Monthly Archives: April 2017

Moving from On-Premise Oracle Hyperion Planning to Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS): Web User Interfaces

April 26, 2017

Author: Andy Tauro, Performance Architects

In the previous post in this series, we looked at the differences between utilities offered in Oracle Hyperion Planning and Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) for administrative functions and automating these for lights-out maintenance.  This second post in this series focuses on the similarities and differences between the web user interfaces (UIs) in the solutions.

Long-time Oracle Hyperion Planning users may recall that while the interface has evolved since the days before Hyperion System 9 was released, it hasn’t really changed all that much since then. If you were using Hyperion Planning 9.3, and have been on an extended vacation since then (perhaps getting in touch with your wild side), using a Hyperion Planning 11.1.2.4 system will not be a huge learning curve. Sure the colors have changed a little bit, but things are pretty much where you left them. Also, it still only works in Microsoft (MS) Internet Explorer (IE) and Mozilla Firefox, although supported browser versions include the latest offered.

PBCS’s web UI is generation or two evolved from what on-premise Hyperion Planning offers. The web interface lends itself very well to touch screens and mobile interfaces. The menus have mostly been replaced by large icons that aim to present simple and clear choices to the user:

Most administrative tasks have, meanwhile, been hidden behind a new navigation menu. Some of the choices here may look familiar to long-time administrators, while others have new names:

This change in the user interface is important to keep in mind, because it takes a little getting used to for long-time Oracle Hyperion Planning users. As a result, it is important to plan training sessions that will allow users to get familiar with the system and to learn the quickest way to get to the tasks that they routinely perform.

Meanwhile, there are two improvements that will make a lot of users happy. First, the PBCS interface works in a wide range of web browsers: Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Mozilla Firefox. Second, Smart View for MS Office add-in users will be happy to know that Smart View still looks and feels the same, it just has gained a few PBCS-specific tricks.

Stay tuned for this and more things to keep in mind, as you move to PBCS. If you have any questions, please drop us a note at sales@performancearchitects.com and we’ll see what we can do to help.


© Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog, 2006 - present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Performance Architects: Looking Forward to Higher Education Data Warehousing (HEDW) Forum 2017

April 21, 2017

Author: Kirby Lunger, Performance Architects

The Higher Education Data Warehousing (HEDW) Forum 2017, an event that focuses on learning and networking for technical developers and administrators of data access and reporting systems, data custodians, institutional researchers, and consumers of data representing a variety of university audiences, is coming up this Sunday, April 23rd – Wednesday, April 26th at The University of Arizona (in Tucson, AZ).  Since the Performance Architects team has attended this event for several years, we wanted to highlight some of the key items that we think are most interesting about the conference for those of you who are attending.

Pre-Conference Workshops

HEDW holds pre-conference workshops on Sunday that provide “deep dives” into specific topics; we are particularly interested this year in the Kimball (data warehousing) fundamentals workshops.

Presentations

This is a smaller conference, so most of the presentations are given by actual solution customers, as opposed to vendors…which means it’s a rich learning environment.

That said, I have to put in a shameless plug for Performance Architects’ presentation during the conference.  We are presenting Monday morning April 24th at 9:15 AM in the Santa Rita Room. The topic is “Introduction to the (New!) Oracle Analytics Cloud Service (OAC): A Higher Education QuickStart.” Oracle just introduced Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC), combining the best of Oracle’s BI, data discovery and big data solutions into a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution.  The Performance Architects team will discuss the components of the OAC solution (including Essbase, BI Cloud Service or BICS, and Data Visualization or DV); how to integrate with Oracle EPM (Hyperion) and related EPM and BI technologies; use cases; and a fast and easy way to get started.

Fun and Networking

The conference hosts some fun events so that you can meet your peers and enjoy their company!  The Welcome Reception is held on Sunday and is a “don’t miss” way to see who’s attending the show this year.  The Monday Networking Dinners are a great way to connect with other attendees in an informal setting.  And, finally, Performance Architects is also hosting a special, invite-only event on Tuesday evening during the conference.  If you’re interested in learning more, please email us here and we’ll let you know if there’s still space to participate.

