Oracle Analytics Cloud for Oracle EPM Part 1 – Lets Intro

The Intro

Hey Friends!

Before starting on this post, at the time of writing this, Covid-19 impacts are being felt across the world. Some places hit more than others, as I know many access this blog from many different places, I really hope that everyone is keeping safe and healthy!

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Last year at K-Scope I had the opportunity to present on Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud (PBCS) and Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC). It was a session that I really enjoyed presenting, both from the general K-Scope feel and because of the value that I felt the topic brings. Primarily the audience were one of the following:

  • Oracle customers who have OAC
  • Oracle customers who have Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE)
  • Customers thinking of implementing OAC or migrating / upgrading to OAC
  • Customers in the process of implementing OAC
  • Customers who have PBCS or Hyperion Planning

This is one of the great things about K-Scope, there are many sessions and the topics are quite specialised and people can usually find something the addresses what they want. In case you a wondering how I ended up knowing what the audience had; Simple really, I asked!!!

What most of them had in common, was really a business objective: “How to unlock insights from data living within their Oracle EPM Investment”

As with most of my presentations I started the presentation with Star Wars entry theme music and made a grand entry to the topic. Interestingly or rather ironically, Oracle was running a live stream from the Oracle Analytics Summit held at the Skywalker Ranch at the same time! Well this Jedi missed that presentation!

I suppose the timing of this post is important, thanks to Oracle EPM Cloud Readiness June Update we have something very exciting to talk about:

“CONNECTING DIRECTLY FROM ORACLE ANALYTICS CLOUD TO EPM CLOUD PLATFORM

With this release, you can connect directly from Oracle Analytics Cloud Enterprise Edition or Professional Edition 5.6 to EPM Cloud Platform, provided you have both services. When you’ve configured the connection, you can visualize data from EPM Cloud business processes (Planning, Financial Consolidation and Close, and Tax Reporting) in Oracle Analytics Cloud. You no longer have to model EPM data in a metadata repository (RPD) file to create visualizations and dashboards in Oracle Analytics Cloud.” (sourced the Oracle EPM cloud readiness update)

So why is this amazing, lets see:

  • You no longer need Enterprise Edition OAC in order to connect to EPM. This was previously needed as the only way to connect to EPM was to model EPM data in the OAC metadata repository (RPD) and this semantic modelling layer is only available with Enterprise Edition OAC
  • The process to connect to EPM from OACS through the RPD is a legacy approach similar to connecting to Hyperion Planning (On-premise EPM Planning version) from OBIEE and it isn’t as inituitive and easy to setup like connecting to other Oracle SAAS products (EG. Oracle ERP Cloud) from OAC.
  • I am really hoping and feel this will be the start of many future improvements for this OAC-EPM space. An area where I would like to see improvements quickly is hierarchy recognition and drill capability in Data Visualisation when the source is Oracle EPM Cloud. Currently to achieve hierarchy drilling in DV, you either need to model EPM Data in a Relational Database Schema with hierachies defined or use Essbase.

Today will be a start to a multi-part blog where I will aim to cover:

  • Using Oracle EPM and OAC together and not just in the context of using OAC for EPM Reporting, but also identifying which tool to use based on the reporting output needed.
  • Testing the OAC for EPM new connectivity and if there are performance or capability/functionality improvements
  • Depending on how the testing goes, we may go into other options like extending with Essbase or other options

As you can probably see in today’s blog we are just setting the scene and the next few posts will focus the How To and testing outputs!

Reporting Decisions

The key questions when using multiple systems (more specifically EPM and Analytics) is where should you report from and the answer is never as easy as the question. I suppose rather than answering the question let me give some points for consideration:

  • Oracle EPM is SAAS based and licensing is user specific, OAC has various options for licensing (User or CPU Based), this means that you can give more access to users for EPM data
  • OAC will provide the ability to link and display data from various source systems
  • OAC’s Self Service Analytics, Advanced Analytics, Machine Learning and AI capability is beyond what is in EPM (though we know more capability is coming in the future for EPM)
  • With EPM Reporting you get the capability to create and publishing highly formatted financial and management reports
  • With EPM Narrative Reporting you get the capability to collaboratively authoring and publishing highly formatted financial, management, and regulatory report packages.
  • Oracle EPM products contain dash-boarding capability, but limited in visualisation capability when compared to OAC

My verdict is that OAC extends Oracle EPM and should not be seen as a replacement for the reporting that comes from EPM. OAC should be seen as:

  • a mechanism for making the EPM data available to more users
  • an approach of unlocking further insights from EPM data through the power of linking data from various sources and the application of Advanced Analytics, Machine Learning and AI
  • a central location for analytics in an enterprise and EPM is a data source amongst other sources

What Can OAC Connect To

This link contains the supported list of data sources that OACS can connect to: Supported Data Sources.

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A Message

As always I wish you answers to questions you seek! Stay safe and healthy. The force is foever your guide!

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