Gary Dranikoski, SpearMC
Oracle delivers many different reporting tools with PeopleSoft, Kibana being the latest and greatest (in my opinion). All of these reporting technologies have their advantages and disadvantages for different use cases.
How should reporting tools be categorized?
If you take a step back and look at the delivered reporting technologies, they are broken down into 3 categories: Foundational, Conventional and Analytical
- Foundational Tools – PS Query and SQR – accurate and reliable data mostly in a tabular format
- Conventional Tools – nVision and BI Publisher – additional capabilities including formatting and data interaction in Excel
- Analytical Tools – Pivot Grids and Kibana – visual representations of data through interactive reports and dashboards embedded into your business process flows
In the grid below, I’ve laid out where I believe each of the reporting tools to be the most appropriate. As you can see it is not a one size fits all. Check out the available training to learn more about these tools.
When should Kibana be the tool of choice?
Recently I was sitting at my desk responding to a customer’s “when should I use Kibana” question and found myself drawing a parallel between Kibana and the bowl of ice cream I was enjoying at the time. So you may be asking yourself, what does this have to do with PeopleSoft reporting? Well….if you have a bowl of ice cream, your utensil of choice is a spoon. If you use a fork, it will get the job done but over time as the ice cream melts it will become difficult, slow and frustrating to eat it. Oracle delivers multiple Reporting Tools (utensils) with PeopleSoft. To provide users with the most positive experience, one must take the time to evaluate the reporting need and select the best tool.
So should I replace nVision with Kibana? I would caution you to never suggest a blanket replacement of nVision with Kibana (your Excel loving Finance/Accounting teams will declare mutiny 😉). In all seriousness, your reporting strategy is something that evolves over time. As your users become more comfortable with dashboards, their approach to reporting will change (naturally) and you will find them moving away from extracting large amounts of data and trying to decipher what’s relevant.
If your goal is to embed analytics into business process and provide users access to large amount of information directly in PeopleSoft, then I highly recommend that Kibana becomes another tool in your overall reporting portfolio. You can start with the delivered functionality to build the foundation and grow from there.
What is delivered with Kibana?
As of Financials PUM 44, Oracle has delivered over 50 Dashboards and 200 Visualizations for FSCM. On the HCM side, as of PUM 43, there over 50 Dashboards and almost 300 Visualizations. I maintain a spreadsheet that lists by Module all of the Dashboards, Related Visualizations and Index Patterns along with the PUM when they were released. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this file (sample screenshot below) please reach out to me via email and I will be happy to share it ([email protected]).
Oracle always improving to get your data faster!
One of the restrictions of Kibana has been data latency. With PeopleTools 8.59, Oracle has started to release indexes that no longer lag. Check out Kibana real-time process analytics and see how better data can lead to better decisions.
Remember…with the exponential growth of Big Data, gone are the days when companies can simply plug in canned, one-size-fits-all reporting. The more effective you are in identifying ways to break down your data from “big to small,” the easier it will be to focus your reports and/or reporting dashboards on only the pertinent points that drive decisions.