OBIEE

Adding Oracle Data Miner to OBIEE

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Oracle Data Miner is a very powerful tool that provides advanced machine learning algorithms that are embedded in the Oracle database. By using Oracle Data Miner you do not have to use another tool, from another vendor, to do your data mining. You can do everything in the database, ensuring that the security of your data is maintained and use all the performance functionality that comes with the database.
To add to the advanced insights that you can get from using ODM, you can combine ODM with your OBIEE dashboards to gain a deeper level of insight of your data. This is the combining of data mining techniques and visualization techniques.
The purpose of this blog post is to show you the steps involved in adding an ODM model to your OBIEE dashboards. Lots of people have been asking for the details of how to do it, so here it is.
The following example is based on a presentation that I have given a few times (OUG Ireland, UKOUG, OOW) with Antony Heljula.
1. Export & Import the ODM model
If your data mining analysis and development was completed in a different database to where your OBIEE data resides then you will need to move the ODM model from ODM/development database to the OBIEE database.
ODM provides two PL/SQL procedures to allow you to easily move your ODM model. These procedures are part of the DBMS_DATA_MINING package. To export a model you will need to use the DBMS_DATA_MINING.EXPORT_MODEL procedure. Similarly to import your (exported) ODM model you will use the DBMS_DATA_MINING.IMPORT_MODEL procedure.
2. Create a view that uses the ODM model
You can create a view that uses the PREDICTION and PREDICTION_PROBABILITY functions to apply the import ODM model to your data. For example the following view is used to score our customer data to make a prediction of they are going to churn and the probability that this prediction is correct.
SELECT st_pk,
       prediction(clas_decision_tree using *) WITHDRAW_PREDICTION,
       prediction_probability(clas_decision_tree using *) WITHDRAW_PROBABILITY
FROM   CUSTOMER_DATA;

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3. Import the view into the Physical layer of the BI Repository (RPD)
The view was then imported into the Physical layer of the BI Repository (RPD) where it was joined on primary key to the other customer tables (we had one records per customer in the view). With the tables being joined, we can use the prediction columns to filter the customer data. For example filter all the customer who are likely to churn, WITHDRAW_PREDICTION = ‘N’
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4.Add the new columns to the Business Model layer
The new prediction columns were then mapped into the Business Model layer where they could be incorporated into various relevant calculations e.g. % Withdrawals Predicted, and then subsequently presented to the end users for reporting
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5. Add to your Dashboards
The Withdraw prediction columns could then be published on the BI Dashboards where they could be used to filter the data content. In the example below, the use has chosen to show data for only those customers who are predicted to Withdraw with a probability rating of >70%
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Getting Real Business Value from Oracle Data Mining and OBIEE

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Over the past 16 months (or so) I have give a join presentation with Anthony Heljula called ‘Getting Real Business Value from Oracle Data Mining and OBIEE’, at a number of conferences and OUG SIGs.

We have had a lot of very positive feedback on this presentation. The presentation is a busy 45 minutes (questions only at the end) that walks through a pilot data science project we did for a University in the UK.

We used Oracle Data Miner to build a predictive model that looks at student churn. We then integrated this Student Churn model into OBIEE Dashboards to illustrate how combining an Oracle Data Miner model into our data analysis we can gain a greater insight of our data.

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We have submitted this presentation for Oracle Open World 2013 but we have renamed the title of the presentation to

“How UK Universities are using Oracle Data Science to protect their income”

If you are involved in presentation selection or know someone who is then maybe you might select this to be presented at OOW13 in September.

We submitted the presentation for OOW12 with not luck. So fingers crossed this time.

Exalytics : How much will it cost me ?

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Over the past couple of weeks the costing for the Oracle Exalytics machine has been made public by Oracle and there has been a number of articles. What I’ve done in this blog post is to collate this information. I give what I understand to be the cost of purchasing an Exalytic machine and to get setup and running.

The pricing structure starts at

Exalytics machine + cost of BI Foundation Suite + TimesTen licences

Exalytics machine = $135,000

TimesTen = $34,500 per processor licence or $300 per named user(min 100 users)

BI Foundation Suite = $450,000 per processor licence or $3,675 per named user (same number of users as for TimesTen = min 100 users)

Annual Support Costs

Exalytics machine = $29,700

TimesTen = 22% of software licence – $7,590 per processor licence or $66 per named user (min 100 users)

BI Foundation Suite = $99,000 per processor licence or $809 per named user(min 100 users)

The Exalytics machine consists of a single server with 1TB of RAM and 4 Intel Xeon E7-4800 processors, with 10 cores each.

 

So the total cost of an Exalytics machine based on the processor licence will be something towards the $10M. Now this is before the discounts that you can negotiate. There are reports of discounts ranging up to 25% on hardware and 60% on software. The size of the discount is depended on your size etc. So this initial $10M cost could be reduced to $3M+.

 

Please note that I may have gotten some or all of this pricing wrong. If I have then forgive me and let me know what is wrong. I can correct it to ensure that we have the correct costs.

i-BI : A new name for real BI

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I’ve been working in the BI and related fields since the mid 90s. Over the past number of years I’ve gotten a little bit confused about what Business Intelligence (BI) really means.  Maybe it’s just a bit of old age kicking in way too early.

