Oracle BI modernization

Avoiding the pitfalls of BI silos when planning your Oracle BI migration

Customers running Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) have a dilemma. Driven by Oracle’s End of Support (EOS) deadlines, customers are required to migrate to Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC), Oracle Analytics Server (OAS) or find other solutions. Business intelligence (BI) silos present a strategic risk as organizations plan their Oracle migration.

This article explains the issue of BI silos and how Oracle BI users can leverage new technologies to help avoid this risk. It also explains how Incorta can help organizations simplify their OBIEE migration strategy while enabling them to combine and analyze data across all their enterprise applications.

A challenging application landscape

Enterprise applications are evolving quickly. At one time, large organizations developed enterprise applications in-house. The 1990s saw the emergence of ERP systems that combined accounting, sales, engineering, HR and other functions into a single database. As enterprise systems became more complex and cost-prohibitive to build, organizations increasingly turned to vendors such as Oracle and SAP for ERP software. New SaaS solutions began to appear in the late 1990s, including NetSuite, Salesforce and others, complicating this landscape further.

For many, diversity is a fact of life. Organizations operate multiple enterprise applications for several reasons, including M&A activity, business units making independent purchasing decisions, and a preference for best-of-breed solutions in particular areas. Multiple systems often remain in place due to the enormous challenges of migrations and harmonizing ERP functionality. 

Application silos lead to BI silos

Increasingly, BI solutions are becoming tightly coupled with operational systems in areas such as ERP, SCM and CRM. This is especially true of cloud-delivered SaaS offerings. Market leaders such as Oracle, Microsoft, SAP and Salesforce increasingly provide cloud-based BI tools as extensions to their core offerings. This trend appears poised to continue, as evidenced by a recent wave of BI tool acquisitions (Tableau, Looker, Periscope, Stitch). As enterprises shift workloads to the cloud, we appear to be headed to a world of BI silos. 

BI tools offered by enterprise application providers have the advantage of typically providing prebuilt reports and dashboards tailored to each application. There are also clear downsides, however. Aside from the additional costs and inefficiencies, organizations can find themselves in a situation where it is all but impossible to consolidate data across their various applications and business units. 

The OBIEE migration dilemma

A challenge for users migrating to OAC or OAS is that these tools have many of the same limitations as OBIEE. Like most analytic environments, they require that data be reshaped into separate fact and dimensional tables before it can be queried. This need to reshape and re-aggregate data is the “Achilles’ heel” of most traditional analytics platforms. Oracle EBS users implementing OAC can use prebuilt Fusion Analytics Warehouse reports and dashboards. However, data must still be extracted from operational systems and converted to a dimensional model. Integrating OAC with other third-party business applications and harmonizing data views across multiple systems can be a mammoth undertaking. 

New technologies to the rescue

Fortunately, new technology innovations are presenting Oracle BI users with fresh alternatives. Incorta is a cloud-based unified data analytics platform that combines the functionality of a cloud data warehouse and BI platform. Incorta reflects several recent advances in data analytics, including the use of open columnar Parquet file formats, in-memory analytics and unique Direct Data Mapping® technology. Unlike competing approaches, where data needs to be transformed and aggregated before it can be queried, Incorta ingests data directly in third normal form (3NF). Analysts can access data with exceptional performance without data reshaping, aggregation or costly and time-consuming ETL/ELT processing. 

Incorta Data Apps (formerly Blueprints) is another critical component of the Incorta solution. Data Apps include prebuilt reports, dashboards and business-friendly data views tailored to popular Oracle and third-party business applications. Supported applications include Oracle EBS, NetSuite, ERP Cloud, JD Edwards, SAP, Salesforce and others.

An easier path forward 

Incorta enables OBIEE users to migrate to a modern data analytics platform while simultaneously avoiding the risk of BI silos. With prebuilt reports and dashboards for major enterprise applications, Incorta can help data teams save months of effort in their Oracle BI migration. Incorta can help organizations:

  • Expedite their migration and speed time to value for their analytics projects
  • Improve analyst productivity with self-serve access to the latest data
  • Directly map to Oracle and third-party data sources, eliminating traditional ETL pipelines and delivering data to the business in record time
  • Avoid costly BI silos with a single analytic platform that provides easy access to KPIs across multiple enterprise applications

Learn more

To get started with a free Incorta Cloud trial and jump-start your analytics, visit To view a replay of our latest webinar, visit 4 Reasons You Should Rethink Your Oracle Analytics Cloud Migration.