The Four Realms of Analytics

The four realms of analytics: descriptive analytics, predictive analytics, prescriptive analytics, and diagnostic analytics can be organized along a dimension from rules-based to probability-based and the dimension of time (past and future). This simple two-by-two matrix offers a powerful framework for organizing and describing the differences between analytical processes. While the four realms are often cited, they seldom appear without there being considerable confusion in understanding the distinctions between them. Rather than relying on dictionary definitions and unspecified connotations, this simple framework is offered as a way to communicate different types of analytics to lay audiences.

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BIWA TechCast on OBIEE June 4

Oracle BI is now released!  I am going to be giving a BIWA Techcast about the new features in OBIEE, just like I did for OBIEE,,, and  The new release is available for download on OTN.  Join us on June 4, 2015 at noon Central US time as we run down the new features of OBIEE  Full abstract is below:

Join Dan Vlamis, Oracle ACE Director, as he breaks down the new (terminal 11g) release of Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition. Expect a fast-paced presentation with a live demo full of both “what” and “why” on as many of the most compelling new features as time allows including:

  • Sessions tracking in usage tracking
  • New Aggregation features including count distinct, chronological key, skip and ragged hierarchies
  • Hadoop Impala as a data source for faster integration with Hadoop
  • New OOB Visuals
  • New Custom Style Feature
  • Saved calculations in Webcat
  • Session variables for hierarchical
  • HTML 5 charts – configurable
  • Subject area search
  • New tree map visualization
  • Pivot table – vertical view
  • Export to Excel – multi-sheet, status

This live demonstration has been developed in collaboration with the Oracle BI SampleApp team and will include some upcoming features of Oracle BI SampleApp virtual machine image, including:

  • 12c DB Count Distinct
  • OBIEE + Big Data SQL
  • OBIEE + Impala
  • New visualizations
  • New BI Mobile App Developer apps
  • (many more that we will not have time to show

Register at join this session early at 12:00pm June 4, 2015 Central US time as attendance is limited. This TechCast is brought to you from the IOUG BIWA SIG (Independent Oracle Users Group Business Intelligence Data Warehouse and Analytics Special Interest Group)

If you like this sort of content, join us at BIWA Summit 2016, January 26-28, 2016 at Oracle headquarters!

For those of you that can't wait for the webcast, Robin Moffat has an excellent blog entry on Rittman's blog about the new features.


Data Visualization book is now on Kindle MatchBook!

Hey everyone! Do you like the convenience of having resource books on your tablet and also in hardback? Now you can get the best of both worlds! Check this out:

If you buy a new print edition of Data Visualization for Oracle Business Intelligence 11g (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 91%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon.
So go to the Amazon website and pick up both versions of the book today! 



Vlamis Software at Collaborate 2015 in April 2015

This year at Collaborate 2015 in Las Vegas, we have three members of the Vlamis team facilitating presentations. We hope to see you there!
For more information (including the abstracts) on these presentations, please see our Papers and Presentations page.


Perception of Colors of Dresses and Data Visualization

Finally, people are talking about color perception! Everybody is talking about the white/gold/blue/black dress that has gone viral as people discover that color perception is not absolute.

We cover this in our recent Oracle Press book on Data Visualization for Oracle Business 11g. From page 273: ‘We the authors often show a handful of optical illusions involving color perception/misperception during our data visualization workshops to drive home the point that we humans don’t see color as much as we “experience” it as our brains attempt to construct a color model for a given situation.’ In our presentation from BIWA Summit 2015 we showed a color spiral image.

Most people we talk to see a green and a blue spiral. In our presentations, we use a moving circle to demonstrate that these colors are actually the same value: RGB 0,255,151. Cick on the thumbnail of the spiral and take a print screen and use the eye dropper tool in Paint if you don’t believe me! Our brains perceive the colors differently because of the adjacency of other colors.

This becomes very important in constructing business intelligence dashboards. Color selection on dashboards affect how we perceive the data and the business insights obtained in ways we don’t even recognize. For sequential data, use sequential color schemes (e.g. increasing shades of blue for color-coding states based on increasing Revenue amount); for qualitative data use qualitative color schemes (e.g. various pastel colors of equal darkness to represent various brands).

For more information on the book that brother Tim Vlamis and I published in 2015, see our web page at