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Art of BI: Oracle BI 12c and Data Visualization
There are many things to be considered when you’re implementing a net new implementation of Oracle BI 12c or upgrading to OBIEE 12c from 11g. A new data visualization feature of Oracle BI 12c is one of the key features that may help change the speed of moving to Oracle BI 12c from a walk to a brisk jog. Even though the Oracle BI 12c Data Visualization component (also known as Visual Analyzer) may have additional licensing considerations, it is almost impossible to separate associating the vast features of Data Visualization from any Oracle BI 12c discussion.
So what do you get with OBIEE 12c separately from Data Visualization?
Almost the same thing you get with every upgrade of OBIEE, the sleeker new look, better performance and well, a noticeably smoother upgrade process with the Baseline validation tool, and an interesting new Administration and life cycle management setup. The Metadata is now separated from the configuration giving way to a simpler, more robust security, and easier backup, restore and disaster recovery. There’s of course many more subtle new features.
However what stands out with the Oracle BI 12c release is the Oracle Data Visualization component, along with the many incredible features associated with it. I do want to highlight again though that there may be some additional licensing features associated with OBIEE 12c for the full Data Visualization Visual Analyzer functionality.
Not only does Oracle Visual Analyzer provide a “self-service” visual tool, where you have all your attributes and metrics on one side and just drag and drop them onto your work pane to create and view numerous visualizations instantly, (you can even select recommended visualizations to explore all the new ways Oracle recommends viewing your data!) but the best part, in my opinion, is the Data Mashup capability. This gives the user some flexibility to no longer be tied down to only the IT department’s development timeframes or a reliance on ETL development efforts in order to view their ancillary datasets. Prototyping with data and Excel files becomes a joy, and a layer of business user bliss is achieved.
In the early preview releases of OBIEE 12c, before it was GA, Oracle showed the “Mashup” feature as a part of the answers/analysis editor, allowing you to upload your own external data source (in excel format) and use it as a standalone subject area for creating your own reports from it directly or combining it with other existing subject areas – thus “mashed up” with other data. For now this feature seems to only be available through the Data Visualization license, but things may change down the road. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what other visualization and mashup concepts are ahead for Oracle Analytics.