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Art of BI: Why you should care about Oracle Endeca right now?

Christian Screen | | June 1, 2012

I tweeted a while back about a video with legendary Apple Evangelist Guy Kawasaki where he broke down new age Business Intelligence as “new answers to unknown questions” instead of “Proven answers to known questions”. If you really think about this it is very true that this is where organizations need to take their next level of analytics.


As I think more about…

Mr. Kawasaki’s distinction of the two ways to answer questions as a 80/20 mix. That is to say that around 80% of the decision support and key analysis you do in the organization is fed from a proven vetted requirement driven means for understanding the organizations’ operations, sales, and other aspects in order to be as competitive and as innovative as possible. The other other 20% of analysis allows an organization to discover connections, sentiments and the sometimes logical sometimes not so logical aspects that can give an organization a very unique value proposition and keep the organization proactively looking at its business instead of reacting to things that happen to it. The 20% becomes even more disruptive when you combine this discovery of information with new age concepts (more like buzz words) such as social, spatial, big data, cloud, and our general push towards a more service-aware economy.

In the realm of Oracle (Yes, I know the Guy K. video was from Microsoft) these two tools are mainly Oracle BI and Endeca.

So, why should you care about Endeca?

There are several reasons that any of us jump on a bandwagon. It feels right or it feels wrong. It makes sense or it doesn’t. But, when I break it down from the perspective of a business analyst, a CIO, a CEO, a consultant, or a technut, I have these few things to say about it:

  • Endeca is a tool has a very low learning curve for end-users because it is has a user-friendly interface, it provides ad-hoc self-service Web 2.0 reporting capabilities, its interactive, works in a browser, and has solid documentation.
  • Endeca is open-standards based, it relies on many open-source projects, leverages Java intensely, and the documentation for integration is sound.
  • It has an open-source integration engine that can potentially source from any major source systems
  • It combines related and non-related data in a logical and/or non-logical way.  The statement is in itself is perplexing. But so often also is the data we have to work with so this makes sense.
  • It alleviates the pain of attempting to make one tool do what it is not meant to do.  Oracle BI is perfect for a lot of scenarios in analyzing information but Endeca is a perfect complement.
  • Finally there’s a tool to analyze the terabytes of unstructured data from Big Data as well as the sentimental social data stemming from services such as Twitter –  together!
  • It can create Analytics based on Text data not just raw number data
  • Fairly soon it will integrate seamlessly with Oracle BI 11g bringing the 80/20 under one dashboard interface.
  • Its a hot new technology that any Oracle BI/EPM aficionado should have in their arsenal.
  • Its so new that only a handful experts exists.  It’s the perfect time to jump on the bandwagon before everyone is an expert.
  • It can make the entire organization smarter better faster stronger. Why have an air bag in the car when you could have a radar collision detection system to protect your from getting in an accident in the first place? (Thanks for that one JP)

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Don’t get me wrong; there are other tools in existence acting as competitors to Endeca. One of my new favorites is Panorama. But for the Oracle road map, as I’ve mentioned above, Endeca makes perfect sense especially if an organization is engaged in social media, big data, or similar activities where discerning unstructured data means being smarter than the other guy; i.e.: if you can turn words into actionable information. Oracle shop or not Endeca brings great open standard qualities and a new way of looking at information heterogeneously. There’s lots of opportunity here.  It’s a good train get on it.

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