geordee


Rethinking Business Intelligence

The only constant is change is ever so true with Information Technology. IT systems and solutions are created in the context of the evolutionary period in IT resources. From a number of implementations we derive technical know-how, patterns, best practices, and wisdom. Sometimes the evolutionary cycles take us to newer possibilities that invalidate the current common wisdom. So is with business intelligence.

It has been almost two years since I wrote the demise and restoration of data warehousing. The brave new world is now established.

Business Intelligence aided by data warehousing...


Crossing the Golden Gate

I have been playing around with GoldenGate for a few months now. The more challenges I face, the more I like the features and capabilities of this tool. Except for a few bugs introduced in the recent versions (typical in the Oracle products I have worked on), GoldenGate proved a solid replication and changed data capture tool. Now, “solid” should not be understood as rigid; GoldenGate is quite flexible in the way it can be configured.

One of the challenges we had is to extract data with minimal burden to the source databases (in Oracle). The source database was configured...


Oracle Spend Classification

As information technology progresses, computers become more capable to perform activities which requires not just basic binary logic, but approximation, correlation and prediction. Such implementations help us teach computers to perform large and complex tasks which otherwise require an intelligent supervision. In common technological parlance, this is known as machine learning or knowledge discovery. In relation with data warehousing, we know this as data mining, which is a prominent technique for knowledge discovery.

In large organizations controlling expenses is as important as making profits. Procurement and Spend Analytics is therefore an important area for analysis and business intelligence in large...


Encoded Images in OBIEE 11g Report

Business Intelligence tools are not omnipotent. Different tools have different capabilities, and once the tool selection is over we generally live with what the tool can offer. In this context, I often suggest that the requirements gathering can be done in a tools context, both to ensure we can achieve what we want and to best utilize the tools capabilities. Once in a while, clients express a requirement that is just beyond the tools capabilities and we wish we could somehow push the boundaries a little.

Recently one of the clients asked whether they can display thumbnail images along with...


Data Warehousing is Dead, Long Live Data Warehousing

Data Warehousing has turned over a new leaf. Analysts are thinking beyond databases and ETL tools. Vendors are talking loud about their Big Data solutions, Hadoop integration and NoSQL products more than ever.

The old data warehouse understood our data through metadata. The old reported the patterns and trends we have asked. The old helped us find answers to our questions. The old just talked. And now, the old is dead. Data warehousing is dead.

Long live data warehousing! The new will make us understand our data. The new will go beyond dimensions and facts. The new will do more...


From Data to Mining

The Internet is abuzz with Big Data, Hadoop, NoSQL, petabytes and portmanteau words starting with Exa, of course only if you care about databases and data warehousing. It was all good, until the hype hit, and surely it has hit. We are now trying to fit in available big data processing techniques everywhere. How do you store big data? How do you process big data? How do you crunch big data? Hardly, I hear questions like what do you do with big data? We hope that the hows will lead us to the whats. Sort of means justify the ends...


Expanding Universe of BI

Recently, we had a discussion on how the future of BI is shaping up. As I was exploring the trends in business intelligence, it seemed the new developments are not in any particular direction. Today business intelligence is expanding in all directions. The presentation aspects of BI have already embraced rich UI, Flash and Ajax. It is now reaching out to HTML5 and mobile platforms. There is also a trend towards data visualization, rather than traditional tabular representations. The analytical aspects of BI are now developing towards massively parallel platforms - be it MPP databases and appliances or frameworks like...


Real-time Data Warehouse & Mixed Grains

Increasingly, the trends point to real-time data warehouses. There are quite a lot of discussions on what is meant by real-time and the purpose of real-time data warehouses. Whatever it may be, the very fact that analysts, and hence enterprises, are increasingly interested in real-time data warehouses demands us to think about how to architect such a data warehouse.

There are two distinct problems in real-time data warehousing - real-time data integration and real-time decision making. Changed data capture (CDC) tools and trickle-feed techniques are addressing the real-time data integration problems. Increasingly, the application integration techniques are aligning closer to ETL...


Implementing Master Data Management

Software applications were process-oriented for a long time. With new technologies and architectures being introduced with tangible benefits at rapid pace, lifespan of software applications have considerably reduced. Mergers and acquisitions, tool/technology rationalization efforts, competitive business practices have all increased the likelihood of shortening application lifespan. However, one thing remains fairly constant – data. Organizations now consider their data as an enterprise-asset, and more so with master data which is the information about an organization’s physical and realizable assets.

Master data refers to information regarding non-transactional entities in an organization, such as data related to customer, product and accounts. Master...


Yes to NoSQL!

I have been thinking about Workaday’s architecture, following Curt Monash’s post The Workday architecture — a new kind of OLTP software stack. What struck me most is the approach towards data storage. They boldy decided to forgo the conventional approach and is quite successful in that. Not that there is no comparable approaches in the past, the Curt’s coverage emphasizes the recent trend of applications stepping into the new territory commonly known as NoSQL.

Attribute-value (or key-value) store is closer in spirit to the other growing trend of MapReduce implementations for data processing. Then there are document stores such as...