Oracle expands data sources for business intelligence software

New releases of Oracle Endeca Information Discovery and its Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite feature ways to import data

Oracle has revised two of its business intelligence products, giving users the ability to wrest intelligence from a wider range of data sources, including spreadsheets, social media sites and Hadoop deployments.

"Organizations want to use analytics more and more, and that drives demand from all kinds of different users in the organization to [ingest] new data sources," said Paul Rodwick, the vice president of product management for Oracle business intelligence.

The company has updated both Oracle Endeca Information Discovery and the Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite, releasing new versions of the software in conjunction with Collaborate, an independent conference for Oracle software users this week in Denver. Each software package comes with new ways to ingest additional sources of data for analysis.

The newly released Oracle Endeca Information Discovery 3.0 is the first major product update for the software since Oracle acquired Endeca in October 2011, Rodwick said. The Endeca software allows users to analyze unstructured data, or data that has not been captured in a database or data warehouse.

With this new version, Endeca users can now also analyze their own Microsoft Excel files. Endeca also comes with a native JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) reader and support for OAuth authorization standard, allowing users the ability to import data from social media sites such as Twitter, for sentiment analysis. A new driver allows Endeca users to pull data from Oracle Business Intelligence Server, a component of the Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite.

In addition to connectivity to additional data sources, the newly released Endeca software also comes with a new user interface. Users can now drag and drop visualizations to data source, allowing the software render a visual representation of the data in the chosen format. It can now also search and index material in 22 languages.

The Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite version 11.1.1.7 also expands the number of data sources it can work with. This is the first version of the suite to be able to draw data from a Hadoop cluster, through the Hive Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) connector. Oracle BI "dashboards, reports and scorecards can source from Hadoop," Rodwick said. "The Oracle BI Server generates a Hive query language, which initiates a Hadoop job. You can leave the data in Hadoop, rather than moving it into a database."

Oracle has also released a new Microsoft Office plug in for the Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation, Oracle Essbase, and Oracle Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management applications. Full Oracle dashboards can now be exported to Microsoft Excel. Users can now also analyze data within Excel using the data, calculations, reports and visualizations from the Oracle BI Foundation.

The version of the suite comes with a number of new data visualizations, including Performance Tiles and Waterfall Graphs. The mobile application that runs with the suite now comes with a security toolkit, the ability to support gestures and the more capabilities for viewing content.

Oracle also announced that both Endeca and the Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite have been configured to work seamlessly on the Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine, Oracle's business analytics focused hardware platform.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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