1Overview

This chapter contains the following:

About This Guide

If you administer or work with business intelligence, this guide is for you. You can modify, create, and tailor analyses, reports, and dashboards to the content needs of your line of business or company.

Overview of Transactional Business Intelligence

You use Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence (OTBI) to analyze your business and take action with embedded and ad-hoc analysis of your transactional data. Key metrics and attributes of your business and organization are organized into subject areas of data you use as building blocks to answer your business questions.

  • Use embedded analyses and reports to gain insights and report on key business metrics

  • Build ad-hoc analyses, reports, and dashboards.

  • Create business intelligence (BI) catalog folders and define who has access to what in the catalog.

  • Organize your analytics in dashboards and embed them in your work areas.

Architecture

OTBI uses Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) with integration to Application Development Framework (ADF) to run your real-time analysis of your business subject areas.

The BI Server creates physical queries based on metadata mappings between the subject areas you work with in your analysis and ADF view objects and their underlying database tables. The BI Presentation Server compiles and formats the results in the BI client or as embedded analytics.

Here's the OTBI architecture.

OTBI architecture, which focuses physical queries
generated by the BI Server against the Oracle Applications Cloud database
based on repository metadata to provide analyses.

BI Objects and Tools

Here are some of the OTBI components and the objects they support.

Catalog Object Description BI Component or Tool

Analysis

Analyses are a selection of data displayed in one or more views, such as a table or chart, to provide answers to business questions.

Answers

Dashboard

Dashboards organize analytical content and catalog objects, and present them in a meaningful way.

Dashboard Builder

Dashboard Prompt

Dashboard prompts allow users to filter dashboard content by selecting from provided values.

Answers and Dashboard Builder

Filter

Filters limit the results that are displayed when an analysis is run.

Answers

Agent

Agents deliver scheduled analytics and other content and notifications.

BI Delivers

Report

Reports present data in pixel-perfect printable format for distribution.

BI Publisher

Data Model

Data models define the data source for reports.

BI Publisher

Subtemplate

Subtemplates are reusable formatting definitions for reports.

RTF or XSL editor

The catalog stores the BI objects in a folder structure of individual files, organized by product family.

BI objects and reports are organized in a folder hierarchy:

  • Shared folders (parent)

  • Product family, for example, Financials

  • Product, for(example, Payables

  • Report groups, for example, Invoices

  • Dashboard reports

  • Data models

  • Report components

  • BI Publisher reports

  • Prompts

Some Oracle BI Enterprise Edition components aren't available in Oracle Applications Cloud:

  • BI Server: Processes user requests and queries in underlying data sources.

  • Catalog Manager: Manages BI catalog and objects.

  • BI Administration Tool: Manages metadata repository that defines the logical structure and physical data sources for analytic subject areas.

More About Oracle Business Intelligence Components

If you want to know more about Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition components, here's what we have.

Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition

Here's the information about the parts of Oracle BI Enterprise Edition that support analysis against your transactional data.

Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher

BI Publisher is the part of Oracle BI Enterprise Edition you use for reports.

There are different ways to view and work with your analytics and reports. You can view analyses, dashboards, and reports in the course of your work, on your usual pages and infolets. Or you can find them in the business intelligence catalog with the Reports and Analytics work area and the Reports and Analytics panel tab.

View Analytics in Infolets

Use your favorite infolet pages to find analytics.

  1. Use the page controls and Previous and Next icons to explore infolet pages in the home page, where they may appear in infolets with summaries and aggregations or performance metrics. You may also find infolets in some work areas.

  2. Click an infolet to open a detailed analysis. So for example, if an infolet has transactions summed to a total, click it to view details of the underlying transactions.

  3. Click Done.

View Objects in Familiar Work Areas and Pages

Use analyses, dashboards, and reports available in your usual pages and work areas.

  1. Explore your pages. Some may include analysis and report links or embedded objects, sometimes in tabs or panel tabs.

  2. Some work areas have a Reports and Analytics panel tab, where you explore catalog folders for relevant analyses and reports for the work area. And if you have permission, you can map more objects to the work area if they're appropriate.

    1. Open the panel tab.

    2. Expand the Shared Reports and Analytics folder and explore the available content.

    3. Click the link for any object and see its type to determine whether it's an analysis, a report, or a dashboard.

    4. Click View to open the object.

View Objects in the Reports and Analytics Work Area

Use the Reports and Analytics work area to search or browse the catalog and view any analysis, dashboard, or report you have access to. It opens at the highest level of the catalog's folder hierarchy with all objects you have marked as favorites.

