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Journey to the Center of OAC: Let's Get Started

  • Belen Ortiz, Product Architect, Planning & Essbase

I hope you caught the Journey to the Center of the Earth play on words!

OAC, Oracle Analytics Cloud, also commonly referred to as Essbase in the cloud (but it's not just Essbase!), is having its first anniversary. To celebrate, I'm starting a series of blog posts uncovering the ins and outs of the platform. Note that while OAC comes bundled with a set of exciting BI products (see additional blog), this series will mostly focus on the Essbase side of things.

In this first post, I would like to reiterate some of the features that caught my attention when I first heard of OAC. I'm noticing a trend in the cloud where any new features being introduced are more geared towards making administration and daily usage easier, as opposed to very specific use cases only benefit a small group of people.

Cube Designer

The Cube Designer is a one-stop shop to backup, document and modify your cubes offline, all in one. Cube Designer allows you to export any application to an Excel workbook into an easy to read and ready for documentation format. It not only saves you the time by documenting your applications in a ready to present format, you can use the same file to modify your application offline and re-upload it, or simply to back it up. Three different processes combined!

Data Visualization

Already breaking my rule here of sticking to Essbase topics only, but the fact that Essbase comes bundled with ready to go additional analysis tools is pretty cool.

OAC comes with two ready to use tools for data visualization, which allow users to create their own visually impactful reports and dashboards. Never has Essbase come bundled with such powerful, user-friendly reporting and dashboarding. Users are now able to intuitively put together their own reports, cutting on the need for an administrator or reporting expert to build them.

Sandboxing

Sandboxing allows every user to have a "play area" for what-if analysis that no other non-admin users have access to. In the past, most people have done this by adding a handful of draft or what-if versions, at the risk of:

  • Affecting database performance by exponentially increasing the size of a database.
  • Users overwriting each other's drafts if not enough versions are available for everybody's use.

The new cloud sandboxing feature does not have an intrinsic performance risk because it only stores the differences between the base data and the sandbox data. Once a user is satisfied with their sandbox data, they can write back their changes to the version everybody has access to. Plus, it only requires a one-time setup, reducing:

  • The effort an administrator has to put in to accommodate what-if version setup and data copy requests.
  • The wait time on the user side for "what-if" versions to be ready. Sandboxes are ALWAYS ready.

Stay tuned for more Journey to the Center of OAC blogs!

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