We look forward to seeing you soon!


© Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog, 2006 - present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Configuring the Calendar Heatmap Plugin for Oracle’s Data Visualization Desktop (DVD)

April 19, 2017

 

Author: Cameron Ross, Performance Architects

One interesting new feature in Oracle’s Data Visualization Desktop (DVD) is the ability to go to the Oracle BI Public Store and install new visualizations in your local product install. This blog post shows how to download and install a “Calendar Heatmap” plugin from the Public Store and to use this plugin with a sample data set.

Once on the Oracle BI Public Store, scroll down and find the “Calendar Heatmap Viz Plugin” box and click on the box:

Next, the BI Public Store will prompt you to download the plugin:

Once you have downloaded the plugin, you will be able to find the content in the “Downloads” folder of the file system.

Copy and paste the zipped file from this folder into the “plugins” folder in your “DVDesktop” install. If there is not a plugin folder in the installed version, use the following path in the screenshot below.

If DVDesktop is already open, you will need to close it out and restart it so that it can read the new plugin. Once DVDesktop is open, you will want to start a new project.

It will then prompt you to select a data source. In this example, a new data source shows traffic stops in Montgomery County, Alabama.

After bringing in a new Excel file as the data source for this project, using the “Ctrl” key I will select both the “Day of Stop” and “Traffic Count” columns, and then right-click and select the “Pick Visualization” button.

Notice that the “Calendar Heatmap” visualization is now an option to select.

Select the “Calendar Heatmap” visualization.

Taking the data to a new level, right-click on “My Calculations” and select “Add Calculation.”

Bring in the “DAYNAME” function using the “Date of Stop” column so that there is a name value for each day of traffic stops.

Using the “Ctrl” option again, select the “Day of Week” column calculation that was just created along with the “Traffic Count” measure; then right-click and select “Pick Visualization.”

Select the “Horizontal Bar” visualization.

Right-click on any of the bars in the graph and select the “Sort” option. Then click “Day of Week” by “Traffic Count,” “High to Low” option.

One thing to note after bringing in this sort is that the two lowest days for traffic stops are Saturday and Sunday. This could be because there are less people on the roads on the weekend.

Need help or advice on data visualization plugins?  Contact Performance Architects at sales@performancearchitects.com and we’d be happy to help.


© Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog, 2006 - present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Moving from On-Premise Oracle Hyperion Planning to Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS): Administrative Utilities

April 12, 2017

Author: Andy Tauro, Performance Architects

As with any move to a new solution and process, the transition from Oracle Hyperion Planning to Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) presents some new (and sometimes improved) implementation and administration approaches.  In this first installment of a two-part series, I explain the differences between administrative utilities in the solutions.  In short, Hyperion Planning offers multiple utilities to perform specific administrative functions, while PBCS provides one utility.

Some of the key utilities in Hyperion Planning include:

  • Executes business rules defined in the application
  • Refreshes the outline and security filters in the underlying Essbase database
  • OutlineLoad Utility (OLU). Imports dimensional information into the application, and updates the “outline;” also allows for the extract of dimensional data from the application
  • Executes a predefined data map between two “Plan Types”

These utilities can be incorporated into lights-out maintenance schedules in creative ways, and are critical to the functioning of a Hyperion Planning solution as a well-oiled machine. The one downside to this is that each of these utilities have their own syntax of execution parameters, that are similar but make a world of difference in what they do.