Here are some things you can do in the Reports and Analytics work area.

  1. Click Navigator > Tools > Reports and Analytics.

  2. Filter and search for objects:

    1. From the Filter list, select what you want to find.

    2. To view objects you have marked as favorites, select Favorites in the list. Or select Recent Items to view objects you recently worked with, or a recent search to run it again. Enter a name or part of a name and click the Search icon.

    3. In the search results, use the icons to identify what the objects are.

    4. Click the name of an object to open it, or click More and select an action.

  3. In the breadcrumbs, browse the catalog folders for analytics and reports. Click any Hierarchical Selector icon to select a different node for the next level in the hierarchy.

  4. Mark objects as favorites.

    • Select Favorites in the Saved Searches to display your favorite objects.

    • Click the Add Favorites icon for an object to mark it as a favorite.

    • Click the Remove from Favorites icon to remove an object from your favorites.

  5. Create and edit analyses and reports.

    1. Click Create and select Report or Analysis.

    2. Use wizards to create your analysis or report.

  6. Click the Browse Catalog button (or click the More icon for a specific report, dashboard, or analysis) to use more features.

View Analyses

An analysis queries against your company's data and answers business questions with visualizations, such as charts and tables. They may appear on your pages, or as parts of a dashboard.

  1. From the catalog folders or search results, open an analysis to view.

  2. Click Refresh to rerun the analysis and refresh its data.

  3. Click Print and select either Printable PDF or Printable HTML to open a printable version.

  4. Click Export to get analysis data in various formats, for example PDF, Excel, PowerPoint, and XML.

View Grouped Analyses in Dashboards

Some analyses are grouped in dashboards to give you meaningful related information. A dashboard contains pages of analyses, prompts that filter information, and other objects.

  1. From the catalog folders or search results, open a dashboard to view.

  2. Select values for any dashboard prompts to filter the dashboard.

  3. Click Apply to refine the results of all of the analyses in the dashboard.

View Reports

Reports show data in a predefined format that's optimized for printing.

  1. From the catalog folders or search results, open a report.

  2. Click the View Report icon if you want a different format.

    • Choose HTML or PDF to display the report in a format for printing. Because it's optimized for printing, PDF often provides the best results.

    • You can also export the report as RTF for editing in a word processor, or as Excel or PowerPoint.

  3. From the catalog folders or search results, you can also do these tasks:

    • Click Edit to edit the report properties, layout, and data model.

    • Click Report History to see details about past submissions of the report.

    • Click Schedule to schedule the report to be run.

You save analyses, dashboards, and reports in the catalog, along with other objects like prompts and filters. Besides the hierarchy of folders organized by product family, another important folder is Custom, found in Shared Folders. This is where you save the analytics and reports you create or edit for others to use.

Shared Folders and the Custom Subfolder

Anyone with the correct access can get to objects stored in Shared Folders. If you have the appropriate roles, you can save in Shared Folders so that your objects are available for other users. You should save objects in the Custom subfolder, and use the product family subfolders to organize and publish analytics and objects for the correct audiences.

Here are a few things to know while working with analytics in the catalog. Keep all modified analyses and reports in the Custom folder. Directly edit predefined analytics only when it's necessary to make sure that any references to the analysis or dashboard still work properly.

  • Preserve modified predefined objects during updates, which can make changes to predefined analytics, reports, and other objects outside the Custom folder. You might lose changes saved outside the Custom folder during updates.

  • You can easily find modified objects if they're not spread around the catalog.

  • You can edit objects in the Custom folder without compromising security on the original objects.

  • For predefined reports only, you can use a special Customize option to copy the report and also the folder structure and permissions. The copy is linked to the original, so editing the copy is like directly editing the original.

When you copy an object into the Custom folder, the copied object inherits the permission settings of the Custom folder. An administrator can reset the permissions on the object and the folder that it's in.

My Folders

My Folders is your personal storage; you're the only one who can access anything that you save there. What you save there is available in the Reports and Analytics work area, but not in My Folders in the Reports and Analytics panel tab on any other work area. But an exception is when you create an analysis using the wizard in the Reports and Analytics work area. If you save a wizard analysis in My Folders, it's available in any panel tab that appears in any work area.

