When Great BI Infrastructure Becomes a Victim of its Own Success
You’ve worked hard to build a successful BI infrastructure. Your Business Analysts have pinpointed valuable KPIs and commercial metrics.
Your developers have extracted the most from your OBIEE technology and BI users throughout your organisation now have easy access to a wide range of meaningful reports and dashboards. Congratulations! You’ve achieved a level of maturity around business intelligence infrastructure and process that adds real value to your organisation. But, this success presents you with a new set of hurdles. You’re now responsible for maintaining an excellent level of BI service for a multitude of users who have willingly become dependent upon OBIEE.
The biggest challenges to doing so stem from the normal business change over time – BI requirements are continually flexing to maintain relevance with changing business conditions. And data models that support BI undergo continual revisions as the systems that create and modify data are upgraded and customised. Regular releases must be performed against your OBIEE infrastructure for it to stay in line with these business changes.
Invisible Threat to Business Intelligence Infrastructure
Every release brings risks to OBIEE user satisfaction, as modifications affecting one group of reports may also have an unforeseen negative impact on others. Some reports may unpredictably slow down; some may stop working altogether. This challenge of avoiding the unexpected, knock-on detrimental effects of OBIEE releases is made seemingly impossible by the existence of reports that are unseen by your BI team. You’ve invested a lot of energy in promoting the benefits of self-service BI – and rightly so. People have responded positively by creating their own reports and BI is valued as a reliable and accessible business tool. But this very success threatens to derail the process. How can you shelter OBIEE users from any negative impacts of OBIEE releases if you don’t really know what reports they have been creating?
When trusted reports unexpectedly break or become slow, users naturally begin to question reporting reliability, which eventually leads to questions about reporting accuracy. At best, this serves as a distraction from the value that reports could otherwise deliver as focus shifts away from their effective use and onto unproductive questioning of their timeliness and reliability. At worst, the undermined legitimacy of reports can mean that they are never fully trusted again, and reporting value is severely and irrevocably diminished.
When it comes to business intelligence infrastructure and analytics, user confidence is everything. To maintain it, you must ensure that every single report and dashboard will dependably continue to perform within acceptable performance benchmarks.
An Early Warning System
Xpress Validator is a software utility created solely to help you achieve this. With it, your BI team is able to perform rapid regression tests of planned OBIEE releases and anticipate any problems before they surface in the user base. Before each release, Xpress Validator will reveal any reports that the release will either break or impede to a point outside of specified performance benchmarks.
Best of all, you don’t have to worry about keeping tabs on user activity. Xpress Validator will automatically seek out all of the self-service reports that your users have independently created and test your planned release against those too, all in a matter of seconds.
Interested in hearing more about building a great BI infrastructure that does not fail when required?