Thursday, December 20, 2007

"Living in America"

If that's you, and you know your rpd from armpit, then please get in touch. I may be able to put you in touch with some projects that need OBIEE consultants.
I recently commented that Finance departments can start considering how OBIEE can replace/ compliment their MS Access systems. In response to a question on this I replied with the following:

"A little background - I have been implementing MS Access systems for 10 years, and I think they are great. The speed to deliver, the power of the analysis, the very useful VBA make a great product for Finance departments. I came across OBIEE (in previous forms) 5 years ago and found that it solved the big problem of Access databases being restricted to a local team. Using them across the world was very difficult. We needed to report in Australia and USA using European data.

OBIEE can be very quick to develop in (if your IT and project team will let you) you can create reports based upon a standard definitions (i.e. measures created in the rpd), and you do not have to extract massive volumes out of one database to be able to combine with another - we had to put CRM data next to HR data, next to Finance data.

Any good product can be badly implemented, and IT departments can hold you back from doing the quick data analysis you need to do for your job, so using Access gives you freedom to develop what you want when you want - YOU are in control. Treat OBIEE in the same way. Get the IT dept to set up the infrastructure, YOU control the rpd and the reporting.

Best of all - you can put OBIEE on top of Access - best of both worlds."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Quiet Christmas

I had a few emails, texts and calls today from people who are available for work. Good Siebel Analytics / OBIEE consultants who may be having an extended xmas holiday!

If you have a need for someone for short or long term please get in touch and I'll forward their details on.

You may have noticed me being busy on LinkedIn recently. I have managed to build a good network of OBIEE consultants, and even started a group specifically for Oracle Business Intelligence consultants. This should benefit us all when it comes to project requirements.
Go to http://www.linkedin.com/e/gis/43109/526A0219C124 and I'll add you in (I only add in OBI consultants and related workers).

I have also been busy on the Oracle OBIEE forum, reading the issues that people have. It annoys me when someone clearly hasn't read the manual or even tried to find the answer to something before posting a request.

Each day I always check out Venkats postings on his blog. He has a great job - he just gets to play with OBIEE all day and write about the new stuff.

Talking of new stuff, the new functionality in 10.1.3.3.xyz, which allows you to call Oracle functions will be a greta boost for the product. Up until now I have seriously wondered by you need a BLOB in an Analytics but now we get to put pictures from a database in you reports.

I was sceptical about the time series functions, particularly as they were causing some people problems, but I have now converted over completely and so far so good. Let me know what you think.

Have you noticed that when you use the functions editor you now get something more useful when you add the function - it actually now tells you what arguments it requires instead of <>. I tended to copy the contents of the edit box into TextPad but may start using the editor more now.

I notice there are more and more companies that are offering OBIEE and Siebel Analytics consultancy. Those of us that were using the product over 4 years ago are seeing others trying to muscle in. All I can say is How much do you really know?? There are so many stories at conference from clients that say their implementation failed due to the integrator not having the right skills. We ALL need to make sure the product is not undermined by consultants who frankly do not have a clue. If you are in a pitch to a client sell your real experience and don't let beginners run your project.

I am still building the OBIEE information website, if you would like to have a listing just let me know.

That's all for now Folks!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Trimming

One little 'feature' of OBIEE keeps popping up in my projects - Automatic Trimming.
If you have a field with data, or calculated field, that has a trailing space in then OBIEE can remove the space for you.
This can lead to some issues, particularly when drilling down.Lets say you have a report with :

DimA Top Level Fact 1.
ABC 123

and the true value of DimA is 'ABC ' - note the space
The value displayed in the report is ABC, clicking on the value will start the drill down, using a filter of 'WHERE DIMA = ABC'
Of course NO data is returned.

The solution is to either make sure none of the data has trailing spaces or add the TRIM function. TRIM ( BOTH ' ' FROM DIMA) will do the trick.

TO_CHAR

I noticed this first when using the TO_CHAR function.If you to_char a date into month name (usually using OBIEE Function MONTHNAME) then the answer you get back is always 9 characters, which means AUGUST has three trailing spaces.You therefore have to trim the answer.

The Cowes

The Cowes
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Sudoku