FAQs for Overview

Do I need to create copies of predefined reports and analyses for each user?

No, you don't need to create multiple versions of the same analysis or report for different users. When you view an object, it includes only the data that you have permission to view from your data security profile.

What happens to modified analytics and reports when a release update is applied?

Updates don't affect the Custom folder or My Folder in the catalog. Anything saved there is preserved, including the analytics and reports you edited or created. But anything saved outside those folders, in the predefined catalog, is preserved only if the update doesn't include a new version of those BI objects.

If an update includes a new version of a predefined object that you edited outside the Custom folder, the changes you made are saved as a new object. The new version from the update overwrites the existing predefined object. And a copy of the existing object (with your edits) is automatically created in the same folder, with a new name that indicates it's a new version.

If the update includes a new version of both the predefined object and a folder in its file path, the new folder name, along with the new version of the object, overwrites the existing predefined folder and object. And a copy of the existing folder (along with your edited object) is automatically created. The folder is renamed to indicate that it's a new version, but your edited object isn't renamed.

Note: Future updates won't affect renamed objects or anything within a renamed folder.

Overview of Creation and Administration of HCM Analytics and Reports

You can use the predefined analyses, dashboards, and reports to help you meet business intelligence requirements. You might want to edit them or create ones for your own purposes. If you have the appropriate roles, you can modify analytics and reports and make them available for use by others.

Setup and Administration

As an implementor or administrator you can:

  • Secure access to customer-defined analytics and reports.

  • Archive and move customer-defined analytics and reports from one environment to another.

For more information about security tasks, see Oracle Applications Cloud: Administering Analytics and Reports

Security Overview of HCM Analytics and Reports

All users with appropriate roles can create and access analyses and reports based on role access to subject areas and catalog folders.

You secure analyses and reports by applying job roles with associated duty roles to users. Duty role assignments determine access to subject areas for analyses as well as catalog folders. For information about the job and duty roles provided with HCM, and how to modify your security model by creating your own job roles and assigning duty roles to them, see the HCM Security Guide.

HCM Subject Areas for Transactional Business Intelligence

To create a real-time analysis using Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence, begin by selecting a subject area. Then, select columns of information to include in the analysis. For example, to create an analysis of salary information, you begin by selecting a Compensation subject area. Subject areas are based around a business object or fact.

Transactional Business Intelligence includes subject areas for:

  • Absences

  • Benefits

  • Compensation

  • Environment Health and Safety

  • Goals

  • Payroll

  • Performance

  • Profiles

  • Succession

  • Talent review

  • Workforce management

Subject areas for Transactional Business Intelligence always include the suffix, Real Time.

Fact Folders and Dimension Folders

Each subject area has one fact folder and a number of dimension folders. Fact folders contain attributes that can be measured, meaning that they're numeric values like headcount and salary. A special folder, called a degenerate dimension, is also associated with the fact folder. Each dimension folder is joined to the fact folder within a subject area. Fact folders are usually at the bottom of the list of folders and are usually named after the subject area.

Some folders appear in more than one subject area, such as Grade, Department, and Job. These are referred to as common folders or common dimensions.

Each fact has a different level of granularity. For example:

  • Worker Assignment has one row for every assignment.

  • Worker Assignment Event has one row for each assignment event, such as hire and transfer, which means there are multiple rows for each assignment.

  • Absence has one row for each absence

Folders and Flattened Hierarchies

Some folders contain flattened hierarchies. For example, the manager and department hierarchies are flattened, which means that the transactional system contains:

  • One record that indicates that John is Claire's manager.

  • Another record that indicates that Claire is James's manager.

The hierarchy has both a record containing John - Claire - James, and another one with Claire - James. If John signs in, he uses the former, if Claire signs in, she uses the latter record.

For detailed information about HCM subject areas, see Oracle Human Capital Management Cloud Subject Areas for Transactional Business Intelligence in HCM.

Setup and Administration Overview

Tools for Administering Analyses and Reports

You can use several different tools to manage and administer your analytics. Analytics can be reports or analyses, depending on how you intend to display and distribute them.

These components support modification and administration of your analyses and reports:

  • Use the Business Intelligence catalog to interact directly with your reports and analyses. Use this interface to manage permissions, properties, and the organization of your analyses and reports.

  • Use the Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher administration pages to configure settings specific to the running and scheduling of operational reports, such as setting up your delivery servers, managing scheduler work load, and setting run-time properties for reports.