Chapter 6. Business Intelligence Tools

This chapter describes business intelligence tools commonly used by business executives, analysts, and other users. Since entire books are written about specific tools and we are covering this topic in a single chapter, our intent is to give you a broad perspective regarding the types of tools available and how they are used and deployed. We will focus mostly on Oracle's business intelligence tools in this chapter. These include products used for deploying dashboards that present key performance indicators (KPIs) such as Oracle Portal, reporting tools that include Oracle's BI (XML) Publisher and Oracle Reports, Oracle Business Intelligence ad hoc query and analysis tools, and data mining tools that include Oracle Data Miner.

The decision to deploy Oracle business intelligence tools compared to other vendors' tools in each of these areas will involve various trade-offs. Benefits of buying tools from a single vendor include more simplified metadata management, enterprise security management, better integration, better access to more advanced Oracle database features, and a more common look-and-feel across the tools. In addition to these technical benefits, many organizations prefer to deal with a single point of support when problems occur.

Of course, we recognize that many of you also deploy other products around Oracle data warehouses. Business users sometimes select tools based on look-and-feel, perceived ease-of-use, or critical needs that ...

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