July 6, 2017 - 5 Scenarios to Roadmap Your BI and Analytics to the Cloud

When it comes to moving BI and analytics to the cloud, there are many paths to reach the same goal. So, if you want the power of BI and analytics in the cloud, but think your environment is too complex, take a look as these scenarios.

Three scenario questions you must ask

Cloud-analayticsThe scenarios described below basically answer the following three questions:

  1. Where is the source system?
  2. Where is the data at reporting time?
  3. Is that data in a transaction system or a data warehouse?

Keep this in mind as we go through these scenarios; a data warehouse is typically designed for reporting and it takes reporting cycles away from the transaction system. The transaction system is typically used for more real-time type of reporting and less historical trend reporting. The 5 scenarios are summarized in the table below.

Scenario 1

For the first scenario the source system is on-premises with the data in the cloud at the time of reporting.This scenario can be utilized when your company has a short time frame to migrate and a skill set shortage on older reporting platforms. This scenario would also work if your company has a heavy reliance on on-premises systems and a long term goal to move to the cloud. Some of the benefits of this scenario are the reporting load is taken off of the transaction systems, the self-service in the cloud reduces IT burden, and the expenses are reduced. The one drawback to this scenario is that it is not inherently real-time.

S­­cenario 2

This scenario is similar to the first but with a little more complexity. It still utilizes on-premises source systems but now includes some cloud based systems. The data will be in the cloud at the time of reporting whether it’s from an on-premises system or the cloud. Additionally, it will either be in a data warehouse or a transaction system. Your company should apply this scenario if you need analytics across both cloud and on-premises, you have a migration plan to the cloud, and don’t want to move cloud data to on-premises. Some benefits of this situation are that it allows incremental movement to the cloud, it prevents “lock-in” to older on-premises technologies, and it supports real time reporting against Oracle cloud-based systems. It also carries the same benefits as scenario 1. The disadvantages are multiple integration processes across cloud systems and on-premises and reporting of on-premises data is not inherently real-time.

Scenario 3

This one goes the other way by using the cloud to report against on-premises systems. The data is in on-premises systems but you want to get the benefits of cloud BI. It would be best for your company to utilize this scenario if you can’t move data to the cloud, you have no cloud-based systems, you have an on-premises data warehouse that is your source, and your on-premises systems are close to being retired. Some advantages of this development are that it allows leveraging of investment in on-premises OBIEE and data warehouse, it involves real time reporting, and is ready for analytics on cloud-based systems. Some negatives to this scenario are that you can’t use BICS data model for reporting (must use OBIEE RPD) and all maintenance of reporting metadata must occur on-premises in the OBIEE RPD and then be copied to BICS in the cloud.

Scenario 4

This is the most complex scenario. The source systems and the data at reporting time are a mix of on-premises and cloud. Reporting is against some data in the cloud and directly against some on-premises systems. The systems being reported against are a mix: some are data warehouses for reporting and some are transaction systems for more real-time reporting.  It is best to utilize this scenario when your on-premises systems are close to being retired, you have a large investment in on-premises OBIEE, and you cannot move data to the cloud yet. Some positive aspects of this scenario include a common BI platform, simplified end user experience, and easier maintenance. The downsides are the same as scenario 3.

Scenario 5

This last scenario runs Oracle BI Apps on Oracle PaaS. Your business should utilize this situation if you want to leverage existing investment in BI Apps and if you already are running on-premises BI Apps and want to change to the cloud platform. The advantages include ability to leverage a mature analytic product (Oracle’s BI Apps) as well as access to the rich and extensive pre-built content of Oracle’s BI Apps coupled with the flexibility and self service capabilities of BICS.   The drawbacks are that the BI Apps on Oracle PaaSplatform and utilities are fairly new, you cannot use BICS data model features (must use OBIEE RPD and copy it to the cloud), and it requires an extra step to replicate data to the cloud.

If you are interested in learning more of the details of these scenarios, watch this webinar.

Myles Gilsenan
Myles has more than 20 years of global experience in the design and deployment of large scale ERP and data warehousing/BI solutions. He spent the first 10 years of his career at a Big 4 consulting firm leading international ERP and BI deployments including Oracle and SAP. He then moved into industry where he held senior management positions in Business Intelligence and Corporate Finance Technology. He has a unique blend of deep experience in both the ERP and BI arenas. Myles has lived and worked in Tokyo, London and Hong Kong and has a demonstrated track record of delivery in complex environments. He has leveraged a blended onshore/offshore model for the last 10 years.

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