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Terminology Primer – Goals, Objectives, Measures, Metrics, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Meters

The essential purpose of business intelligence is to provide information that will allow people throughout an organization to make informed decisions relevant to their business processes and responsibilities.  This post is a simple terminology primer that describes the meaning of a few terms commonly used in business intelligence, and explain how they relate to each other, and their relevance to supporting the overall goals of an organization.

Goals are a business’ desired outcomes. They are typically around growth, cost savings, innovation, improvement in efficiency, the company’s workforce, and the competition, but may include a lot of other things.
Goals help a company to stay focused by providing team members within a company with an aim to work towards.

Objectives are specific strategies and steps that a business needs to take to achieve the goals that have set. These objectives are usually specific and measurable.  Success toward achieving objectives usually indicates progress toward achieving goals.
Objectives are sometimes referred to as Critical Success Factors because they are critical to the success of achieving the goals.

Measures are numeric representations of various transactions that occur through various business processes. For example, when the company makes a sale (during the sales process), some measures that are generated in that transaction are:  sales amount, discount amount, number of items sold, and number of items discounted.  Then from this, other measures can be determined, such as total sales for all customers, total number of items sold, total number of sales for each customer, and so on.  Measures are numeric and therefore can have mathematical calculations performed on them – such as sum, avg., min, max, etc. – to generate metrics.

Metrics are calculations derived from one or more measures. For example, as mentioned in an example above, you may have the measures “Discount Amount” and “Number of Items Discounted”, and you may use these measures to calculate a metric of “Average Discount Amount per Discounted Item” or “Average Discount Amount per Sale”.  As another example, you may simply add up all the Discount Amounts over a specific time period, such as month, to get a “Total Discount Amount by Month” metric.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are metrics that measure how well a company is doing toward their objectives. Companies will have hundreds or thousands of metrics, but there will be a few key ones that the executive team wants to keep a close eye on for the overall company or divisions, and other managers will want to keep an eye on KPIs relevant to their respective departments.  Those key metrics are the KPIs. All KPIs are metrics, but not all metrics are KPIs.

Meters are a group of metrics that collectively provide a broader, overall view of a subject area.
For example, you may have individual metrics for Sales to Date, Sales in Pipeline, Number/Value of Expiring Contracts, Avg. Time to Close Sales, etc. Putting these all together in a Meter presents the user with a lot of related information that provides a broad, overall picture of sales (and loss of sales) which would allow for analysis such as determining the chances of meeting sales targets. The Meter in this example could be called “Sales Forecast” for example.

Thanks for reading!

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How to embed a QlikView dashboard into an OBIEE dashboard page

In this post, I will explain how to embed a QlikView dashboard into an OBIEE dashboard page.

This can be useful if you have a scenario where OBI is your primary platform, but there are also dashboards built in QlikView or some other BI Platform, and you want to direct the users to one place for all dashboards instead of having to explain to them to “go here for this, and there for that”.

So, I am assuming you already have a QlikView dashboard built that you would like to embed into OBIEE.

Create or edit your OBIEE dashboard page. While on the page in edit mode, drop in/drag in an “Embedded Content” object.
DashboardObjectsMenu_EmbeddedContent

With the Embedded Content Object on the dashboard page in Edit mode, edit the “Embedded Content” Object.
Edit_EmbeddedContent_Object

In the Embedded Content Properties dialog …
– Enter the URL to your QlikView dashboard
– Check the box for “This URL Embeds an Application”
– and enter the Width and Height you desire for the embedded area.
– Optionally, check the box for “Hide Scroll Bars”. Make sure not to check this box if your dashboard is vertically longer than a typical monitor.
EmbeddedContent_properties

Click OK, and then Save your dashboard page.

When you now open your dashboard in OBIEE, you will see your QlikView dashboard embedded within the page.

QlikView_Embedded_in_OBIEE

Thanks for reading!  I hope you found this article useful.

Unable to see the SQL Override SQL in Informatica SQL Qualifier Transformation

I had an issue in Informatica where I was not able to see the SQL Override SQL code in the SQL Qualifier.

It turns out this was caused by switching the application interface between double monitors or disconnecting from double monitors while one of the Informatica application windows was on the secondary monitor screen, which led to changed settings in the registry.

I found a resolution on the Oracle site and this post explains how to resolve in detail.

To correct this, you need to update the appropriate registry settings. As a precautionary measure, you should backup your registry before making changes to it.

Follow these steps to resolve.
1. Close out all Informatica applications.
2. Click your Windows start icon, and type in regedit.   Then double-click “regedit.exe” to run it.

regedit

3. From the Registry Editor window, navigate as follows …

HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Software -> Informatica -> PowerMart Client Tools -> 9.5.1 -> Designer -> Options -> Global -> Editor -> SQL
Note: The path will vary based on your installed version. So, instead of “9.5.1”, you may have another version number.

regedit_before

4. Locate these 4 values, which you will update, on the right-hand side of the Registry Editor window (highlighted in the image above):

  • Expression Editor Position
  • Expression Editor Splitter Position
  • SQL Editor Position
  • SQL Editor Splitter Position

5. Edit each of the 4 values one at a time, by double-clicking on them.

regedit_update_valuesAnd you will be changing the 16 values highlighted in the image above.

This is an example of what the values will look like before you make any changes.
regedit_values_before

In the Edit Binary Value window, update the 16 double character values to all be ‘00’

For each key value, the Edit Binary Value window should look like this after the update.
regedit_values_after

6. Click ok. Then repeat for each of the other values.

When you have updated all 4 keys, your Registry Editor window should look like this. Note that the values are now all ’00’.

regedit_after

7. Close the Registry Editor and open your Informatica application and check if it is resolved.  Hopefully, it will be.

I haven’t done any exhaustive testing on this to determine all scenarios under which this happens, but I think the way to prevent this is, if you are using multiple monitors, use only your primary monitor for Informatica applications, or bring your Informatica application windows back to your primary monitor before closing them and before disconnecting your computer from the secondary monitor.