Retail Analytics is very similar to the more popular Oracle Business Intelligence Applications (OBIA).
OBIA offers an appliance that is tightly integrated with a specific source system, giving a pre-built BI solution. It is designed to interface with Oracle ERP and financial sources (like Oracle EBS, Siebel CRM, JD Edwards and Peoplesoft), though there are adaptors that are available for non-Oracle systems like SAP.
Retail Analytics is specifically designed to integrate with the Oracle Retail suite, utilising oracle’s technologies to deliver a complete BI solution for retail businesses.
It consists of a pre-built data warehouse (Oracle) schema, that is populated by an Extract – Load – Transform tool (Oracle Data Integrator (ODI)) with a reporting tool (Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE)) that has been pre-built with 100’s of specific retail metrics, reports and dashboards.
In keeping with the OBIA, Retail Analytics provides you with the basis of a common enterprise information model (CEIM). The CEIM gives a robust and consistent view of the data – which should allow for complex reporting and allows a solid foundation for the ‘inevitable’ customisations that occur in BI projects.
The current version of Retail Analytics architecture is very similar to the newly released OBIA 188.8.131.52.1 and the existing Oracle BI Fusion edition, so the ability to integrate this with other BI apps is certainly a possibility.
Whilst it is similar to OBIA, Retail Analytics does have some differences.
The most notable (at the time of writing this) is that there is no program as part of the application that handles the population of the data warehouse.
In earlier versions of OBIA, there is a tool called the DAC (Database Administration Console);this tool runs the tasks and execution plans that populates the data warehouse. The latest version (OBIA 184.108.40.206.1) uses 2 custom web-based tools to ‘administer’ the batch runs.
Retail Analytics is packaged with batch scripts but there is no program to schedule or run them.
Oracle Retail Analytics is the parent of more 5 granular offerings; Oracle Retail Merchandising Analytics, Oracle Retail Customer Analytics, Oracle Retail Planning Analytics, Oracle Retail Supply Chain Analytics and Oracle Retail Stores Analytics. N.B. Only Merchandising and Customer version are currently on general release.
We are deploying the Oracle Retail Merchandising Analytics product.
As with most Oracle products there are various point versions of the software, we are looking at Oracle Retail Analytics 13.2.5. This ships with ODI 220.127.116.11, OBIEE 18.104.22.168 and is certified to be used with Oracle 11gR2 database.
I think I have covered most of the high level points (and tried not to descent into too much waffle).
Next posts will probably be installationary (sic) in nature but first I need to read the documentation (again)……….