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Mark Daynes - Director of Beyond Systems

As you'd expect from the winners of the Specialized Partner of the Year: Business Analytics at the Oracle UKI Specialized Partner Awards 2014, Beyond work with leading edge BI Applications primarily within the UK Public Sector. We intend to share some of our ideas and discoveries via our blog and hopefully enrich the wider discussion surrounding Oracle Business Intelligence and driving improved insight for customers

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Mark Daynes

Mark Daynes

Mark's first experience of Oracle was back in the 80's building applications using very early versions of Oracle Forms at Staffordshire University. Upon graduating in 1990 with a First Class B.Sc.(Hons) in Information Systems, he joined Oracle UK's consultancy team working on some of the first Oracle Applications implementations across the UK, eventually working for Oracle Local Government. Over the subsequent years to 2006 he worked in a mainly technical/functional capacity across sectors such as Corporate Banking, Utilities and Public Sector, solely on projects underpinned by Oracle technology. In 2006 he became a founding Director of Beyond Systems where he has honed the focus of the company to be one of enabling public sector customers to achieve excellence with Oracle Business Intelligence, especially Oracle BI Applications sourced from Oracle E-Business. Mark has presented at many joint Oracle/Beyond events as well as contributing his perspectives on the technical/strategic business usages of Oracle to various magazines, the first appearing in ODTUG back in 1995. Outside of business, Mark is a keen musician and plays lead guitar in a covers band and also enjoys sports, especially skiing and golf.

Data Flows in v4 of Oracle Data Visualization (in the new OAC as well as Desktop) is much improved, so let's look at creating a flow to :

  • Join together two datasets
  • Filter the columns
  • Create some bins
  • Add a new calculated column
  • Save the results as a singe data source that we can then analyze.

Our flow will eventually look like this .....

b2ap3_thumbnail_img1.png

We will start with one data set I have created, that being a spreadsheet of ficticious sales people and their travelling and renumeration.

b2ap3_thumbnail_img2.png

The second data set is a sheet of the sales people with the cars that they drive

b2ap3_thumbnail_img3.png

So let's get the basics out of the way and load them both up as data sets ....

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Oracle Data Visualizer has been out for a couple of years now and is already on version 4.  I'm a big fan and have been digging deep into the latest release which has brought in a substantial amount of changes.  They are all available here, but I think that the most exciting inclusions are around the Explain capability and new algorithms that have been included in the product focused on Sentiment Analysis and Machine Learning, as well as the opportunity to load up your own custom scripts. 

As an example, let us perform some Sentiment Analysis.  I have created some sample data by means of some short reviews of three ficticious restaurants. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_dv1.png

Two look pretty good to me and one somewhat less so.  Let's push this through the sentiment analyzer and see what results we get.  Firstly I  navigate to the new super-dynamic Home Page in Data Visualizer v4 and selet the Data tab on the left hand side

b2ap3_thumbnail_dv10.png

As per previous versions, we can upload the data - it can of course be sourced from multiple types of sources, but for this example we're just uploading my small review spreadsheet.

b2ap3_thumbnail_dv3.png

Now we have the data file, we can goto the Data Flows section and create a new data flow.  Here we start the flow with the source restaurant review data file.

b2ap3_thumbnail_dv4.png

Note that there are a substantial number of Machine Learning models now available to use in the flow and we will be covering examples of these in further posts.

b2ap3_thumbnail_dv5.png

So, let us add a Sentiment Analysis as the next part of the flow.  We will tell Data Visualizer to use the Review column as the source of the analysis and to write out the sentiment to a new column called Emotion.

b2ap3_thumbnail_dv6.png

Let us now add the final storage step to hold the results of the output of the flow.  If you look at the table below you can also see that the Sentiment Analysis has done it's job already actually and created what I think look to be pretty accurate results.

b2ap3_thumbnail_dv7.png

We will now save and run the data flow - which will be instant - and then we can look at the results by creaing a simple Project and a visulaisation with a bit of colour.

b2ap3_thumbnail_dv8.png

Personally I think we can now really see the investment in the product coming through and not only is getting so much more powerful, it stilll importantly remains intunitive to use and is a great tool to augment "traditional" BI. 

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Data Visualization 12.2.3 ( aka v3 ) is now downloadable from here

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Blog1.png

What a great upgrade it is, absolutely packed with new enhancements to increase the functionality and make data discovery even quicker. 

The trendlines (as shown above) now allow for additional functionality such as a %age confidence. 

There's new data sources too - we can even connect to BI Applications subject areas as well as analysis and folders.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Blog2.png

There's even enhancements in the dataflow so we can perform more manipulation of the data as we load it

b2ap3_thumbnail_Blog3.png

I'd do a demo of all the features, but Oracle have already done that in a nice little video suite which you can find here - which shows an overview and then some specifics - all of which are worth watching.

If you've any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

 

 

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Oracle have released the new Day by Day app for both iOS and Android and it's rather good.  There's a great 6min video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8q4foZyYQJc which I highly recommend watching, but I thought I'd share my first experiment with it.

I connected to my demo Oracle Analytic Cloud instance to use the good old Sample App test data.  I then used the microphone to dictate into the app "Revenue in Americas for game station".  Yes - that's right - I just dictated - asked a fact ( the Revenue ) for a dimension value ( Americas which is in Regions ) for a specific Product (  Game Station ).

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4943.PNG

If you see how that was interpreted, it replayed "America's" and "four" based on my diction and .... went and got exactly the right results!

I doubled checked this figure by actually going and querying it back using the traditional clicking about in the screens. 

I then thought that what would be interesting would be to ask Day by Day the same question but also extend it out to say "by Year" and see how it handles that.  Rather well it would appear.  It initially gave me a line graph that I was then easily able to toggle to a bar chart like this :

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4945.PNG

Pretty cool.  I thought that I'd tell it that, so I pressed the "comment" button and commented on that

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4946.PNG

I can then also share that with my "Crew" - or colleagues - as there's quite a bit of social engagement about it. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4948.PNG

There's a lot to like about this - not just the fact I can ask it questions and get instant answers, but also that it can do location specific stuff and give me a feed of things I'm actually interested in and also share that information with colleagues.  I suggest that you do watch the video and if you need OAC/Day by Day setting up then please ask us!

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Oracle's APEX ships with some great plugins such as D3 Collapsible Treemaps.  The most immediate way to see these is to install the Sample Charts application and have a play with it.

Now it is then fairly striaghtforward to utilise this plug-in in your own APEX applications.  Here I simply exported the plugin from the Sample Chart applications and loaded it into my new application.  I then changed the SQL to drive from my own tables and here we are.  What is appealing about this visualisation is that it shows the number of children under each node before you click to expland.  For example, here I can see that 1200 has 5 children underneath it.

 

I have also used the "Tooltip" funtionality to give me a nice popup description when I "Mouse-over" the node. 

 

 

Also each node can be made as a link that can drill off to show the user further detail, so it does really become quite a useful visualisation that can be used quickly and easily.

The Sample applications that ship with APEX ( and I'm currently using the latest 5.1.1 ) come with quite a few plugins that show off the extensibility of the framework and should give you some ideas on how best to use them, so if you are upgrading from older versions of APEX and making the leap to 5.1 then i'd highly recommend installing  selection of the applications and see what's been shipped there.  Of course this is the release that has finally integrated JET charts and we will cover some of their use and examples such as drilling to detail in a later blog.

 

 

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Tagged in: APEX APEX 5.1 D3
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