At COLLABORATE 19, Matthew Haavisto and Deepankar Narayanan, members of the Oracle PeopleTools team, spoke about recent enhancements to PeopleSoft analytics and how you can leverage them in your organization. The pair discussed thresholds and notifications, new features for pivot grids, adding analytics to the navigation bar, homepage, and dashboard, Kibana visualizations, and more.
The PeopleSoft team strives to help customers in many ways. The image below illustrates the six major buckets that PeopleSoft invests in to provide users with the best experience possible.
The COLLABORATE presentation focused on analysis and insight – an area where many enhancements have been recently made. Providing relevant information through PeopleSoft analytics can benefit users by providing them with more insight into their business, and recent enhancements make that even easier.
Recent Enhancements to PeopleSoft Analytics
Thresholds and Notifications
Personalized Analytic Notifications are a way for the system to alert users of conditions that need attention. Users set thresholds in pivot grids, and an alert is generated when the threshold criteria are met.
Although thresholds have existed prior to PeopleTools 8.57, the system behavior that allows users to be notified when said thresholds are reached is new. Users can select the delivery method for alerts – either through the alert window or an email. PeopleSoft is working to allow text message notifications in the future as well.
Thresholds for notifications can be personalized within the Pivot Grid Viewer. Administrators are able to define the threshold, criteria, delivery mode, and the recipient. Under “Display Options,” administrators can also check or uncheck a box that allows the end user to alter all threshold settings except for the frequency of notifications. The decision to keep end users from affecting recurrence came as a result of administrator input. Each time the threshold is checked, a query occurs, and feedback from administrators showed that they would like to retain control over how often the query is run.
If granted permission, the end user can access “Threshold Options” from the gear menu of Pivot Grid Viewer and enter the values for any fields in the pivot grid. The end user’s settings will either set or override the administrator’s defaults.
Once a user receives a notification, he or she can click on the notification to view the threshold violation in Pivot Grid Viewer. If email is the selected delivery method, the user does not have to be logged in to PeopleSoft to receive notifications about thresholds that have been met. If there are multiple threshold violations, users will receive one message for all violations.
Check out the videos below for demonstrations of Personalized Analytic Notifications and thresholds from both a user perspective and an administrator perspective.
There are several minor enhancements to pivot grids in PeopleTools 8.57 that are worth your attention. You can now drill to the intersection of a chart. Within a series, click on a particular item and drill down to the intersection to display the units within the item. The new functionality also allows you to add analytics to the navigation bar or dashboard directly from the analytic – a much simpler route than previously offered.
Another enhancement is the ability to dynamically set the tile size as you add the tile to a homepage or dashboard or while publishing it to a tile repository. Tile sizes are available in large (2×2), medium (1×2), or small (1×1). If granted permission, end users can override the size for their own purposes.
The administrator can also grant users the ability to edit analytic prompts at runtime for better insight.
Finally, there are User Editable Analytic Prompts for component-based models. This enables operator support for prompts on the wizard. It is only for visible prompts. The supported operators (equal to, not equal to, contains, etc.) are dependent on the data type (string, number, date, edit table prompt) of the prompt field.
Analytic Performance Improvements
Depending on the amount of data being affected in analytics, some users have experienced slow performance speeds. To remedy this, PeopleSoft is allowing you to limit the number of facets that are initially loaded, so the page will load faster. If a facet that you need to access does not load from the start, simply click the “More” link, and remaining facets will load incrementally.
Additionally, within performance, PeopleSoft is allowing you to conceal details until you need them. Facet Count determines the number of facet values that load at a time. You can now choose whether facets are expanded or collapsed when the model loads. There is also an option to show or hide the detailed view. This is a game-changer for page-loading speed and empowers you to increase performance free of outside intervention.
Kibana is a visualization tool provided by The Elastic Company. It integrates with PeopleSoft services to deliver a rich set of visualizations with extreme ease of use. At this stage, PeopleSoft has partnered with Kibana to offer visualizations for administrators only.
The tool opens in its own browser and includes three dashboards:
- System metrics
- Indexing metrics
- Indexing summary
Application visualizations are expected to be offered in the future.
Kibana is different from the current analytic offerings because it is very fast and works against other indexes in Elasticsearch to improve performance. If you have massive data sets and would like to customize unique visualizations, the PeopleSoft team recommends Kibana. It is necessary to purchase the version that is offered through PeopleSoft to connect your current services.
However, if you are looking for an analytics tool that will pull real-time data regularly, it is recommended that you utilize tools that are available directly from PeopleSoft, such as Simplified Analytics and Pivot Grids.
The roadmap for Kibana enhancements in the future includes:
- Discovery of PeopleSoft application data stored in Elasticsearch
- Discover relationships between data
- Perform aggregations and analytics on application data
- Analyze unstructured data
- Relate structured (PeopleSoft) and unstructured (external sources) data
- Globalization and accessibility in Kibana
- Support for other Elastic products
Small Scale Enhancements for PeopleSoft Analytics
The following items are smaller-scale updates to PeopleSoft Analytics that resulted from customer requests.
Classic Plus is now enabled for Query Manager, Query Viewer, Connected Query Manager, and Wizard. Additionally, Composite Query is a source for BI Publisher, and PDF Archive Format and Accessible PDF Output are useful in BIP reports. BIP Reports are also able to be used with Connected Query as Data Sources.
Across the board, the PeopleSoft team is working to make features ADS-enabled, so they are easier to manage during the upgrade process. This will make you less dependent on App Designer, and automation will become easier.
BIP Reports with Connected Query
PeopleSoft has added PeopleCore API, which you can use to schedule nVision reports. You can embed it in the page, write code, and skip the nVision navigation pages.
Process Scheduler now allows you to copy from job definition, edit required fields, and save your new job definition. The same is true for Job Set.
For more information about PeopleSoft analytics, check out the COLLABORATE presentation and additional Quest resources attached below.
If you’re looking for more PeopleSoft content, join us next year at RECONNECT 20, the premier deep-dive PeopleSoft focused event of the year! The event will take place July 21-23, 2020 in St. Louis, Missouri. Keep an eye out for more information on this event!
To learn from the experiences of your peers within the Quest Oracle Community, check out the PeopleSoft Customer Stories page that houses 30+ PeopleSoft customer stories about Selective Adoption, user experience, PeopleSoft in the Cloud, PeopleSoft Human Capital Management, PeopleSoft Enterprise Resource Planning, and PeopleSoft tools and technology!