We previously discussed the basics of business intelligence and why companies – even in a down economy – should choose a BI tool.
Today, we will explore a scenario that’s commonly talked about: having PeopleSoft ERP and Oracle BI applications happily coexist and thrive.
First, the ERP side.
PeopleSoft is a world-class ERP system and is run by thousands of companies globally. It is feature- and functionality-rich and provides a quality end user experience. Additionally, the PeopleSoft data and table structure is organized logically with a fairly intuitive design that an experienced user can understand.
This balance of feature richness and logical organization provides an excellent source for some of PeopleSoft’s in-box reporting tools, such as Nvision and PeopleSoft Query. If one understands how to access the data, then these tools can provide a mechanism for self-service. If an organization’s information is all contained within one ERP system, then these reporting tools may provide a sufficient and efficient means of reporting. I stress reporting only because they do not provide the greater capabilities of dashboards and advanced analytics.
But hold on: what if data is stored in other systems, whether they’re proprietary systems, data marts, Access databases, or Excel spreadsheets? Getting information from these sources now poses a greater problem if data needs to be consolidated. And believe me, this is very much a reality for many companies out there.
What if you could have the best of both worlds? The feature-rich intuitive data structure combined with the power of an enterprise business intelligence solution that provides for all of the key benefits noted in my previous discussion? Oracle BI applications provide such a combination. These apps are packaged, natively-integrated solutions into PeopleSoft that are built upon the Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) BI platform.
First though, because the word “integrated” gets so many vendors in trouble, let’s make sure we understand what it means. In this scenario it does not simply mean all of the potential touchpoints between the two solutions have been identified. In this case, it means that the Oracle BI-PeopleSoft solution identifies all of the key tables and fields, provides pre-built ETL (Extract/Transform/Load) processes to move data from PeopleSoft to a pre-built data warehouse structure. It contains an impressive array of pre-built metrics, reports and dashboards.
All of this pre-built integration removes much of the complexity associated with designing a solution of this magnitude from scratch. A homegrown solution could take many months to years to effectively design and build (in fact, the going rate for homegrown BI solutions is 7x that of a packaged BI app in terms of cost and effort). In addition, once the solution is implemented, the core OBIEE foundation is present and allows for information access from multiple data sources other than PeopleSoft. By definition, this is what we refer to as true enterprise business intelligence solution. Not only will access to PeopleSoft information and performance be improved, but a more thorough and comprehensive solution will be deployed that allows for dashboards tailored by audience, metrics, KPIs and advanced analytics.
If it sounds impressive, it’s because it is. Even in during this economic downturn, BI is bucking the trend. Anything that truly helps a company make smarter decisions and aligns business operations to overarching corporate objectives will be looked at quite heavily. We field questions about BI every day from clients who are actively being told to look into BI, despite spending slowdowns in other areas.
If you would like further information on an Enterprise BI strategy or BI applications for PeopleSoft, please email me. If social media is more your thing, you can follow us on Twitter or become our fan on Facebook. Or, if old school RSS is your gig, you can subscribe here.