In contrast, PBCS has just one – the “EPM Automate” utility (not to be confused with EPMA!). Just like the Hyperion Planning utilities, this utility runs in a Windows or a Linux environment, and comes with a lot of flags that define what task it will run. For instance, equivalents to the above will be:

  • runbusinessrule
  • refreshcube
  • importmetadata / exportmetadata / importdata / exportdata
  • runplantypemap

These and many more options that the “EPM Automate” utility comes with make life simpler on the scripting front, mainly because there are much fewer commands to remember. However, a lot of these commands require a task to be predefined as a “job” in the PBCS application. This shouldn’t really be a hindrance, since most such tasks are defined once and then re-executed many times, especially during lights-out maintenance.

If you need help with this or other aspects of your move to PBCS, or aren’t sure where to start, drop us a line at sales@performancearchitects.com, and we would be happy to help.


© Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog, 2006 - present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

How to Analyze Major League Baseball Statistics Using Oracle’s Data Visualization (DV) Desktop with the Quadrant Plugin

April 5, 2017

Author: Doug Ross, Performance Architects

One of the lesser known but powerful capabilities of Oracle’s Data Visualization Desktop (DV) tool is the ability to extend the available visualizations with plugins from Oracle’s BI Public Store.  Within this website, Oracle provides a variety of data analysis and visualization plugins that can be easily installed on a user’s local client installation.  Those plugins are then visible immediately within DV Desktop.

Oracle BI Public Store

In this example, we will add a new visualization of a style called “Quadrant” into DV Desktop and demonstrate the features. The Quadrant visualization plots dimension values within a sections of a rectangular grid (quadrant) using two different metrics – one for the X axis and another for the Y axis.  It is similar to a scatter chart but with the dots of the scatter chart being replaced instead with the actual names of the dimension values within the grid.

The process of installing the plugin begins by clicking on the “Quadrant” icon in the Oracle BI Public Store.  This will display a brief description of the plugin and a link to download the zip file.

After the download completes, the zip file is copied to a plugin directory under the user’s DVDesktop local application directory.  For example, for the Administrator user, the directory would be:

C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\DVDesktop\plugins

Once the plugin zip file has been copied to the above directory, start or restart DV Desktop and the Quadrant visualization will be immediately available to use in new or existing DV Projects.

In the example that follows, the existing “Sample Order Lines” data source will be used to demonstrate the Quadrant visualization. First, select “Profit” and “# of Customers” metrics, along with the “Product Category” dimension column. Right-clicking brings up a menu that allows for picking a visualization, and from there the new Quadrant plugin can be selected.

The resulting visualization shows the three product categories placed within a default 3×3 grid with the X and Y axes designating “High” and “Low” ranges for each of the selected metrics.  In this example, the “Furniture” and “Technology” product categories each have a low number of customers relative to “Office Supplies,” while “Technology” has the highest profit.

By replacing the “Product Category” attribute in the panel properties with “Product Sub Category,” we can see a more detailed breakout of the dimension values that represent the relationships between those subcategories that have higher profits and higher customer counts compared to those that don’t.  In the example below, we can see that “Binders” and “Telephones” are high profit, high customer count areas while items like “Bookcases” and “Envelopes” have low profits and few customers.

The only properties that can be changed on the Quadrant view are the number of rows and columns in the grid.

Here’s an example of a 5×5 quadrant using the metrics “Profit” and “Sales” along with the “City” attribute.

As a further example, we’ll look at a real world set of data to determine any interesting patterns using the Quadrant visualization plugin.  Using 2015 Major League Baseball batting statistics, we’ll break out players into quadrants using their “Home Run” and “Stolen Base” statistics to determine which players show the best combination of power and speed.

In the visualization, we can see that players like Paul Goldschmidt and Manny Machado are good power/speed combination players. Notice how with some additional filters applied to the minimum number of HRs and SBs, and increasing the grid to 10×10 we see a clearer picture of who the top players are. Note that when there are too many attribute values to display fully in a quadrant box, the number of unique values is displayed instead.

In conclusion, it is worthwhile to examine all of the visualizations that are in the Oracle BI Public Store to determine if there is a useful application to your own data.  Within minutes you can visualize that data in new and interesting ways.


© Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog, 2006 - present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.