OBIEE 11G Oracle Scorecard and Strategy Management

Another new part of OBIEE 11gR1 that you may have seen at the launch in London, is a new product called Oracle Scorecard and Strategy Management. It’s delivered as part of the overall OBIEE 11g technology stack, but like Siebel Marketing before it it’s likely to be separately licensed and not an automatic part of an OBIEE 10g upgrade. Oracle Scorecard and Strategy Management had its own breakout sessions at the product launch, but for those of you who couldn’t attend, how does it work?
Taking a step back for a moment, another key new feature in OBIEE 11gR1 is support for key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs are defined within the web catalog and are defined by taking a measure, a target measure and a set of thresholds, which can then be used either directly in dashboards (by use of another new feature called KPI Watchlists) or within one of the new scorecards. To take an example, say I have a measure for Store Sales, which I want to use along with Store Sales Target to define a KPI. I do this by first selecting these two measures from the BI Server semantic model:
I then define the dimensionality of the KPI, in this instance making it analyzable by two levels in the store hierarchy, and two in the time hierarchy.
The values used for these dimensions can either be “pinned”, which means that they stay static for this KPI, or they can be dynamic, which allows the user to change them to vary their point of view. In the example above, I’m using regular “attribute” columns from my semantic model, but I can also use hierarchical columns as well.
Once the dimensionality is defined, you then set the thresholds. In this example, I’m setting good performance as being within 90% of my threshold, acceptable as being 70% and below that, performance is unacceptable.
Once you’ve set this and a few other options, you then save the KPI to the web catalog. Then, you can either display the results of the KPI in a simple table, or you can add them to a KPI Watchlist, which can be added like any other object to a user’s dashboard. This KPI Watchlist can then be sliced and diced, using the dimension controls at the top of the watchlist, to allow the user to drill into whatever level of data they are authorized to view.
The Scorecard part of OBIEE 11g builds on this foundation of KPIs to allow you to define complex, multi-part strategies using the metrics in your semantic layer. In the scorecard below, I’ve taken the four KPIs in the KPI Watchlist above and organized them into a set of objectives; one which is financially-focused and aims to improve store monetary performance, and another which is more stakeholder-focused and uses the results of satisfaction surveys.
Using these objectives which are organized into a hierarchy of their own, I can create, for example, a strategy tree diagram that shows me how each objective feeds into the other. In this case, my overall objective of improving store performance is made up of my financial, and non-financial (stakeholder) objectives, each with their own set of KPIs.
You can set how much influence each objective has on its parent objective, so that, for example, the non-financial KPIs carry less weight than the financial ones. In the example above, while store sales and store margin are good and acceptable respectively, this is outweighed by the very poor staff satisfaction scores, which overall contribute to a poor overall store performance score. This is typical of balanced scorecards, where both financial and non-financial KPIs contribute to the overall, balanced score for the organization.
You can also define cause and effect maps, showing the relationship between KPIs in a “fishbone”-type of diagram.
If you’re analyzing the scorecard and want to add commentary, there’s an ability to add annotations to KPIs, and you can also drill-out from the scorecard into Answers to look at the data in more detail – this is actually quite a key feature, as it brings together the executive-style overview of the business with the ability to do more direct access, and if you combine it with the Action Framework as well (which we’ll cover in the last posting in this series), you’re getting what Oracle referred to in the launch as a “closed-loop BI system”.
There’s a lot more to Oracle Strategy and Scorecard, and we’ll have to wait until the GA release to go through the full details. But it’s certainly an interesting addition to the Oracle BI product portfolio, and the introduction of KPIs and other higher-level business metadata into the OBIEE repository is a welcome move.

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