REVIEWER: Jim Collison, technology manager for Gallup.

BACKGROUND: Gallup has studied human nature and behavior for more than 70 years. Gallup’s reputation for delivering relevant, timely and visionary research on what people around the world think and feel is the cornerstone of the organization. Gallup employs many of the world's leading scientists in management, economics, psychology and sociology, and our consultants assist leaders in identifying and monitoring behavioral economic indicators worldwide. Gallup consultants help organizations boost organic growth by increasing customer engagement and maximizing employee productivity through measurement tools, coursework and strategic advisory services. Gallup’s 2,000 professionals deliver services at client organizations, through the Web, at Gallup University’s campuses and in 40 offices around the world.

PLATFORMS: IBM x335 machine with two single core CPUs 2.8 GHz each and 4g RAM running Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS4.

PROBLEM SOLVED: The deployment of Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition (Oracle BI Suite EE) addressed two major issues. It was important to achieve better end-user BI tool adoption. Oracle BI Suite EE is replacing a third-party BI solution that was at times was too complex for the end user. While its strength was slicing, dicing and analysis of data, it was at times too powerful for some of our end users, causing them to shy away from using the tool. When we looked at Oracle BI Suite EE - specifically Oracle BI Answers for scorecards, dashboards and ad hoc querying, and Oracle BI Publisher for pixel-perfect reporting and publishing - we saw intuitive tools for our users to interact with as well as a way for IT to deliver BI to our users. Secondly, we liked the prebuilt integration between Oracle BI Suite EE and the ERP system we’re running - the Oracle E-Business Suite.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Internally, Oracle BI Suite EE is used to access, analyze and query data sourced from the Oracle E-Business Suite, including the Oracle Financials, Oracle Marketing and Oracle Sales modules. Dashboards, reports and scorecards developed by our business users are delivered to key audiences within the company. Externally, Oracle BI Suite EE produces visually driven dashboards and reports using data from surveys conducted by Gallup on behalf of our clients. Oracle BI Publisher has been a big success for printing materials such as certificates, name tags and table tents for events hosted by Gallup University. With events and participants constantly changing, Oracle BI Publisher’s integration with the Oracle E-Business Suite’s Oracle Learning Management module helps our staff to pull a list of event attendees and print supporting materials very easily.

STRENGTHS: Dashboard, report and scorecard development times were shortened due to Oracle BI Suite EE’s ease of use. That ease of use has allowed IT to pass report writing to our business users as well as reduce the need to maintain a staff of report writers to handle those requests. Behind the scenes, our data modelers have had a tremendous amount of success using the Oracle BI Suite EE Administrator tool to take data from the repository and then expose it to our end users as needed.

WEAKNESSES: Oracle BI Answers and Oracle BI Publisher are not fully integrated from a look and feel perspective. While that hasn’t slowed us down or stopped us from development, the preference is a seamless user experience.

SELECTION CRITERIA: The integration between Oracle BI Suite EE and the Oracle E-Business Suite helped us make the decision to go with Oracle’s BI solution as opposed to another BI tool or continue to build out our previous BI environment for external clients.

DELIVERABLES: Internally, Oracle BI Suite EE helps us to achieve the benefits of a single version of the truth so that the CFO and our finance team can manage from a single set of numbers. Dashboards and reports are in place for our sales process, projects and financials. They’re produced as needed with data refreshed twice daily and delivered via email to the accounting, executive management, finance and sales teams. For example, our main financial accounting dashboard presents information such as revenue reporting, financial statements for the current month, actuals versus plan, current month compared to previous, 12-month visibility and so on. For our external clients, we developed our own BI suite at Gallup over the last decade. But we reached a tipping point, and were asking ourselves, “Do we continue to build what’s already been built?” When we chose Oracle, we jumped ahead from a functionality standpoint on an out-of-the-box solution and provided next-generation reporting to our customers. The external dashboards and reports – which are developed from the results of client surveys – rely heavily on graphs, charts, and drill-down features.

VENDOR SUPPORT: When we need support, we get it quickly and easily through the various support channels that exist, including Oracle MetaLink, Oracle’s support portal.

DOCUMENTATION: For the most part, our technical folks have access to the most up-to-date information from Oracle and understand the product’s direction. But there were varying degrees of success with documentation for Oracle BI Suite EE. There were areas where it was complete and helpful, and there were some gaps, but nothing that was a showstopper.

Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition (Release


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