OOW15 - A Look at Oracle Visual Analyzer

Oracle Visual Analyzer is something we've worked with before in BICS, but Product Management at OpenWorld showed where else its power is being deployed. Read this post to find out more!

Continuing our week at Oracle OpenWorld, on Tuesday and Wednesday we saw a number of Oracle BI/Analytics sessions, covering both current state and roadmap functionality.

Undoubtedly the key highlight of these sessions was the Oracle Visual Analyzer, Oracle’s new agile BI visualisation solution – this product was repeatedly demonstrated across conference sessions, including the Analytics Keynote. Combining breath-taking visuals and simplicity of use, the Visual Analyzer (to use Oracle's American spelling) is being baked into both Oracle BI Foundation and Oracle BI Cloud Service (BICS), and is also being exposed as a standalone Cloud service too (the Oracle Data Visualization Cloud Service). Ultimately it will also be part of the Oracle BI Apps offering too.

So what is the Visual Analyzer?

Fundamentally the Visual Analyzer provides a mechanism for rapid creation of highly visual analyses of data. Business Users can use a simple drag and drop mechanism to highlight the data elements that they wish to include in the analysis, and the Visual Analyzer will automatically generate an analysis (chart, graph etc.) using whichever type of visualisation it thinks best suits the data selected.

The user can change the visualisation to something they feel would work better – this is just a couple of clicks to instantly see the changes. Adding further elements is simply a case of dragging and dropping those further elements onto the visualisation that was just created.

Visualisations can then be saved, annotated and shared – and those you’ve shared the visualisations with can play around with them/enhance them, rather than only seeing a static image that cannot be challenged.

The big sells here are the speed at which visualisations of data can be created (just a few clicks), the attractive nature of the visualisations generated (as well as the general working area) and the simplicity of use. This is a major departure from the way Oracle’s BI applications have traditionally presented themselves.

The video below from Oracle does more justice to the power of the Visual Analyzer (in this case within the Oracle BI Cloud Service - BICS) than words ever can:

What is the Oracle Data Visualization Cloud Service?

While Visual Analyzer is being introduced in on-premises Oracle BI Foundation 12c, it is already available in Oracle BI Cloud Service. In both of these cases, the analyses are generally being run upon database-held data.

The standalone Oracle Data Visualization Cloud Service differs in that respect. With this service, analyses are performed upon a file of data uploaded by the user (e.g. Excel, CSV etc). This is perfect for smaller departments or organisations that perhaps have lower quantities of data, and who don’t need (or want) to be pushing data into a database for analysis.

Oracle Data Visualization Cloud Service - Slide 13

Although the Data Visualization Cloud Service isn’t as fully featured as the larger, more-complete Oracle BI Cloud Service, it strikes a good balance between functionality exposed and usability. It is the perfect solution for ad-hoc reporting needs.

The pricing reflects this too: its list price at the time of writing is a very aggressive $150/named user/month, with a minimum of 5 users.

Summary

The Visual Analyzer functionality helps Oracle’s Business Intelligence portfolio take a major leap forward, and enables it to compete more-effectively with the likes of Tableau and Birst. By offering it standalone, and also incorporating it into the Oracle BI Cloud Service and Oracle BI Foundation offerings, Oracle are offering enterprise-grade functionality alongside agile user-centric BI – all on a common platform.

Boxfusion Consulting are a consultancy accredited by Oracle as an Oracle Specialized Platinum Partner for Oracle Business Intelligence. If you’d like to learn more about Oracle Visual Analyzer, or how we can help you with your BI initiatives, please contact us or call +44 203 283 4315.