Tips and Techniques

Tip on using New Waterfall Viz in DVD 3.0

In preparing for my presentation on What's New in DVD 3.0 Webinar (tomorrow!), I found that the new waterfall visualization was geared towards balance measures (like a checking account balance) instead of a flow or performance measure such as profit.  One of the key differences is that for a flow measurement the value can easily be negative.  In any business, you may lose money in a given period, but you hope to make up for it in prior or future periods.  In addition, flow analysis can be great for showing sources of gains and losses.  A waterfall graph typically shows this very nicely.

But the waterfall graph in DVD 3.0 is designed for balance information.

In order to use the waterfall graph, you can convert from the flow measure (such as profit) to a balance by using the RSUM function in OBIEE.  Put simply, RSUM(profit) gives you the running sum of profit for the year, adding up each month.  It accumulates the profit which is exactly what you need in order to use the waterfall graph.

So, on the left you can see a waterfall graph of an inventory balance.  No special formulas needed.  On the right, you can see a waterfall graph of profit.  In this case, we actually use the cumulative profit measure so we can properly visualize the periods where we lost money.  We can easily see that we ended the year with a total of $9346.

Tim Vlamis in a 2 Minute Tech Tip - Data Visualization: Just Say No to the Default Sort Order

Tim Vlamis was asked by Bob Rhubart of Oracle Technology Network to share a 2 Minute Tech Tip during his recent trip to the Great Lakes Oracle Conference in Cleveland, OH.

Tim's tip focuses on the importance of applying your own sort order when visualizing data.

See Tim's speedy (33 seconds!) Tech Tip below or read more from Bob Rhubart!

Controlling permissions in OBIEE and DV

I was asked recently about permissions of uploaded data in OBIEE and Data Visualization.  (New) in version 12.2.1.1 I am able control who gets to see the data I upload via the Permissions tab of the Data Sources dialog box.  I can control via individual Users (good for quick collaboration between users) or via Roles (good for controlling access for corporate and departmental initiatives).  See the below screenshot.

Here I prodney has granted permission to abell to access the Accounts data set.  Similiarly, you can control who has access to the data that you upload. This has huge implications on how OBIEE users share data across an organization.  As more and more users use the data mashup capabilties (including the new ones I shared in my webcast on new OBIEE 12.2.1.1 features), it will become more important how users control access to spreadsheets and raw tables in Oracle (and other) data sources.  Let me know what best practices you are developing with this capability.

2-Minute Tech Tip on Data Visualization for OBIEE 11g Posted

Thanks, Bob Rhubart, for posting the 2-minute tech tip on Data Visualization for Oracle BI 11g. This is a preview of Tim and my Oracle Press book with the same title.  You can see more of Bob's 2-minute tech tips on his YouTube channel.

 

Here is the link to the video in case embedding doesn't work for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LU2imSXj5I

BI Admin Tool Local Install RPD Development with Oracle OLAP

For those that saw my presentation Oracle BI 11.1.1.5 Released - Changes and New Features yesterday, you may have noticed that I didn't actually import Oracle OLAP metadata.  I was working with a local install of BI Admininistrator Tool and importing OLAP metadata wasn't working.  I was getting the error "[nQSError:77005] An invalid parameter was passed to the nQWebIBotAPI.dll. Verify that the Agent configuration is correct." when trying to import the metadata.

 

Hmmm...not a very helpful error message.

 

I asked Bob Ertl after the presentation and got a very helpful reply.  Apparently, BI Admin Tool needs to be able to talk to a JAVAHOST.  Since BI Admin Tool is installed locally, there's no JAVAHOST installed with it.  So we need to modify the NQSConfig.ini for BI Admin Tool to point to a JAVAHOST that can provide the services to BI Admin Tool.

I shut down BI Admin Tool and found my NQSConfig.ini at "C:\Program Files (x86)\Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition Plus Client\oraclebi\orainst\config\OracleBIServerComponent\coreapplication\NQSConfig.INI".  Since I'm running Windows 7, I had to right-click Notepad.exe and "Run as Administrator" since the file is under Program Files and I found the Javahost section at the bottom of the file and placed the following in there:

###############################################################################
#
#  Javahost Section
#  
###############################################################################

[JAVAHOST]
#JAVAHOST_HOSTNAME_OR_IP_ADDRESSES = "<machine-name1>":<port_number1>,<machine-name2>:<port_number2>;
JAVAHOST_HOSTNAME_OR_IP_ADDRESSES = "192.168.56.101:9810";

As you can see, my OBIEE instance is at 192.168.56.101 (actually running in a VM under Virtual Box under Linux on my Windows 7 host).

Now that I've made the change, when I choose "Import Metadata", I get the right dialog box:

 Click to enlarge image of BI Admin Tool Import Metadata dialog box I can select the portions of my Analytic Workspace that I want to import and continue on.  Hooray!  And I'm even able to do this work with the RPD in offline mode.  So a local install of BI Administrator Tool *does* work with Oracle OLAP and the Import Metadata wizard!  Enjoy!