19 Use BI Composer to Analyse Your Data

This chapter describes how to use BI Composer to quickly and easily create, edit, and view analyses.

What Is BI Composer?

BI Composer is a simple-to-use wizard that allows you to create, edit, or view analyses without the complexities of the Analysis editor.

There are two modes in which BI Composer is available — regular mode and accessibility mode. Accessibility mode has the same functionality as regular mode but is optimized for use with screen reader applications such as JAWS. It makes it easier for users with accessibility needs to create, edit, and view analyses.

Note:

Visual cues, such as icons or check boxes, displayed on a wizard page in accessibility mode are the same as displayed in regular mode. Even though the list of text-based wizard page links is not displayed on a wizard page in accessibility mode, screen reader applications such as JAWS are able to read them.

The main components of the BI Composer wizard are:

  • At the top of the wizard is the BI Composer train, which contains buttons for each step in the wizard.

  • On the left are the Catalog and Subject Areas tabs. These tabs are available only when BI Composer is part of an ADF application or Oracle WebCenter Portal Framework application or WebCenter Portal.

  • To the right of the tabs is the panel area, where the components for each step are displayed.

  • To the far right are the Back, Next, Finish, and Cancel buttons.

Where Is BI Composer Available?

You can access BI Composer in several areas

BI Composer is available in:

  • Oracle Analytics Server (if your organization has installed and configured it).

  • Any ADF application that has been modified to integrate with Oracle Analytics Server.

  • Oracle WebCenter Portal Framework application or WebCenter Portal that has been modified to integrate with Oracle Analytics Server.

Availability of BI Composer in Oracle Analytics Server

When users work with analyses in Oracle Analytics Server, BI Composer may be displayed in place of the Analysis editor, depending on the preferences users make as follows:

  • BI Composer is displayed in regular mode in place of the Analysis editor, when users have specified that they want to use the BI Composer wizard as the analysis editor and have turned off accessibility mode in Oracle Analytics Server.

  • BI Composer is displayed in accessibility mode in place of the Analysis editor, when users have turned on accessibility mode in Oracle Analytics Server.

Users:

  • Specify that they want to use the BI Composer wizard as the analysis editor by selecting the Wizard (limited functionality) option for the Analysis editor component in the Preferences tab of the My Account dialog.

  • Turn accessibility mode on or off by selecting or deselecting the Accessibility Mode box in the Sign In page or by selecting On or Off for the Accessibility Mode component in the Preferences tab of the My Account dialog.

Compare the Analysis Editor and BI Composer

The Analysis editor provides additional editorial tools compared to BI Composer’s more simple analysis features.

The Analysis editor and BI Composer share a similar purpose, in that both are analytical components that power intelligent business process decision making. Collaboration fueled through exploration, analysis, sharing, and visualizations, allows business users at all levels to glean insight into data. BI Composer and the Analysis editor differ however, in that BI Composer is more suitable for simple analyses that do not contain advanced analytic functions such as calculated items, selection steps, and multiple conditions. Sophisticated and highly structured analyses should be edited by using the Analysis editor.

What Types of Views Can I Work with in BI Composer?

BI Composer allows you to quickly and simply create or edit analyses.

The table describes the views with which you can work and the options available in BI Composer to enhance the analyses.

View or Option Description

Table

You can have a table, summary table, pivot table, or summary pivot table.

A table can have prompts and sections.

Graph

You can have various types of graphs:

  • Bar - Vertical, horizontal, vertical stacked, horizontal stacked, 100% vertical stacked, or 100% horizontal stacked

  • Line

  • Scatter

  • Pie

  • Line-Bar

A graph can have various sections:

  • Prompts

  • Sections

  • Group By

  • Vary Color By

  • Slices (for a pie graph)

  • Points (for a scatter graph)

Conditional formatting

See the BI Composer wizard -- Create Analysis: Highlight panel for information.

Column formula

See the BI Composer wizard -- Create Analysis: Select Columns panel for information.

Filter

See the BI Composer wizard -- Create Analysis: Sort and Filter panel for information.

Interaction

Allows you to specify what happens when you click a value. You can drill, navigate to a transaction, or do nothing by specifying None.

Sort

See the BI Composer wizard -- Create Analysis: Sort and Filter panel for information.

Create or Edit an Analysis in BI Composer

Set up or update an analysis in BI Composer using these steps.

  • Select Columns — Select the columns to include in the analysis. You can also:

    • Specify column interactions

    • Specify a column formula

    • Rename a column

    • Hide a column

    See BI Composer wizard -- Create Analysis: Select Columns panel for additional information.

