About andyrocha

Andy Rocha is a Principal Solutions Manager for Edgewater Ranzal, a leading consultancy focused on delivering EPM, Business Intelligence and Advanced Analytics solutions. Andy, an Oracle Certified Implementation Specialist, is an accomplished technology manager with a long track record of development, planning, management and implementation of analytics solutions. In his work, Andy has completed various implementation, assessment and training projects, sharing his knowledge along the way on the most respected industry conferences and blogs. Andy won the Best Speaker award at the Rittman Mead BI Forum Atlanta 2015

Speed-of-Thought, JD Edwards Data-Driven Decisions

In a recent trip to a hardware store, my son asked me why there are so many different types of screwdrivers – regular, Phillips, hex, etc. This led to a discussion around the fact that different jobs require different tools, and even though you may be able to use a regular screwdriver on a Phillips head screw, the job would be harder and would take longer to complete. He compared this to a time when he tried to do his math homework with a crayon instead of a pencil. He completed the homework, but his teacher could not understand half of it.

What does that have to do with JD Edwards and analytics? Well….

JD Edwards, like many other ERP tools, is great at what it is designed to do: it gives companies of all sizes – across many industries – an integrated set of applications that spans all aspects of the business, including sales, resource planning, supply chain, financials, and others. But analyzing the data generated in JDE can be pricy, inconvenient, and it may take a long time. This deficit is actually the result of one of JDE’s greatest strengths:  its flexible architecture that allows organizations to customize their deployments for their business needs. This flexibility means reporting and analytics solutions must be customized as well, and that’s where the price and time come in.

The traditional resolution for this problem is to build a data warehouse that allows for the integration of multiple sources into a dimensional model geared towards analytics and reporting. This solution, however, has its own implications.  The process that populates the data warehouse (extract, transform and load or ETL for short) can take several hours to complete, making it impossible for the business to have access to near real-time data. Also, data warehouses can take months, if not years to deploy, requiring heavy IT involvement and continuous maintenance, driving the total cost of ownership (TCO) up.

By now you may be thinking “But I also heard of analytics tools that can connect directly to my JDE database without a data warehouse. What about those?” Good thought!  But it is flawed.  ERP database schemas are designed for fast insert and update of records as opposed to analysis and reporting. This causes performance issues when you need to go through multiple tables and joins – potentially waiting minutes, if not hours – just to find out how many products you sold last week.  Additionally, this type of querying can put an extreme amount of stress on your JDE database, slowing down the processes that are required to keep your business running.

As a result, most organizations end up spending more money and time than anticipated to puzzle together a high-maintenance solution with multiple tools just to generate even the most basic reports.

So… what is the solution? Click here for a webinar that addresses these issues using a solution co-developed with our partner Incorta’s groundbreaking analytics to solve all the issues found in legacy operational reporting and traditional enterprise business intelligence tools and see a demonstration of Ranzal’s new, Incorta-powered templates for analyzing JDE data, all of which are available out-of-the-box.

This webinar offers great understanding of a quick-deployment solution that will address your organization’s specific needs and customizations while eliminating the cost and frustration associated with months and years of development time – using the power of Incorta and Edgewater Ranzal’s years of experience with deploying reporting solutions for JDE organizations.

Oracle Data Visualization for Strategic Analytics

The world of analytics and data visualization continues to change at a rapid pace. New tools, processes, buzz words (Cloud anyone?) have penetrated our industry and can become overwhelming.  Most of these changes, though, are for the better – one of them being self-service data visualization. Solutions like Tableau, PowerBI, and Qlik have been around for several years, earning reputations as leaders in the self-service, easy, and sexy exploration of data.

Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE), although a great tool and long-time market leader, lacks ease of deployment, maintenance, and connectivity, and the freedom from “IT tyranny” access to data craved by business users – attributes already addressed by Tableau and others. For many years, I’ve listened to IT describe OBIEE as its enterprise Business Intelligence (BI) solution while business users use Tableau to connect to their own databases and spreadsheets because Tableau doesn’t require them to enter a ticket and potentially wait weeks for that new column to be added to their report.

Today, there is an Oracle tool – Oracle Data Visualization (DV), an Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) component,  that exceptionally meets the needs of business users.  Because it is part of a suite of products, Data Visualization also provides enterprise and financial reporting capabilities, advanced analytics and big data, mobile access, what-if scenario modeling, ingestion, preparation and transformation of data, and yes – you guessed it – Cloud.  Some highlights include:

  • Dynamic visualizations that can be organized into stories to be shared across the organization
  • Consumer (drag and drop) style with easy uploads, mashups, and exploration
  • Mobile authoring and consumption, device agnostic, and with dynamic design optimization
  • Connections to dozens of different sources, including SaaS, relational databases, big data tools, NoSQL, and others through JDBC/ODBC
  • Cloud and desktop versions with identical features

The full Oracle Analytics Cloud suite is a comprehensive solution that offers analytics and reporting tools to effectively address business requirements as well as accommodate different users within an organization (analysts, consumers, admins, etc.). Also included with OAC is Business Intelligence Cloud Service (BICS), a tool that is essentially “OBIEE in the Cloud.”  Data Visualization and BICS complement each other and address different needs, summarized in the following:

BICS vs DV

With continued rapid changes inevitable in technology, the future of Oracle Analytics Cloud will likely be promising as additional components are added. After seeing and supporting clients as they “take the plunge” into Cloud analytics, it becomes clearer that Data Visualization is Oracle’s strategic future of analytics.

See an overview of the history of Oracle DV and OAC as well as a demonstration of the products’ main features and wide array of possible sources in this webinar: The Strategic Future of Analytics…Starring Oracle Data Visualization