Examining the ongoing challenges of delivering high-quality, value-added ERP services in Higher Education.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sample Sales Lite on Exalytics

Last week I wrote about the exciting events around here when the Oracle techs came on-site to power up and network our first Exalytics machine. Today I got my first chance to touch it, and also my first time looking at Sample App Lite. Very exciting.

My first observation is that it is fairly remarkable how far Sample App Lite has come since the version, with all the newer visualizations of the last year showcased in six tabs: trellis charts (in their many variations), the "contribution wheel" for scorecards, waterfall charts, performance tiles. For newbies -- especially those for whom the overhead of VirtualBox and Sample App (full) are just too much -- this is a great tool for quickly seeing capabilities, reverse engineering how the visualizations were constructed, and then proceeding with building their own. I'm so glad that Oracle continues to invest in the sample applications.

Figure 1: Tiles and Trellis Charts in Sample App Lite
Figure 2: Waterfalls, Gauges, and MORE Trellis Charts

My second observation is that I just don't care for "go-less prompts." There was a lot of hype about this capability when Exalytics came out, and then the ability to hide the "go" button became available on non-Exalytics OBIEE. Perhaps I'm unusual, but I just need my screen repainting as I click options in a multi-select such as the one in Figure 1 (above).

My third observation is that I just love performance tiles. They're nifty. And quite easy to configure, although this excellent post on Performance Tile Mobile Dashboards by Kevin McGinley shows how fancy you can get when you also link each tile to a meaningful drill-down view via Action Links (another feature that I love, even if it is a bit clunky).

And my final observation (for now) is that trellis charts are pretty cool and much more flexible than I expected. This is another case where the hype about trellis charting and deep visualizations at OOW and other events was a bit exhausting, but I am incredibly eager to showcase this capability for my project's data!

I'm sure I'll have more observations in the coming days, especially as we load Student Information Analytics and connect to a few other data sources -- never mind TimesTen, which is still a bit far on the horizon. But these are exciting times in Harvard Square for an aspiring data geek!


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