Oracle Business Intelligence Review

Redwood Shores, CA
Deployment Model:
Intended Users:
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On-premise, Cloud
Small, Medium, Large
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Why Oracle

Oracle provides an all-in-one BI solution featuring eight components so that users don't have to worry about multiple software or higher cost.

Product Details

Oracle offers a variety of software in its BI arsenal. But the purpose of the review will be on its Business Intelligence Foundation Suite 11g platform. The BI Foundation Suite merges all of Oracle’s eight BI platforms into one software suite. Users will be able to utilize a variety of reporting and analytical features as this suite can access traditional data sources and Big Data sources. Other benefits of this suite include low cost of ownership, as companies can save money by not having more than one software up and running. Another benefit is that users can also run analyses and reports themselves without having to rely on IT.

We take a look at each of the eight platforms.

Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition – This component runs ad-hoc analyses, reports, visualizations, and dashboards. It also utilizes data from multiple sources, such as relational data and Hadoop/Big Data.

Essbase – The Essbase’s purpose is to help companies plan for the future – its common uses include scenario modeling, profitability analysis, and budget planning/forecasting. With its OLAP functionality, the Essbase works in conjunction with Oracle’s Exalytics component (see below).

Essbase Analytics Link – In this component, users can share their financial reporting with other users in real time.

Exalytics – Oracle touts the Exalytics as “the industry’s first engineered system for in-memory analytics.” It is designed to give users answers to their toughest questions about their business quickly – for example, a school district that needs to track student attendance in order to continue receiving state funding. Exalytics has the ability to analyze large amounts of data from multiple sources.

Scorecard and Strategy Management – This component helps companies set specific goals and track and manage performance.

Business Intelligence Publisher – Users can create create interactive reports in multiple formats, such as PDFs – users can also set a specific date and time for the reports to be delivered.

Office Integration – Office Integration allows users to merge their reports and analyses into their Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel, etc) and can even run analyses via Excel.

Business Intelligence Mobile – Users can view and edit analyses, reports, and dashboards straight from their mobile device.


Oracle's Business Intelligence Foundation Suite has a wide variety of features, some of which are indicated below. However, we want to note that Oracle is one of the few vendors that supports big data capability. Big data refers to a collection of large data sets that are complicated to analyze by traditional software. One of the benefits of Oracle's Exalytics component is that it can analyze large sets of data in a short time.

Analysis Features
  • Ad Hoc Analysis?
  • Issue Indicators?
  • Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)?
  • Predictive Analysis?
  • Profit Analysis?
  • Trend Indicators?
  • User Friendly Interface?
Reporting Features
  • Ad Hoc Reporting?
  • Automatic Scheduled Reporting?
  • Customizable Dashboard?
  • Customizable Features?
  • Dashboard?
  • Financial Forecast/Budgeting?
  • Graphic Benchmark Tools?
  • Multiple Languages?
  • Performance Measurements?

Target Market

Oracle serves many different industries, including government, finance, manufacturing, health, utilities, and high-tech. Below is a partial list of Oracle's customers.

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Customer Service & Support

Like other vendors, Oracle offers training for its software. There are five types of training - classroom training, live virtual class, on-demand training, self-study courses, and private events. Companies can choose from any of these training options, depending on their schedule, whether they're willing to travel, and cost considerations. Oracle does offer discounts on its training programs - notably a 20% discount if a user purchases the bundled training/certification package.

Oracle also offers a variety of support services. First, there is the Oracle Premier Support. The Premier Support service include 24/7 tech support, problem prevention, and access to software upgrades. There is also the Lifetime Support Policy that allows software users to upgrade whenever they're ready. Secondly, there is the Advanced Customer Service Support - this is ideal for mission-critical environments, such as IT departments in large companies.

Finally, there is the MyOracle Support portal. Users can access this portal to download software updates, put in a request for tech support, and communicate with other Oracle customers.


Oracle operates under a very dated architecture, meaning that the interface is not very smooth and complex features not very well handled. Companies seeking to customize the software or to make upgrades will need to make a significant investment of both time and capital.

Issues have also been reported with integrations, which although strong in certain areas, is lacking in basic areas, such as mass supplier update.



Oracle has a simple mission - to simplify IT resources. In so doing, it has created systems and products to enable hardware and software to work together. In addition to engineered systems and software, Oracle also has sold products and solutions relating to databases, servers, storage, and cloud solutions. It also offers solutions aimed at specific job functions, such as finance, marketing, and human resources.

Headquartered in Redwood Shores, CA, Oracle employs more than 120,000 people, including 35,000 developers and engineers.

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User Reviews



  1. With the power of Oracle RDBMS Oracle Hyperion Essbase is extremely powerful and fast. In addition to the speed in getting data into the OLAP tool, the tool itself can run large quantities of calculations on very large datasets effectively. We were running it locally so I would expect that the hosted solution would have even more computing power behind it.

    Training was a bit more complex than other tools based on how to build the base queries compared to other tools. Granted the flexibility that was provided by giving power users meant less work for IT or he ability to pilot a different view or calculation before sending in a formal request to have the action handled database/server-side.

    One issue that appears to still persist (seen in the screenshots above) is a limitation in its ability to manage aggregate calculations (percentages/rates.) Instead of doing the calculation to the summed values, it averages or sums the values of the rates from the individual rows at equal weight. The work around was to create different dashboard reports for rates vs. total quantities.

    All-in-all, a powerful and flexible tool that non-data people can become power users with varied levels of complexity.

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