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Oracle Essbase 101: A Quick Guide to Its Features & Capabilities

Data organization is critical. Being able to quickly locate, capture, and manage accurate, actionable data across the enterprise is the cornerstone of success and perhaps your company’s most valuable asset. Data management is foundational for accurate forecasting, too, enabling organizations to predict future trends and conditions and, when necessary, adapt to them. 

The benefits are simple, but the task of data management is anything but. Fortunately, it’s made far easier and “automagic” with the help of applications such as Oracle Essbase. Whether you’re new to the platform or an Oracle O.G., we’re sure you’ll find something you can use in this quick guide to essential features and functions. 

What Is Oracle Essbase? 

Oracle Essbase was formerly known simply as Essbase, and was a part of Arbor software until its acquisition by the Oracle Corporation in 2007. It’s a multidimensional data management tool that stores and organizes large volumes of data, and also supports crucial business processes such as real-time analysis, forecasting, root cause analysis, what-if scenarios, and variance analysis. 

Rather than tables and rows, Oracle Essbase categorizes data as dimensions, such as a specific product line or time period. Each dimension contains one or more members, which are more granular data categorizations. Members can, in turn, contain other members. This hierarchy creates an easy-to-understand tree structure that provides an easy way to visualize and analyze member roles and the relationships between them.  

Oracle Essbase Benefits

Multidimensional databases like Essbase can support sophisticated analysis tools, such as online analytical processing (OLAP) applications. As Oracle explains, “Key to OLAP systems are multidimensional databases, which not only consolidate and calculate data, but also provide retrieval and calculation of a variety of data subsets. A multidimensional database supports multiple views of data sets for users who need to analyze the relationships between data categories.”

Perhaps most importantly to the modern enterprise, Oracle Essbase is designed to be usable by non-technical users, allowing anyone with permission to view the results of queries in an application of their choice, such as Oracle Hyperion Planning. Users can also view query results in applications like Oracle Business Intelligence Suite and even Microsoft Office applications. 

Its hierarchical data storage structure makes it extremely flexible as well (Essbase can be used with a variety of data sources from both cloud and on-premises applications). Users can upload and harmonize spreadsheets to generate business models rapidly. 

What Are the Key Features of Oracle Essbase? 

Oracle Essbase has several key features that contribute to its overall business value. Here are just a few… 

  1. Easily Accessible and Secure

Oracle Essbase allows you to access and extract data from multiple data sources. It combines them into a single view and gives companies consistent reports. Additionally, thousands of users can access information simultaneously.

  1. High-Speed Calculations

Old data is often useless data, which is why Oracle Essbase can load and recalculate data sets rapidly and completely. Regardless of the volume of data, you’ll always have access to the most insightful and up-to-date analysis.

  1. Robust Calculation Engine 

Oracle Essbase enables companies to develop business models in seconds. It includes at least 350 built-in formulae that are capable of complex and out-of-the-box cross-dimensional analysis. It also has financial functions to make budgeting and other processes easier.

  1. Effortless Scripting With MDX

Anyone can develop and manage unique business rules and formulae using this software’s intuitive data manipulation language. MDX makes writing queries and building datasets in Oracle Essbase an easy undertaking .

  1. Functional What-If Analysis 

Besides its robust calculation engine, this data storage management tool allows you to develop virtually endless what-if scenarios. This gives you the power to assess your performance and create appropriate contingency plans for quicker resolutions.

  1. Rapid Deployment 

Companies can get started immediately with this online analytical processing software, with no need to install on-premises hardware or software. By including the Oracle Marketplace, companies can deploy crucial files across different users. Examples of these files include databases, storage, and other infrastructure components.

  1. Enhanced Multidimensional Representation and Extension 

Oracle Essbase categorizes data as dimensions and analyzes their relationships through a hierarchy, enabling high-speed and essential mathematical calculations on diverse data sets. It will then produce its findings in the form of graphs for easier understanding.

  1. Exceptional Reporting Functionality 

Once the server has extracted the necessary data from multiple sources, it converts it into the most suitable formats for visualization across different departments. For example, it can develop a range of reports from simple financial statements to more advanced data presentations. At the same time, it uses the same data and definitions across reports to ensure consistency. 

  1. User-Friendly Experience

Besides its functions and tools, Oracle Essbase also has a user-friendly interface. It can display query results using its reporting options with different Microsoft Office tools. It also provides consistent responses in real-time.

Users can enjoy navigating through this application without support from technical experts. That means any team member can easily understand the company’s metrics and trends to make data-driven decisions. Additionally, you can share and collaborate saved reports with other users easily.

  1. Enhanced Flexibility and Portability

One of the main advantages of this data management tool is its flexibility and portability. It allows users to upload spreadsheets in less than a minute and to then create ready-to-use business models.

The Oracle Essbase software offers hundreds of features to make data management and processing easier. It extracts and optimizes data and allows you to gain a deeper understanding of your company’s performance. Armed with this information, you can make decisions based on real-time data and readily adapt to change.