  • Select Views — Select the views to include in the analysis, such as a title, table, pivot table, bar graph, and so on. (Not all views available in Oracle Analytics Server are supported in BI Composer.) You can also preview the results and display the associated XML code.

  • Edit Table — Edit the layout of the tabular view (if you have included a tabular view). For example, you can create prompts, use a column to section the analysis, and exclude certain columns from the tabular view. You can also preview the results.

  • Edit Graph — Edit the properties and layout of the graph (if you have included a graph view). For example, you can create prompts, use a column to section the analysis, and exclude certain columns from the graph. You can also preview the results.

  • Sort and Filter — Apply sorting and filters to the views. You can also preview the results.

  • Highlight — Apply conditional formatting to the tabular view (if you have included a tabular view). You can also preview the results.

Create Analyses Using BI Composer

You can access BI Composer in multiple ways.

  1. In Oracle Analytics:
    1. In the global header, click New, then Analysis.
    2. Select a subject area. The BI Composer wizard is displayed in a new window.
  2. In other applications (such as an ADF application):
    1. Click the Subject Areas tab.
    2. Select a subject area.
    3. Click Create.
  3. In the Select Columns panel, select the columns to include in the analysis. For each column that you want to add:
    1. Select the column in the Subject Areas list.
    2. Click Add to move it to the Selected Columns list.
    If you want to add or remove subject areas from which to select columns, click the Add button in the Subject Area: Subject_Area_Name area to display the Add/Remove Subject Areas dialog.
  4. Click the Select Views button in the BI Composer train at the top of the wizard.
  5. In the BI Composer wizard -- Create Analysis: Select Views panel, specify the views to include.
  6. Click the Save button in the BI Composer train.
  7. In the BI Composer wizard -- Create Analysis: Save panel, save the analysis with the same name or with a different name by specifying the save criteria and then clicking Submit.
Suppose that a BI Composer session contains an unsaved analysis and the current Managed Server for Oracle WebLogic Scripting Tool stops, which causes the system to fail over to another Managed Server. In this case, the analysis in the existing BI Composer session cannot be saved. You can recover the original analysis by opening a new BI Composer session and saving the analysis from there.

Edit Analyses Using BI Composer

BI Composer is a simple-to-use wizard that allows you to create, edit, or view analyses.

You edit an analysis using BI Composer when you:

  • Edit an analysis from the Catalog page or from the Recent section or the Most Popular section of the Home page

  • Edit an analysis from within a dashboard

In other applications (such as an ADF application), you select an analysis to edit directly from the BI Composer wizard.

  1. Edit the analysis in one of the following ways:
    • From the Catalog or Home page, navigate to the analysis and click Edit. The BI Composer wizard is displayed.
    • From the BI Composer wizard, click the Catalog tab, select the analysis, and click Edit.
  2. Make the changes to the analysis by navigating the steps of the wizard using the buttons in the BI Composer train at the top of the wizard, and save your changes.

View Analyses in BI Composer

You can format analyses so they are optimized for BI Composer.

If you are working in BI Composer in an application other than Oracle Analytics (such as an ADF application), then you can display an analysis for viewing in BI Composer. In Oracle Analytics, simply use the Analysis editor.

  1. Click the Catalog tab.
  2. Select the analysis.
  3. Click View. The analysis is displayed for viewing to the right of the Catalog tab.

Edit Analyses Created in Analysis Editor

The analysis editor enables you to use more powerful analytics features that aren't in BI Composer, such as:

  • Conditional format

  • Excluded columns

  • Filters

  • Prompts

  • Sections

  • Slices for pie graphs

  • Sorts

  • Title

  • Vary measure by color and points for scatter graphs

If you edit an analyses in BI Composer, you might receive an error message stating that there are incompatible elements in the analysis.

This message can occur for a variety of reasons. For example:

  • Green bar formatting has been applied to the analysis.

  • An incompatible graph view such as, gauge or performance tile, is part of the analysis.

  • An incompatible view such as, selection step or filter, is part of the analysis.

  • Duplicate view type exists. For example, if the analysis contains a table, pivot table, pie graph, and bar graph, only one table and one graph are converted in BI Composer. The table or pivot table is converted as a summary table and the graph defaults to the first compatible graph type in the analysis.

To edit an analysis using BI Composer when you have received an incompatibility error message:

  1. Click Show details to view the messages.
  2. Examine the messages.
  3. When you are sure that you want to proceed, click Yes. The BI Composer wizard -- Create Analysis: Edit Graph panel displays.