Oracle Upgrades Business Analytics, Endeca Offerings

Monday Oracle also debuted a major new release of its Endeca unstructured data management software, the first since Oracle acquired Endeca Technologies nearly 18 months ago.

Analytics is a hot technology area as businesses wrestle with big data and try to leverage it for competitive advantage. A late 2012 Gartner survey of more than 2,000 CIOs found that analytics and business intelligence are their No. 1 priority for this year.

[Related: Are You Up To The Challenge? Seizing Big Opportunities In Big Data ]

"Our customers are looking for ways to distil data meaningfully to detect problems, identify opportunities, and better plan for the future," said Paul Rodwick, Oracle vice president of product management.

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Oracle is seeing increased interest from channel partners, including solution providers, ISVs and OEMs, which in years past largely focused on basic reporting tools, Rodwick said in an interview. "We're getting a lot of interest from the channel," he said. "One trend I'm seeing is more interest in more advanced business analytics."

Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite, a new release of the company's core business analytics software, offers more than 100 new features, according to Rodwick. It provides a number of new data visualization capabilities, including performance tiles and waterfall graphs. The software also includes a new analytic engine that suggests which data visualization or charting option is best for the data being analyzed and the results a user is looking for.

Also new is connector technology that provides the ability to move data into the business analytics platform from data sources on Hadoop via the Hive Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) interface. While links between Hadoop and the Oracle product were possible before, Rodwick said the new connector simplifies the process.

The new Oracle Smart View for Office in the BI suite provides a single link between Microsoft Office applications and Oracle's BI, Essbase and Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management applications. And a new release of Oracle Business Intelligence, which brings business analytics to smartphones and tablet computers, offers new visualization and content management capabilities.

The Oracle Endeca Information Discovery helps businesses manage and analyze unstructured data, such as text documents and information from social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

The new Endeca 3.0 release has a completely redesigned user interface and has a number of new API connectors that make it easier to collect and mine unstructured social media data. Also new is direct integration with the Oracle Business Intelligence Server and the ability to deploy Endeca on the Oracle Weblogic Server -- moves that make it easier to integrate Endeca into an Oracle environment, including the Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine.