“Without Analytics, Big Data Is Just Noise” – Brian Solis
The importance of analytics is the data universe has already been established. However, when analytics tells a visual story it becomes easier to comprehend and, thus, easier to use. Data visualization helps in capturing data insights intelligently and goes beyond simply presenting the numbers. Data visualization helps in building data narratives that help the users of data draw important insights with ease. Oracle BICS and Oracle DVCS are two such data visualization services that help businesses navigate the vast data analytics universe by transforming data into easy to understand visuals and help in simplifying the analytics process. However, it has to be noted that Oracle BICS and Oracle DVCS, despite being data visualization services, have different capabilities and should not be confused with one another though both fall under the umbrella of Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) 12c, a comprehensive business analytics and self-service query offering from Oracle.
Introduced in September 2014, BICS was aimed at providing a comprehensive BI suite to address an organization’s data analysis and reporting needs. In 2015, Oracle introduced Visual Analyzer to BICS which made it easier to discover data correlations and present data visualizations.
- Using the BICS platform, organizations gain access to a pre-production environment that allows product development and testing and a production environment where the users consume the analytical content and actionable information. The information is presented using charts and graphs that have advanced visualization and graphics.
- Oracle BICS features a query generator, a calculation engine and comprehensive data aggregation and data filtering capabilities. Additionally, it also has hierarchical time series and statistical capabilities.
- Oracle BICS comes fully integrated the Oracle Database Cloud and allows its users to combine data from diverse sources that include third-party and on-premise applications as well as other cloud services.
- BICS allows for data loading in multiple ways and includes web-based loading, ETL integrations, Excel Files, Oracle applications, REST API’s, importing self-service files for data integration etc.
- It is mobile ready and is supported on both Android and iOS devices. Given the mobile integration capabilities, it provides support for device-delivered information and is secured with the SSAE 16 Type II Certification.
- It is offered as a service subscription model which makes it easier to deploy for small groups and business functions without the worry of capital costs.
- Oracle BICS is multi-tenant but addresses security concerns by identifying each subscription with the Identity Domain. The data is stored on the Oracle Database Cloud Service which helps in keeping data isolated from other company data. This service is highly scalable and allows organizations to add users and applications as needed as it does not demand local installs of BI administrations.
- It delivers highly on availability by simply offloading analytics workloads to the cloud.
- It has an interactive user-interface and provides integrated guidance via tutorials and helps users build analysis, data mashups, BI applications etc. without any programming or analytics knowledge.
The front-end tools used are Visual Analyzer, Dashboards and Analysis, includes Database Schema and needs the Yes, Star Schema models.
Oracle DVCS is a web-based tool that allows simple and easy visual data explorations and analysis even on an individual basis. It was announced in the 2015 Oracle OpenWorld as a PaaS offering. The DVCS tool gives its users access to intelligent data visualizations, visual storytelling, consumer-style analytics and offers compatibility and integration across the entire breadth of Oracle analytics offerings. It allows the users to blend and visually analyze data across data sources such as Excel Files, external sources, personal files, SaaS applications, on-premise systems and Oracle applications. Once the data files are uploaded, the user just needs to select the desired elements and the Oracle DVCS finds the best way to visualize it.
- Oracle DVCS can be accessed directly from the link provided by the service administrator or by signing into Oracle Cloud.
- DVCS offers instant mash-up and data visualization capabilities straight from the browser. The automatic data mash-up makes it easy for users to create unique visualizations by blending new information to the core datasheet.
- Oracle DVCS also allows for ad-hoc analysis and advanced data discovery, has dynamic visual analytics, a powerful search and navigation system, allows self-service data loading and data blending and enables powerful visual storytelling with snapshots and narratives.
- It is cost effective as it easy to deploy and use, does not require any hardware investment or demand upgrades each year and allows users to conduct their own analysis without seeking IT intervention.
- Unlike BICS, it does not require any model but it also does not include database schema service.
- It allows superior analysis by enabling sophisticated data exploration and allows users to create compelling dashboards by applying filters and drill or by dragging and dropping.
- The focus of DVCS is mainly on allowing users to create effective and insightful data visualizations with the help of powerful self-service tools. It facilitates a seamless transition between data discovery and display, allows users to quickly uncover data patterns using Smart Patterns, and has a dynamic design that is mobile-optimized and allows the users to view the analysis and full authoring capabilities on any mobile device.
- Oracle DVCS has a low-cost subscription and allows organizations to scale as per their requirements without employing additional IT support, specialized resources or training and delivers greater ROI. When compared with Oracle Business Intelligence, DVCS provides a simpler and more intuitive user interface.
Given that analytics and visual analytics applications can run up significant costs, both Oracle BICS and DVCS helps organizations reduce costs and resources that are associated with analytics efforts without compromising on data governance and security. They are also a clear reflection of Oracle’s dedication towards a ‘cloud-first’ strategy and a commitment towards usability and self-service.