Measuring Performance with Key Performance Indicators

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by Cuneyt Yilmaz | August 2013 | Enterprise Articles Oracle

In this article by Cuneyt Yilmaz, the author of Oracle Business Intelligence 11g R1 Cookbook , we're going to cover KPIs and KPI watchlists. KPIs are widely used in OBIEE 11 g and you can easily publish these KPIs in the dashboards by creating KPI watchlists.

Publishing the analytical reports in the dashboards will not satisfy the business requirements always. Business users will be interested in some reports so that they can compare their values. You also need to display the reports that will enable users to focus on only the most critical business entities. Sometimes this can be achieved by using the conditional formatting feature. But the defined threshold values are going to be static values. As time passes, you'll need to reset these values, so it has a maintenance cost. To solve these business challenges, you can use Key Performance Indicators (KPI). They can be used to measure the productivity of an organization relative to its objectives.

(For more resources related to this topic, see here.)

Creating the KPIs and the KPI watchlists

We're going to create Key Performance Indicators and watchlists in the first recipe. There should be comparable measure columns in the repository in order to create KPI objects. The following columns will be used in the sample scenario:

  • Shipped Quantity
  • Requested Quantity

How to do it

  1. Click on the KPI link in the Performance Management section and you're going to select a subject area.
  2. The KPI creation wizard has five different steps.

  3. The first step is the General Propertiessection and we're going to write a description for the KPI object. The Actual Value and the Target Value attributes display the columns that we'll use in this scenario. The columns should be selected manually. The Enable Trendingcheckbox is not selected by default. When you select the checkbox, trending options will appear on the screen. We're going to select the Day level from the Time hierarchy for trending in the Compare to Prior textbox and define a value for the Tolerance attribute. We're going to use 1 and % Change in this scenario.
  4. Clicking on the Next button will display the second step named Dimensionality. Click on the Add button to select Dimension attributes.
  5. Select the Region column in the Add New Dimension window.
  6. After adding the Region column, repeat the step for the YEAR column. You shouldn't select any value to pin. Both column values will be .Clicking on Next button will display the third step named States.
  7. You can easily configure the state values in this step. Select the High Values are Desirable value from the Goal drop-down list. By default, there are three steps:
    • OK
    • Warning
    • Critical
  8. Then click on the Next button and you'll see the Related Documents step. This is a list of supporting documents and links regarding to the Key Performance Indicator.
  9. Click on the Add button to select one of the options. If you want to use another analysis as a supporting document, select the Catalog option and choose the analysis that consists of some valuable information about the report.
  10. We're going to add a link. You can also easily define the address of the link. We'll use the http://www.abc.com/portal link.
  11. Click on the Next button to display the Custom Attributes column values. To add a custom attribute that will be displayed in the KPI object, click on the Add button and define the values specified as follows:
    • Number: 1
    • Label: Dollars
    • Formula: "Fact_Sales"."Dollars"

  12. Save the KPI object by clicking on the Save button.
  13. Right after saving the KPI object, you'll see the KPI content.

  14. KPI objects cannot be published in the dashboards directly. We need KPI watchlists to publish them in the dashboards. Click on the KPI Watchlist link in the Performance Managementsection to create one.
  15. The New KPI Watchlist page will be displayed without any KPI objects. Drag-and-drop the KPI object that was previously created from the Catalog pane onto the KPI watchlist list.
  16. When you drop the KPI object, the Add KPI window will pop up automatically. You can select one of the available values for the dimensions. We're going to select the Use Point-of-View option. Enter a Label value, A Sample KPI, for this example.
  17. You'll see the dimension attributes in the Point-of-View bar. You can easily select the values from the drop-down lists to have different perspectives. Save the KPI watchlist object.

How it works

KPI watchlists can contain multiple KPI objects based on business requirements. These container objects can be published in the dashboards so that end users will access the content of the KPI objects through the watchlists.

When you want to publish these watchlists, you'll need to select a value for the dimension attributes.

There's more

The Drill Down feature is also enabled in the KPI objects. If you want to access finer levels, you can just click on the hyperlink of the value you are interested in and a detailed level is going to be displayed automatically.

Summary

In this article, we learnt how to create KPIs and KPI watchlists. Key Performance Indicators are building blocks of strategy management. In order to implement balanced scorecard management technique in an organization, you'll first need to create the KPI objects.

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Oracle Business Intelligence 11g R1 Cookbook Make complex analytical reports simple and deliver valuable business data using OBIEE 11g with this comprehensive and practical guide book and ebook
Published: June 2013
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About the Author :


Cuneyt Yilmaz

Cuneyt Yilmaz has been working for Bilginc IT Academy since 2001 as a Senior Consultant and Instructor in Turkey and he's passionate about Oracle technologies. He's delivering training for Oracle and Siebel technologies in around 25 countries in the EMEA region. He mostly specializes in Business Intelligence projects.

He is also a regular speaker in Oracle User Group events in Europe; he delivers presentations about Business Intelligence.

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