Automation driven by RPA technology can enable operations teams in all departments within a company to scale by automating repetitive manual tasks. RPA is best suited for automating use cases where a human is performing same or similar tasks repetitively. ML/AI will be a key part of enhancing RPA capabilities by reading and understanding documents like purchase orders, invoices etc., chatbots, NLP and many other ways that we have not thought of yet.

While getting started on your RPA journey, one of the key factors for the success of the RPA program is how to structure the team in your…

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In the Part 1 of this article I had written about what should be the goals of a BI Modernization strategy and how grouping your existing BI use cases by data latency requirements can help clarify your BI Strategy. The three groupings by data latency are Real-Time, Operational and Analytical Reporting. In this article I will cover possible architectures for each of these use models.

Design Pattern

The key design assumption for these architectures are the following –

1. Companies will have multiple visualization tools

2. A single architecture and set of tools might not be able to satisfy all…

How grouping your existing BI use cases by data latency requirements can help clarify your BI Strategy

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A lot of companies are burdened by legacy BI platforms and are not able to deliver the right data to their users at the right time to run their business today. They know that they need to modernize their BI platforms but do not know how to go about it. First let’s look at what should be the goals of a BI Modernization strategy.

Here are the goals from my view for any BI Modernization Strategy -

1. Speed of change — Probably…

Snowflake is rapidly becoming the leading cloud data warehouse platform for all kinds of different analytics applications. I have written about why snowflake is a great option for moving on-premise data warehouses to the cloud. While moving to Snowflake has big advantages like no need for a server footprint, DBA, tuning, backup and recovery, it still needs a well thought out data pipeline from your source systems.

A chance to simplify and reduce latency of your data pipelines

If your company has been using a central data warehouse for several years, chances are your BI team uses a traditional tool…

Incorta is the new kid on the block in a very competitive enterprise business intelligence tools space. The company started around 6 years back and we have been using it for the last 2.5 years successfully for operational reporting.

This blog was written in October 2019 and represents Incorta features as of their 4.3.x version. Please keep in mind Incorta builds significant new capabilities in each of their quarterly releases and the product changes over time. I will try to add new articles to go over significant new capabilities in the platform.

Incorta has taken a very different approach to…

Why the Looker acquisition by Google makes sense and the Tableau acquisition by Salesforce does not

There were two very high-profile acquisitions in the month of June 2019 in the BI tools space. One was the acquisition of Looker by Google ($2.6 Billion) and another one is the acquisition of Tableau by Salesforce ($16 Billion).

Out of the two major acquisitions, one makes a lot of sense (Looker by Google) and the other one not so much (Salesforce by Tableau). Here is my view of these two acquisitions -

Looker acquisition by Google Cloud

Google has been investing heavily in…

In today’s fast-moving business environment there are a lot of reporting requirements which cannot wait for a batch process to load data from operational systems. The business users need the data as it is currently in their on-premise ERP, CRM or any of the cloud systems. For example, towards the end of a fiscal quarter, sales and finance leaders want to know the order bookings in real-time so that they have a good idea if they are going to “make” the quarter or not in terms of revenue. …

I recently presented a webinar with Incorta on a two year long journey to replace Oracle Hyperion Brio with Incorta for operational analytics with data from Oracle EBS, Siebel,and Agile.

Here is the link to the full webinar -

The key benefits we realized with Incorta for operational reporting are -

  • Delivered real-time operational reports against data aggregated from complex data models of Oracle EBS, Oracle Siebel, and Oracle Agile
  • Empowered business user to self-serve even the most complex reports and analytics
  • Redeployed 13 of 15 BI support resources to work on more innovative projects
  • Reduced new report delivery time…

The nature of today’s enterprise applications environment is that the critical data needed for operational and analytical reporting reside in multiple cloud and on-premise applications. A lot of companies have multiple ERPs, multiple CRMs and multiple other cloud applications that they have implemented over time or inherited them through acquisitions.

Figure 1: Typical ETL and BI Architecture

Similar, to their transaction systems, companies will also have a mixture of modern and legacy BI and ETL technologies. The need to bring the data from all these source applications together into one or more data warehouses (ideally one), whether on-premise or on the cloud, is more important than ever…

In on-premise database environments like Oracle and SQL Server there will usually be multiple physical servers and in each of them there will be multiple databases. For example, in a typical on-premise Oracle/SQL Server data warehouse environment, companies will have 3 separate sets of physical servers — one each for development, test and production.

In each of these physical servers, multiple databases will be created. Each of these databases will built be for a specific purpose for example one could be a financial systems warehouse (FIN_DW) with data pulled from ERP system and another could be a HR warehouse (HR_DW)…

Bharath Natarajan

Analytics and Intelligent Automation Architecture, Tools and Best Practices.

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