QlikView customers that wish to leverage the power of business discovery and natural analytics on data from Oracle E-Business Suite would need to write complex QlikView Load Script that is beyond the capability of many end-users, creating a technical resource bottleneck. Read more
Noetix customer Tempel has been awarded the prestigious Manufacturing Leadership Award in the project category of Enterprise Technology Leadership. Read more
Noetix began a transformation in late 2009 with the acquisition of the product line that became Noetix Analytics, and subsequently a major component of Noetix BI. We have grown from a niche Oracle E-Business Suite operational reporting company to a BI solutions provider encompassing numerous BI platforms and business applications. The data warehouses belonging to Noetix customers contain information from hundreds of data sources and Noetix reporting solutions run on nearly a dozen different BI platforms. We provide thousands of operational and analytical models and reports. Noetix is the cornerstone of the BI strategy for many mature companies. Read more
QUESTION: What is Noetix’s position on Mobile BI?
ANSWER: Without a doubt, mobile BI is one of the hottest trends in the Business Intelligence industry. Smart phones (led by Apple’s iPhone and Motorola’s Droid) are nearly ubiquitous; tablets (led by Apple’s iPad, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, and other challengers) represent a growing market. Read more
Noetix Analytics 5.0 was released last May, and more recently we’ve been diligently working on Noetix Analytics 5.1, which shipped in February. Noetix Analytics 5.1 has a big emphasis on new content including a powerful new feature called the Financial Statement Generator (FSG) data mart.
During months of development for this solution, we engaged the help of several partners and worked with them to identify challenges they experienced with their existing Oracle FSG reporting. We found they had limited drill-down capability with hundreds of existing FSG reports. They recounted that it was difficult to maintain the Application Desktop Integrator (ADI) and experienced loss of functionality when upgrading to R12. In addition, their FSG reporting was not integrated with their enterprise BI platform and data warehouse.
In response to these and other issues, we are introducing Noetix Analytics for Oracle FSG, a packaged data mart, including ETL routines, and a set of report templates that reproduce your existing Oracle FSG reports in your BI platform of choice, including Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition, Cognos, or Business Objects. In this way, Noetix preserves and extends the value of our customers’ investments in Oracle FSG reports.
Users will also benefit from dramatically superior drill-down capabilities provided by Noetix Analytics. Not only can they now see the FSG reports in their BI platform, they also have much better ability to interact with that report, and can drill to account balances, journal details, and ultimately all the way down to the sub-ledgers.
We’re very excited about this new capability and believe there will be a lot of demand for the solution. More details are available via this On Demand Web Seminar: Discover What’s New in Noetix Analytics.
Noetix has been working on new versions of Noetix Generator for each of the major BI platforms: IBM Cognos, SAP Business Objects, and Oracle BI.
Noetix Generator automates the administrative task of building the metadata models for the different BI platforms. Each platform uses a different name for these models – Business Objects has a “universe”, Cognos has “Framework Manager packages”, and Oracle BI has an “Enterprise Information Model” (which is stored in a file referred to as an “RPD file”, based on the filename suffix it uses). While these models have some differences and distinctions, they all have a common purpose: they provide the BI platform with a “map” to the database content.
Each of the BI platforms also has administrative tools to build these models. However, the actual process for building the models can be tedious, and defining the links between objects can be extremely tricky. In addition, specifying user-friendly names for fields requires an often painful amount of repetitive typing.
The Noetix family of products greatly reduce that effort by building the models automatically. They create the connections between objects, define the appropriate data types (and usage hints) for all the fields, and organize the information into a structure that makes sense to business users who need to build reports.
The newest releases – version 3.0 of the Noetix Generator family of products – add some exciting features. Most importantly, the generators will now support the next generation of NoetixViews. Along with this support, we’ve improved the presentation layer, creating an even more intuitive experience for business users with greater ease of use.
These new releases also include support for our newest addition to the product stack, Noetix Analytics. Now customers who purchase Noetix Analytics for strategic reporting will be able to generate the models for their BI platforms automatically, just like customers using NoetixViews for operational reporting. If customers have both NoetixViews and Noetix Analytics, they’ll be able to generate all of their Noetix content into the same BI platform!
Finally, the new releases of Noetix Generator for Cognos BI and Noetix Generator for Business Objects will add the ability to automatically generate charts using the NoetixAnswers metadata. This provides functional equivalence with Noetix Generator for Oracle BI, which has included chart generation since last year.
