dashboards and Metrics enabled key operations executives to achieve a tighter integration between Oracle EBS, strategic planning and operations performance measurement.
Our team did a complete implementation of Oracle BI Cloud including the integration between Oracle EBS and BI Cloud using Oracle Data Sync Services and custom dashboards, KPI and operational reporting. Additionally, Vertical Edge completed Phase 2 of this project which involved the implementation of multi-dimensional reporting to assist with strategic planning.
The Success Factors:
– Tighter integration between Oracle EBS, strategic planning, target setting, performance measurement
– Increased focus on critical performance metrics at corporate and business unit levels
– Automated standard KPI reporting across the company
– Improved staff productivity / collaboration / accountability by 25%
– Enablement of Enterprise Analytics tools to ensure enhanced efficiency and effectiveness, and support multi-dimensional analysis across all reporting areas that support production operations
– Data Visualization capabilities, enabling self-service BI supporting transactional/operational analytics
– Implementation of a data governance model to maintain data quality and solution integrity
Company Annual Revenue:
The Solution Products:
– Oracle EBS
– Oracle BI Cloud
– Oracle Data Visualizer
– Production Operations Analytics and Dashboards
– OLAP Cubes for Finance/Sales Reporting
– 25 BICS Users
Industry Leader in Optimizing IT Infrastructures
Ground-up Redesign of their entire EDW and BI Architecture
Information Technology Services
Our client is a recognized industry leader in optimizing IT infrastructures with comprehensive solutions in three key areas – Workplace, Network, and Data Center Services.
Their team helps to maximize the availability, efficiency and productivity of IT infrastructure, regardless of its maturity. With experienced professionals and strategic partnerships in place, they transform IT environments to a future state centered around a pleasing end user experience supported by advanced, cloud-based, on-demand technologies and services.
Business units within the company faced severe data challenges that were constrained by an outdated EDW architecture that was ineffective at providing key business leaders with timely and accurate information for decision making. A myriad of source systems and multiple reporting solutions created confusion and headache in determining which system to report out key metrics and KPIs across the company.
Examples of the data architecture challenges included:
– 30+ source systems, delivering data to multiple warehouses
– Significant customization of ERP software
– Multiple reporting engines, with significant overlap
This Information Technology Services company partnered with Vertical Edge Consulting Group to provide a ground-up redesign of their entire Enterprise Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence architecture. Utilizing Oracle Database, Oracle BI Foundation Suite, Oracle Business Intelligence for Applications (OBIA) combined with industry leading visualization solutions, Vertical Edge created a solution that solves their critical data needs, consolidates their source system facts and dimensions while providing scalability and extensibility which allows for years of growth and innovation for the company.
The Success Factors:
– Reduced time to live data for consumption from one week to six hours across all source systems
– Increased use of OBIEE and OBIA footprint, allowing all Finance OPEX to be developed out of OBIA
– Consolidated multiple EDW environments on Oracle-based EDW, removing Tableau and Microsoft SQL Server/Power BI environments
– Future work with this company includes PBC, FCC and Essbase Cloud or Studio
Company Annual Revenue:
Nearly $1 Billion
The Solution Products:
Oracle Analytics Cloud is a single platform that empowers your entire organization to ask any question of any data in any environment on any device. It is a scalable and secure public cloud service that provides a full set of capabilities to explore and perform collaborative analytics for you, your workgroup, and your enterprise.
With Oracle Analytics Cloud, you also get flexible service management capabilities, including fast setup, easy scaling and patching, and automated lifecycle management with standards-based REST APIs.
Built on a high-performance platform with flexible data storage, Oracle Analytics Cloud provides a complete set of tools for deriving and sharing data insights.
• Data preparation: Analysts can ingest, profile, and cleanse data using a variety of algorithms.
• Data flow: Analysts can prepare, transform and aggregate data, and then run machine-learning models at scale.
• Data discovery: Subject matter experts can easily collaborate with other business users, blending intelligent analysis at scale, machine learning, and statistical modeling.
• Data visualization: Analysts can visualize any data, on any device, on premises and in the cloud.
• Data collaboration: Large organizations and small teams can share data more simply, as you don’t need to manage or consolidate multiple versions of spreadsheets.
• Data-driven: Application developers can utilize interfaces that enable them to extend, customize, and embed rich analytic experiences in the application flow.
Oracle Business Intelligence 12c is a unique platform that enables customers to uncover new insights and make faster, more informed business decisions by offering agile visual analytics and self-service discovery together with best-in-class enterprise analytics.
The following combine to make Oracle BI 12c a comprehensive solution that reduces the total cost of ownership and increases return on investment for the entire organization:
• Instant mobile
• Highly interactive dashboards
• Powerful operational reporting
• Just-in-time alerts
• Content and metadata search
• Strategy management
• Native access to Big Data sources
• Sophisticated in-memory computing
• Streamlined systems management
Until now, analyzing large volumes of complex business data spanning ERP, Cloud Applications and other business systems required the construction of a costly, time-consuming data warehouse. The only way to normalize the data from these multiple sources, understand their relationships and perform analytics at scale was via a star-schema.
This is no longer the case. With Incorta’s Direct Data Mapping engine, you get real-time aggregation of large, complex business data without needing a data warehouse.