Liberating Oracle Hyperion Financial Management through Cognos
April 16, 2015

Liberating Oracle Hyperion Financial Management through Cognos

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Data is the new oil. Just as oil became a valuable resource during the 18th century, so too is data in the 21st century. Today data is quickly becoming a vast, valuable and yet untapped resource. As we move into ever increasing digitization of business processes, high quality data has grown exponentially in value.

With business applications generating huge amounts of data every day, getting access to and making sense of the data are the main challenges. In the area of enterprise financial applications, especially Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) applications, quality data is essential for ensuring smooth financial management.

Hyperion data is locked away

Organizations that have Oracle Hyperion Planning and Financial Management (HFM) find it complex and time consuming getting access to their data.

For example, looking at the financial close process:

If you want to provide a report on actual vs budget variance to unit managers, then you need to move data from HFM to Planning. Or if you’re going through a budgeting process you find that you need to move budget data back and forth between the two applications.

The requirement to supply data to other applications such as workflow management or variance analysis also needs to be addressed. Reporting systems for financial close require data from HFM and Planning to be produced in different formats such as dimensional, parent-child or balanced hierarchy 1.

Unlocking Hyperion data

The underlying technologies for HFM and Planning are different. HFM uses relational database technology while Planning uses a dimensional database called Essbase. These different technologies mean that moving data between the Hyperion and external applications requires an intermediate step to translate the data from one technology to the other.

There are different options for solving the access and translation problem. Oracle themselves provide products to address this. These are:

  • Financial Data Management (FDM) – Also known as Oracle Hyperion Financial Data Quality Management (Financial Data Quality Management). It is a bundle solution for finance users that will help you to develop standardized financial data management processes with its Web-based guided workflow user interface and powerful integration engine. It will enable your organization to eliminate the data integrity risks associated with collecting, mapping, verifying and moving critical financial data across the entire organization.
  • Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) – It is a comprehensive data integration platform that covers all data integration requirements: from high-volume, high-performance batch loads, to event-driven, trickle-feed integration processes, to SOA-enabled data services.
  • EPMA Data Synchronisation – It enables you to synchronize and map data between EPM source to target applications irrespective of the dimensionality of the application simply by selecting the source and target EPM application, and then mapping the data. Using this method, the data can be easily transformed from one application to another application.
  • Essbase Analytics Link (EAL) – It integrates and merges multiple operational data sources into a single data model, providing detailed information for analytical measurements, KPIs, and the application of advanced analytics. Using it will be easier for you to deliver comprehensive management reporting to a broad user community.
  • Smart View – Using Smart View, you can view, import, manipulate, distribute and share data in Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint interfaces. It is a comprehensive tool for accessing and integrating Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) and Business Intelligence (BI) content from Microsoft Office products. Oracle Smart View provides you with a common Microsoft Office interface designed specifically for Oracle’s Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) and Business Intelligence (BI).
  • Lifecycle Management (LCM) – It automates the time-consuming tasks related to discovery, initial provisioning and cloning, patching, configuration management, ongoing change management, and compliance management.

There are also non-Oracle solutions. The primary ones are:

  • Qlik – It is a software company that specialize in data visualization, executive dashboards and self-service business intelligence products. Its primary product is QlikView. The product supports visual data discovery, self-service business intelligence (BI) reporting, and the development and sharing of data dashboards. The company’s other main offering is called Qlik Sense. It supports more free-form analytics and allows users to build data and web applications through API connections.
  • Cognos Integration Server (CIS), previously Star Analytics – It enables you to source specialized cube data across financial, sales and operational applications from a variety of sources. The solution extracts application content including data and metadata and moves the information into Cognos TM1, IBM Planning Analytics or performance management applications. It makes data extractions easier to build and maintain for continuous planning and reporting cycles.

We will examine at a high level the CIS capabilities, in this article. Keep reading to get familiar with all CIS capabilities and more importantly to understand, how to liberate Oracle Hyperion Financial Data.

Cognos Integration Server Overview

Integrations and automations

CIS enables you to easily move your existing data and content from source applications such as Oracle Hyperion to Cognos TM1. It streamlines the process of dynamically generating target schemas for data warehousing and supports single-source reporting strategies where needed. By using the Cognos Integration Server Command Line Interface, you can easily schedule extractions to run by using a job scheduling system such as IBM Cognos Command Center.

Provide high-performance data extraction

You will be able to choose full or partial data extractions. More over this, you can select entire dimensions or virtually any member intersection to create custom data subsets for export. Data extraction can be reduced from days to minutes, using the Intelligent Extraction feature. Plus, continuous planning cycle with rapid data updates can be implemented, effectively.

Support single-source reporting strategies

Let me assume that your organization is using a single-source reporting strategy. With CIS you can extract and unify value-added information locked in proprietary applications like Oracle Hyperion Planning, Oracle Hyperion Financial Management, Oracle Essbase and SAP BW. These software apps generate data and often are gateways for user input. They will allow you to model complex business functions, and to generate valuable content for use downstream in a central reporting system.

