Post: The Challenges of OTBI Reporting – and How Orbit Helps You Overcome Them

The Challenges of OTBI Reporting – and How Orbit Helps You Overcome Them

Oracle offers a variety of products to serve the needs of ERP customers. Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence (OTBI) is one of the company’s popular ad-hoc analysis products. This cloud reporting tool lets users explore transactional activity by building reports, dashboards and alerts on the fly. Oracle customers often adopt OTBI because it provides real-time transactional reporting with no additional licenses or fees.

However, if you are an OTBI user who needs to draw insights from multiple data sources, the tool can put you at a disadvantage. OTBI is intended for use with Oracle Cloud Apps. This can be a challenge when you need to report from other sources of data, or across different modules within ERP cloud applications; for example, on both Oracle HCM and non-HCM data. Today, organizations hold data in myriad locations. To make informed business decisions, your organization needs a tool that can give a complete, 360-degree view of business operations.

Extend Your Operational Reporting Beyond OTBI with Orbit

Orbit’s reporting and analytics solution is comprehensive alternative to OTBI. Our solution has been developed with the end user in mind, making it easy for users to build ad hoc reports and dashboards without needing IT support. Orbit goes beyond OTBI to allow you to connect to multiple data sources, both on premise and cloud, so you can explore any of your data at its source.

OTBI Reporting with BI Publisher

Operational data is dynamic, and so an operational reporting tool needs to be flexible enough to support the iterative process users employ to explore their operational data. For example, an end user might want to open an account payables report and drill down into a procurement report, then into an inventory report and then from there dive into another subsection of accounts payables. This type of data exploration can help them better understand what types of inventory the company is spending money on, so they can negotiate with suppliers to buy at a lower price point. For functionality like this, Oracle recommends using another of their products, BI Publisher. However, BI Publisher is a developer tool, not an ad hoc reporting solution designed for end users.

Developers also use BI Publisher to paste and run SQL queries directly against the Fusion apps database, since Fusion offers limited query options. Unfortunately, building queries can be frustrating because BIP doesn’t allow access to the metadata describing database table architecture.

Getting Around the Limitations of BI Publisher

Orbit allows access to your Oracle Cloud Application data, so data from different modules can be combined in a single query. That can include database metadata, making it easier for developers to build queries using the appropriate columns. And with Orbit, users can create and securely distribute pixel perfect reports and documents.

Access to Historical Data

Organizations that need to store years of operational data to support legal requirements may have difficulties accessing their historical data using OTBI. For example, users often need to compare data across different points in time, like the status of invoices at the end of each month. With OTBI, the process to take snapshots of historical data for analysis requires users to export the results of a query to Excel, back it up somewhere safe, then compare it with a prior snapshot saved in Excel.

With Orbit, every report output can be stored as a dataset, secure and easily accessible by a database query.

Advanced Analytics

Organizations today want to leverage their existing data assets to forecast future trends. For example, by analyzing the volumes and types of items sold and the impact of seasonal factors on their sales. Predictive analytics such as regression analysis and random forest help them to identify the most impactful factors. OTBI users usually lack access to advanced analysis functionality. Organizations would need to ETL to a data warehouse to produce advanced analytics.

Orbit allows you to perform advanced analytics using R or Python, without requiring a data warehouse.

Exporting to Excel

Excel continues to be an essential tool for business users. They need to be able to securely access and export data. However, OTBI limits Excel exports to 25,000 rows, making it a cumbersome process to work around the limitation.

Orbit has no cap on the size of Excel exports. And with Orbit’s new GLSense reporting add in, Oracle ERP users can do all their work directly in Excel, pulling in live data from Fusion. Users can drill down into individual data points in real time, and easily build and share reports and financial statements.

Learn more about GLSense financial and operational reporting in our latest fact sheet.
Download your copy.

Organizations depend on Oracle Cloud ERP applications like Oracle Financials Cloud, Oracle HCM Cloud etc. for modern cloud ERP technology. By adding Orbit, your organization can have the opportunity to get best in class reporting and analytics as well. Request a demo today with an Orbit product expert to learn more.

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