The response to the Oracle BI collaborative business intelligence solution, BITeamwork, is continuing to gain traction with users and corporations that see the value of sharing analytical information as a team within the enterprise. Feedback for the tool’s ability to leave comments on dashboards goes beyond its stellar features and into the realm of increased user adoption for the Oracle BI platform and the users’ ability to contribute to the analytical conversation.
We are happy to release the latest version, BITeamwork 2.4 (“Engelbart”). It is now out for GA as of today, November 15th, 2013.
This is a milestone release with some bug fixes but mainly it boasts fantastic enhancements that we are really excited to show the Oracle Business Intelligence (BI) community at large. If you had seen a previous release of BITeamwork you owe it to yourself, your organization, and/or your clients to download and see the new features built into this release.
BITeamwork 2.4 “Engelbart” Release
We feel that this release deserved a codename that represents its contribution to Business Intelligence at this milestone accomplishment which officially socializes and brings collective intelligence to the Oracle Business Intelligence platform. So, we named it after another pioneer in computing technology, Douglas Engelbart.
In 1968 the computer mouse was unveiled to the world in an amazing demonstration by Douglas Engelbart and a group of researchers, in particular Bill English, who helped developed the technology and who both would later co-patent the invention.
Douglas’ inventions clearly changed the computerized world that we live in today. His technologies, some only envisioned but many developed, moved through organizations such as Xerox PARC and later licensed through Apple Computer. Towards his death in Summer 2013 he focused on the concept of “collective intelligence” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collective_intelligence). For his work in technology he had been the recipient of may career recognizing awards including the Lemelson-MIT Prize and in 2000 the National Medal of Technology, the United States highest technology award, from then president Bill Clinton.
New Features in BITeamwork 2.4
Feature requests collected from existing BITeamwork customers and developers reviewing the product have been taken into account and prioritized. Yes, that’s right, we are actually taking feature requests.
We’ve incorporated some of the low hanging fruit and some fairly robust functionality that just makes sense for Collaborative BI.
Who would have thought that if a BI Analyst or CEO wanted to create a comment that they would only want certain people to see that comment? Granular security control is now part of all comments. A simple interface is exposed when you click the security icon next to the Assign To label proving the comment creator with the ability to add privileged users or application roles to view the comment.
We’ve hit the nail on the head with this one. Comments are now context sensitive at the write-review authoring of a comment. This means that if a user wanted to specify a single cell comment on a dashboard pivot table for the year prompt (2013) and month prompt (Feb), this is now possible. This is different from bookmarking, saved selections, and general dashboard state an provides an amazing set of new possibilities for accuracy of commenting and annotating in OBIEE.
Social BI Comment Voting
Oracle Business Intelligence is now social. The idea of socializing ideas via “voting” or “liking” the input of our peers is now part of BITeamwork. The proven concept by the likes of FaceBook, Salesforce.com, and other social networks which has resonated so viametely with millions of individuals on a global scale has been integrated into Oracle BI 11g.
Each main comment now includes a Vote button. By clicking the vote button the comment is ranked and its approval aggregated on the “Home” page along with the other Recent Items and Popular Items shown to users. In one of the next releases BITeamwork will provide a 3rd party widget which will allow an organization to place the socially voted comments on any portal such as MS Sharepoint or Oracle WebCenter in order to link back to the Oracle BI portal from which the comment(s) originate.
Sprechen Sie Spanish, Norweigan, or Polish?
We’ve increased the localization capabilities of BITeamwork to fulfill the expanding global interest seen in countries outside of the US for BITeamwork. Spanish, Norweigan, and Polish languages are now localized in BITeamwork. This seamlessly provides continuity between Oracle BI implementations in those countries and BITeamwork. We are proud of an internal project called BabelCow that allows us the flexibility to accelerate our localization generation process.
The BITeamwork control panel in the OBIEE Administration page and its tabbing system which organizes the out of the box OBIEE administration features has worked very well for a nice intuitive navigation of the system. We are constantly asking ourselves what else can we add here to make administering OBIEE easier and propel real system administrative value to our customers. We’ve got plenty of great ideas that are in the works but for BITeamwork 2.4 for we kept it simple.
- Maintenance Mode – We actually “fixed” or finally have this feature working in the BITeamwork taking concepts from SalesForce.com. This function allows the administrator to deterministically (i.e.: either on or off), notify users upon entering the OBIEE portal that the OBIEE is undergoing maintenance. A user reads the maintenance mode message and acknowledges their understanding by clicking and acceptance button. They are no longer shown the maintenance mode screen for the remainder of their visit. And, when the administrators are done with their operations, maintenance mode can simply be turned of in the BITeamwork control panel.
- Administration Page Information Area – This very annoying native information panel is nice to have but is always opened / expanded upon entering the Administration Page. So, we’ve changed that so that it is always closed unless you choose to expand it.
- Admin Page Pop Out – Remember in Oracle BI 10g when you clicked on the Administration link from the Global Header, that the Admin Page appeared in a popup window? Yes, so do we. That’s why this is now an option in BITeamwork. Just set this option to true, refresh the browser, and every time thereafter when you click the Administration link it opens in a new perfectly sized window so you can continue doing what you were doing in your other OBIEE window. When you want to stop the pop window just set the option back to false.
- OBIEE Configuration File Reader – Just to revisit this feature which allows users to read the OBIEE configuration files without having to log in or FTP to the actual OBIEE server just to get a glance at a configuration setting. This is ideal for GUID refreshing and verifying performance configuration changes.
If your company or team is interested in enhancing your Oracle BI experience and user adoption please download BITeamwork today from BITeamwork.com. We think BITeamwork and the Collaborative BI features it brings provides a unique value proposition beyond just leaving comments; although it’s great at that too.