Connect the needs of IT and Finance departments

CIS interface is designed for business users like you. More over this, it provides a common ground for meeting the diverse needs of your IT and Finance teams. Your IT team can enjoy access to data in an open and standard format while finance team can continue to leverage the cube technology that suits their business requirements.

Provide you with 24/7 availability

Although remaining online for users, Cognos Integration Server is capable of doing extractions on a constant basis to update external reporting applications and for backup purposes.

Balance hierarchies for planning and reporting

You can use its patented abilities to balance “ragged” hierarchies. This will ensure you that important hierarchies and drill paths that reflect your business are preserved in the target relational reporting application.

Deliver high ROI

Simply by unifying information across your organization’s portfolio of financial analysis applications, CIS can lower your total lifecycle cost and influence your existing BI assets. Along with Cognos Command Center you can automate data extractions together with other application processes to provide an overview of who ran what, when, where and how. Furthermore, you can reduce ongoing maintenance, plus, the solution can be up and running in as little as a single day.

Now is the time to present you the key features of Cognos Integration Server.

Key Features of CIS:

  • Interface is designed for business users like you.
  • Data extractions are easy to build and maintain over time for loading into Cognos TM1, and major relational database management systems.
  • You will get faster and more reliable performance data extraction for loading into Cognos TM1 applications or BI warehouses.
    • Extracts data and metadata (dimensions) from Cognos TM1
    • Extracts Oracle Hyperion Planning data, metadata, line-item details and security profiles.
    • Extracts Oracle Hyperion Financial Management data, metadata, line-item details and journal entries.
    • Loads content directly into Cognos TM1, IBM Planning Analytics, IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server or standard star-schema formats.
  • You will be able to balance ragged multidimensional hierarchies for use with products like IBM Cognos Framework Manager.
  • You can preserve important hierarchies and drill paths that reflect the business in the target relational reporting application.
  • Supports large Essbase dimensional data extraction, exceeding the 264 power potential combination barrier.
  • In combination with Cognos Command Center, extractions can be automated and chained together with Cognos TM1 TurboIntegrator and other application processes.

After all this useful information it is time to answer your next question. What are the system requirements? Keep reading to find out more about all of them.

System Requirements

Server Operation Systems

  • HP-UX 11.x Itanium/PA RISC
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012
  • Microsoft Windows 7 (x86, x86-64)

Client operating system

  • IBM Cognos Command Center web client supports any major modern browser, including Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome
  • Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2 and Windows 7

Source databases

  • Oracle Hyperion Planning 9.3.1 or higher
  • Oracle Hyperion Financial Management 9.3 or higher
  • Oracle Essbase 9.3.1 or higher

Target databases

  • IBM DB2 8.2 or higher
  • Oracle 10g and higher, with Oracle Client Interface (OCI)
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 or higher, with Microsoft Data Access Components 2.8 or higher

Repository

  • SQLite (Built-in)
  • Oracle 9i – 9.2.0.1 or higher
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 or higher, Microsoft Data Access Components 2.8 or higher

And now, the time has come. Keep reading to find out how to Liberate Hyperion Data using IBM Cognos Integration Server.

Liberating Hyperion Data using Cognos Integration Server

There are several factors that influence the selection of a solution to unlock Oracle Hyperion data. The different options highlighted above address very specific scenarios. Overall, the factors to consider are:

  1. Types of Hyperion, EPM and other Analytics applications in your environment.
  2. Frequency of data extraction and loading from source to target applications.
  3. The speed of data extraction.
  4. The volume of data moving between the different applications.
  5. Data mapping needs of the applications.
  6. Self-service and workflow automation requirements.
  7. Data formatting needs e.g. Balanced Hierarchy 1 and 2.

Cognos Integration Server enables you to have real-time, fast insight from specialized Oracle data sources.

With the challenge of gaining a holistic view into different types of financial data, companies are always looking for ways to automate and provide business users with self-service access to critical information.

It’s the self-service capabilities, together with fast data access to Hyperion applications that ultimately allow you to get the most from your investment in Oracle Hyperion applications.

Conclusion

All of the above-mentioned software applications deliver data-driven insights that will help your organization to work smarter and outperform your competitors. This comprehensive blog post includes solutions for business intelligence, predictive analytics, decision management, performance management, and risk management.

Liberating Hyperion Data using Cognos Integration Server will enable your company to identify and visualize trends and patterns in areas, such as customer analytics, that can have a profound effect on business performance. You will be able to compare scenarios, anticipate potential threats and opportunities, better plan, budget and forecast resources, balance risks against expected returns and work to meet regulatory requirements. By making analytics widely available, you can align in tactical and strategic decision-making to achieve all of your business goals.

Now, it is time for you to take action. You can contact us using the contact form below. Our sales representatives will give you the best advice on how to improve your database and other business resources. Give us a call now or write to us, so we can manage together the scale of your business.

 

Author: Krum Daskalov, VP Advanced Analytics, and Business Intelligence

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