It seems to me that the term Business Intelligence has been hijacked by a large number of companies and software vendors. It seems that every “reporting tool” has been re-labelled into a Business Intelligence tool, without providing any really intelligence features. You are still just a reporting tool with no real intelligence features. Yes you do have some nice graphics that can be used instead of just listing numbers. But that is not Business Intelligence.

Business Intelligence is going beyond what these tools are capable off. Most of the skills and abilities for BI comes from the people who are doing it, not the tools. In reality you will need to use a number of tools or to write some custom code to help you gain the extra bit of insight into your data. The “reporting tools” can then deliver the results.

Also Ralph Kimball said a long time ago that the skills of someone working in the DW/BI area was that they needed to be half-DBA and half-MBA.

A quote that I heard recently from the Predictive Analytics World Conference, was “You need to be able to ask the right question”. This is to ensure that you can frame your analytics projects correctly and be able to measure the results.

I think that this question was key back in the mid 90s when I started out in the BI field and I still think it applies to all areas of BI.  The thing that we have lost in BI is the real intelligence part of it.

So I’m proposing a new name for really BI. It is intelligent-Business Intelligence (i-BI).

Lets differentiate between BI and the real intelligent BI work.

What do I mean by intelligent BI (i-BI) ?  What I mean area skills in Data Warehousing, Time Series Analysis, Advanced Analytics, Data Mining, Predictive Analysis, solving or addressing real business problems, etc.

Or maybe I’m just wrong and have missed some developments in BI over the past 16+ years. Or maybe I’m becoming a bit too cynical.

What do you think ?

Exalytics Events over the next week

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The BIWA SIG is hosting a techcast called “Using Oracle R Enterprise” on Wednesday 30th November, 2011 at noon EST (approx 6pm GMT).

The TechCast is being presented by Mark Hornick, Senior Manager, Oracle Advanced Analytics Development

URL for TechCast: https://stbeehive.oracle.com/bconf/confDetails?confID=334B:3BF0:owch:38893C00F42F38A1E0404498C8A6612B0004075AECF7&guest=true&confKey=608880
— Web Conference ID: 303397
— Web Conference Key: 608880
— Dialup: 1-866-682-4770, ID 5548204, passcode 1234

Several analytic tool vendors have added R-integration to their software. However, Oracle is the largest company to throw their weight behind R. On October 3, Oracle unveiled their integration of R: Oracle R Enterprise (http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/features/features-oracle-r-enterprise-498732.html) as part of their Oracle Big Data Appliance announcement (http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/press/512001).

Oracle R Enterprise allows users to perform statistical analysis with advanced visualization on data stored in Oracle Database. Oracle R Enterprise enables scalable R solutions, while facilitating production deployment of R scripts and Hadoop based solutions, as well as integration of R results with Oracle BI Publisher and OBIEE dashboards.

Check out the Oracle YouTube video (5min), that demos how an Exalytics application that can analyse almost a billion records instantly.

If you are attending the UKOUG Conference in Birmingham, Jon Mead (RittmanMead) is giving a presentation called “What can Exalytics do for me?” and is on Tuesday 5th December @15:35, in the area above the box office.

Oracle Events in Ireland (Q4 2011)

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Over the coming months (Q4 2011) there are a number of Oracle related events being run in Ireland. The schedule for these is below with the relevant links to the agenda webpages or to where you can book your place.

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The OUG BI SIG meetings you can book your place with the UKOUG.
Venue Address – Dublin:
Oracle Block H, East Point Business Park, Dublin 3
Venue Address – Belfast:
The Mount Conference Center, 2 Woodstock Link, Belfast BT6 8DD
For questions about logistics please contact the marketing team on marketing-ie_ie@oracle.com
If you have any question about the content please contact: mina.sagha.zadeh@oracle.com
If you know of any other events that are not listed, let me know and I’ll update the list

OBIEE VirtualBox VM Available

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I have a few Updates since I posted the blog on 14th Sept
1. The OBIEE VMS are now available on the Virtural Box Pre-Built VM webpage, as of 15th Sept. Thanks to @oraclenerd for requesting this
http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/community/developer-vms-192663.html
2. Thanks to @rnm1978 for pointing out that the OBIEE VM is very resource intensive. The min. spec. given is not really enough. You really need more than 4GB for this VM to run.
3. The SampleApp that the OBIEE VM contains also has some examples of how Oracle Data Miner can be used in an application

I’ve recently come across an VM of Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition, which has the sample application already build and ready for you to use.

The VM files are available at the following link for download.

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/bi-foundation/obiee-samples-167534.html

There are 2 files that you need to download to create the VM in VirtualBox. These are the VB Image key File (.ovf) and the VB Image Disk Files (.vmdk). The second file is ~25G, so it a while to download!

There is also a VB Image-Deployment Guide.

If you already have OBIEE installed and you don’t want to setup the VM, the setup files and data files are also available.