I just have to add the entire line of books by Edward Tufte.
1) The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
2) Visual Explanations: Images and Qauntities, Evidence and Narrative
3) Envisioning Information
After reading these books and using some of his thoughts in my presentations to management it was amazing how people were finally understanding what I was trying to explain to them and they would help me to fix the broken pieces of our processes and applications.
A week out at Oracle World is enough to kill anyone, I thought that I would get a week of rest away from work. Boy was I wrong. It seemed like everyday I was busy from 7am to 10pm. The BI Customer Advisory Council was really good. There are a lot of people out there doing some cool stuff with Discoverer. Its amazing how many different ways a ‘Ad-hoc Query’ tool is interpretted by so many different people.
I really enjoyed taking a look at the new OWB “Paris” it really helps in automating and prototyping Discoverer EULs. Jean-Pierre Dijcks and John Leigh really put on a good presenation about this, you can find it here .
I went to the inaugural Oracle Spatial Special Interests Group meeting on Tuesday night. It really wasn’t what I expected, way too many sales guys and not enough people who are in the meat everyday. And the technical people I met were more interested in spatial data rather than rendering information in a map. They are having a follow up meeting at a conference in March. I’m not sure whether or not I want to go yet.
Speaking of Spatial and GIS, a lot of people want mapping built into Discoverer. Being able to select data like from a parameter from at map and also displaying maps like another graph type. I think its a great idea. Obviously, since I went through so much pain implementing it in the previous versions of Discoverer. I’m happy to continue adding the functionality but if its something they want to support I’ll let them. By not having an API into their cache and backend it really makes it painful to having to rewrite the integration with almost every upgrade. I think a lot of people aren’t thinking about the cost of the spatial data if they enable mapping in Discoverer though. I haven’t found a good source of cheap, accurate and detailed spatial data for Oracle yet. Hopefully they’ll realize the need for people to support custom geography as well since most corporations have their own regional, market and retial store geographies that would need to be included as well.
Its really going to be a fun couple of years for the Oracle BI team. It looks like Larry is back to supporting them and the rest of the tools stack and there is a definite drive to have the best BI tools in the industry. I think with the right group of people they can be there pretty quickly
Most people have mixed emotions when have to goto a conference. First you think, ahh a nice 4 days away from the office, then the reality sets in that the work doesn’t stop when your gone and chances are your gonna have to work twice as hard when you get back just to catch up. I’m actually looking forward to this year’s Oracle World Conference.
The Business Intelligence group is going to launch a huge number of new applications. Oracle Discoverer Drake will finally be released. I’m going to be on the customer panel for the Mini Keynote called “Oracle and Gartner unveil the new Oracle Business Intelligence 10g.’ My first 5 minutes of conference fame.
I’m also looking forward to taking a look at the new Oracle Warehouse Builder (OWB) Paris from what I’ve heard it does a great job at creating OLAP warehouses and automatically generates the Discoverer OLAP EULs. Should be great for doing some rapid OLAP prototyping.
Lastly, I’m geeked to see Oracle’s plan for SOA, while probably nothing ground breaking, it’ll be interesting to see what components Oracle is going to implement for their SOA stack, whether its just a container and BPEL or if its actually a big competitive stack with logging, auditing, security, realiability, etc. Most importantly how closely does it follow the standards that are out there.