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Comparing Business Analytics Products: OBIEE 12c vs. BICS

Looking for an enterprise-wide business analytics solution? Oracle has an app for that. Want cost-effective dashboards and reporting for departmental use? Oracle has an app for that. Or do you want an advanced data discovery and visualization tool? Yep, Oracle's got that too. 

You get the picture — Oracle has an app for almost every business intelligence need. 

But how do you find the right app? The quadrants on the right provide one way to think about Oracle’s range of business analytics offerings. Does your organization want control in the hands of functional users or IT? Do you prefer an on-premises or cloud environment? This blog post will help you decide which product is the best fit for your company by showing you what each product brings to the table.

Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) 12c


  • Primary use: Dashboards with drill-through analysis, reports, alerts
  • Ideal users: Enterprise-wide
  • Implementation: Typically a waterfall approach
  • Features
    • Highly interactive dashboards
    • Powerful operational reporting
    • Just-in-time alerts
    • Content and metadata search
    • Strategy management
    • Native access to big data sources
    • Sophisticated in-memory computing

Why Choose OBIEE 12C?

OBIEE 12c is the most comprehensive business analytics product that Oracle has to offer. As an enterprise solution, OBIEE is designed to make the value of BI applications available to the largest possible audience. Its scalability makes it the ideal choice for an organization wanting to reduce total cost of ownership and maximize efficiencies.

Joining multiple departments under one roof means you spend less on multiple systems and servers and you only have to deal with one support channel. An OBIEE implementation offers your team all the benefits of an enterprise product: fewer silos across the organization, streamlined systems management, and top-of-the-line functionality.

If you're on OBIEE 11g, consider an upgrade.

What's New in OBIEE 12c?


Business Intelligence Cloud Service (BICS)


  • Primary use: Dashboards and reports in the cloud; great for creating a proof of concept
  • Ideal users: Business analysts who need to run reports and don’t want to use Excel and IT
  • Implementation: Opportunity for leveraging a more agile process with quick iterations and shorter overall project length (a project takes weeks instead of months, and a POC can be completed in days)
  • Features:
    • Easy self-service data loading
    • Robust reporting
    • Dashboards with interactive visuals and auto-suggestions
    • Mobile access with no extra programming required

Why Choose BICS?

BICS brings Oracle’s proven BI technology to the cloud, which translates to no upfront capital expenses, a low monthly subscription, and a rapid implementation. Another advantage over its on-premises counterpart is that BICS will be first in line for new features and enhancements, thanks to Oracle’s cloud-first approach. For functional users, the main draw is BICS’ easy self-service administration — analysts can simply drop in a spreadsheet from their desktop without going through IT or an enterprise-wide application.

Why Do Functional Users Prefer BICS?


Data Visualization (On-Premises)


  • Primary use: Advanced data discovery, discovering hidden patterns and trends
  • Ideal users: Companies with OBIEE 12c that want to complement their dashboards with data discovery capabilities; organizations that don’t want to share data to the cloud
  • Implementation: Opportunity for an agile process with quick iterations and shorter overall project length
  • Features:
    • Dynamic visual analytics
    • Automatic highlighting and matching across data sets
    • Self-service data loading and blending
    • Powerful search and guided navigation
    • Visual storytelling with narrative and snapshots

Why Choose Data Visualization?

While traditional business intelligence focuses on monitoring and reporting on the organization’s major metrics, data discovery digs deeper to search for hidden patterns and trends. Oracle Data Visualization serves as an add-on to OBIEE 12c that can slice and dice your data for advanced analytics and data visualization.

Data Visualization eliminates the complexity typically associated with blending and correlating data sets. Easy, automatic data blending allows users to combine data from a variety of sources — Oracle and other SaaS applications, on-premises systems, external sources, and personal files — and immediately gain new insights using visual analysis. Users can enrich the analysis with narratives to create and securely share insights across the organization.

Data Visualization Cloud Service


  • Primary use: Ad-hoc analysis, advanced data discovery
  • Ideal users: Business users in a department, e.g. supply chain analysts, HR analysts, procurement analysts; power users who want to be able to perform their own analysis without having to talk to IT
  • Implementation: Cost-effective; easy deployment and migration; no need to invest in hardware and upgrades each year
  • Features: Dynamic visual analytics, automatic highlighting and matching across data sets, self-service data loading and blending, powerful search and guided navigation, visual storytelling with narrative and snapshots

Why Choose Data Visualization Cloud Service?

Data Visualization Cloud Service combines the benefits of Data Visualization listed above with the advantages of the cloud. A low-cost subscription means you can start small and grow as you go. No specialized resources, IT support, or training are required. Just drag and drop to see your data visualized automatically and start uncovering new insights.

Take a 3-Minute Tour of Oracle DV Cloud:


Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC)


  • Primary use: Analysis performed in a variety of formats for self-service discovery
  • Ideal users: Enterprise-wide
  • Implementation: Varies based on client needs
  • Features:
    • Self-service visualization
    • Data preparation
    • Enterprise reporting
    • Advanced analytics
    • Dynamic user-driven what-if modeling
    • Self-learning mobile analytics

Why Choose OAC?

OAC is a single solution for all your business analytics requirements. The platform can assist you with an endless number of use cases based on your user's specific needs — allowing you to make more informed and timely decisions. The standard edition of the platform includes Essbase in the Cloud, Data Visualization, and Smart View. The enterprise edition gives you access to BICS, Day by Day, as well as an enterprise version of Essbase in the cloud.

If you need an analytics solution with robust capabilities that works across your enterprise — you should consider OAC. The platform will provides your organization with an environment that is secure, flexible, comprehensive, and collaborative. 

Oracle Explains OAC in Under 3 Minutes:


Which is the Right BI Tool for You?

You're busy. Your team is busy. And evaluating BI tools isn't a simple side project — the stakes are high, the investment can be large, and there's a lot of information to sift through. Why not trust an expert who knows the ins and outs of BI products and can match your specific needs for you?

Get help from a certified Oracle BI specialist. Request a free tool evaluation:

US-Analytics is a performance management consulting and services firm specializing in today’s leading EPM and BI technologies. By modernizing your reporting, analytics, and forecasting processes, you can free up resources and empower your team to be boardroom advisors.



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