We’re excited about these new releases – a lot of engineering, testing, and documentation effort has gone into them. We look forward to hearing your feedback on our new features.
QUESTION: My BI platform comes with a set of administrative tools that enable me to build the model. Why would I want to further invest in a product like Noetix Generator to assist with this process?
ANSWER: You’re absolutely correct – each BI platform comes with a tool for building the model (or semantic layer) for that tool. Before tackling your question, let me first provide a bit of background on this technology.
Every major BI platform includes a “metadata model” or “semantic layer” or “abstraction layer”. The model provides a “map” to the data for the tool to follow and, more importantly, hides the details of the underlying complex data structures from the business user. The model allows the presentation tool to use standard business terminology that makes sense to those users.
In Oracle Discoverer, that model is called an End User Layer (EUL). Business Objects calls it a Universe. Cognos uses Framework Manager packages. Oracle BI EE uses the BI Repository (which is often referred to as an RPD file, after the file extension used for the file that contains the model). They all serve a similar purpose – providing a friendly presentation to the user, while hiding the complexity of the underlying data sources.
Now, getting back to the question. Noetix provides a family of Noetix Generator products – there is one for SAP BusinessObjects, IBM Cognos BI, Oracle Discoverer, and Oracle BI. Each Noetix Generator builds the model for that BI platform automatically, using details from NoetixViews or Noetix Analytics (or both). So, what’s the value? What does the Generator do beyond what you get out of the box from the native administration tools in the BI platform?
The answer is, a lot!
- Creates joins between objects
One of the trickiest things to do in building a model is to define the joins between tables and views. I won’t go into all the details here, because each tool is different. You need to plan your “logical model” and then figure out how to fit your existing tables and views into that model. This is especially complicated in OBI EE, because that platform has very rigid (and poorly documented) rules on how to do this. Noetix Generator automatically defines the joins between related tables and views for you.
- Manages complex join relationships
Defining those joins gets even more difficult when you have a lot of inter-related objects. If your data source is NoetixViews (or any other set of views and tables that isn’t designed as a star schema), you’re going to have some trouble getting this right. Even with Noetix Analytics, getting all of the joins correct can be very complicated. Again, OBI EE wins the prize as “most difficult platform” for this kind of modeling and Noetix Generator can greatly simplify the management of this process.
- Links to “Lists of Values”
When your users build reports, they’ll want to create prompts for parameters, which show a list of allowable values for those parameters. In most cases, you’ll want to provide a fast way to retrieve and display those lists of values. Noetix Generator sets up those lists automatically, saving you the tedium of doing it yourself.
- Populates descriptive text for views, tables, and columns
Your model will be much easier to use if you add in detailed descriptions of each view, table, and column in the model. Unfortunately, this is a painfully monotonous task (because much of the descriptive detail isn’t imported automatically by the administrative tools). Noetix Generator automatically populates the descriptions with the details from NoetixViews and Noetix Analytics.
- Specifies column attributes
In each BI platform, you need to specify (for each column) the data type, the aggregation rule (i.e. whether it’s a numeric column that can be summed up or whether it’s something to be counted or some other rule), how the data should be formatted, and a number of other properties. Again, Noetix Generator defines this information automatically, saving you the repetitive task of doing it yourself.
- Creates hierarchies
Much of the data in NoetixViews and Noetix Analytics exists in hierarchies (including every Key Flexfield structure). Noetix Generator automatically creates dimensional hierarchies in each BI platform. This enables the automatic drilling features of those platforms to be enabled, which allows business users to create rich interactive reports that support “drill to detail” with no additional effort.
All of these tasks can, of course, be done using the administration tool that came with the BI platform, but the work is typically slow, tedious, and error-prone. Modeling tasks that would take (literally) weeks of effort by a highly skilled administrator can be done automatically, in minutes, by Noetix Generator. In addition, Noetix Generator integrates seamlessly with those tools. As a result, if you do additional modeling within your administrative tool, the work you’ve done isn’t lost. It remains in the model and is preserved each time you re-run Noetix Generator.
In the end, you get the best of both worlds. The repetitive work is done automatically by Noetix Generator. That leaves you free to do other more important tasks like integrating additional data sources or adding other modeling details required by your business.
Submit a question to Noetix and check back for the answer in an upcoming blog post!
Whether your reporting needs are operational or analytical and regardless of whether you have already made BI platform investments, Noetix Analytics can accelerate your data warehouse and reporting initiatives to maximize your return on investment. Read more