Transitioning from Oracle Discoverer: Can Your Reporting Go Lean?
In a previous blog, we described how the demise of Oracle Business Intelligence Discoverer is impacting options for reporting from Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS), along with providing the opportunity to consolidate existing reports to a manageable number. Recently, Excel4apps surveyed 350 active Discoverer users around the world about their plans for the reporting tool, as well as how much it is currently used.
Survey Shows Discoverer Quickly Phasing Out
As of June 2017, Oracle will no longer offer even extended support for Discoverer, which is reflected in our survey findings where 64 percent of respondents said they were planning to migrate away from the reporting tool within the next year. As highlighted in this Discoverer survey infographic, we found that 35 percent are in active discussions about the migration, with another 29 percent contemplating doing so in the next 12 months.
Despite plans for moving away from Discoverer, respondents also reported its prevalent use. The survey revealed that 36 percent of respondents have up to 200 Discoverer reports in their organizations, with another 29 percent using 201 to 500 reports. An additional 19 percent have from 501 to 1,000 reports. On a monthly basis, 64% of respondents said they personally use zero to 10 Discoverer reports, and another 16% use from 11 to 20.
Cutting Steps in Report Conversion Process
Given the number of Discoverer reports used by organizations in our survey, it’s evident that a smooth transition to a reporting alternative is critical. While migrating to Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE), as suggested by Oracle, is one option, it can take up to eight steps to convert existing reports to that platform, as well as a lengthy six to 12 month software implementation.
Some next-generation Excel-based reporting alternatives can offer an easier transition, installation and price-point. Special “converter” features whittle the report migration to two steps. Users save a report workbook for export and then next perform a mass conversion of all workbooks to the new reporting tool’s Excel format.
Critical Opportunity for Report Consolidation
As finance and other users open Discoverer reports for conversion, there is a perfect opportunity to assess the report’s usefulness and eliminate redundant or one-off reports. Reducing the number of reports, it turns out, is no trivial matter, as evidenced by a survey of Fortune 500 business units by The Lab Consulting described in a CFO article.
In the survey, 85 percent of business units said that no one in finance tracked the number of management reports or whether they were used. Interviews with internal customers showed that many weren’t used at all and more than half were used only partially. All of this results in costly and maybe unnecessary report creation processes (perhaps $8,000 or more per report annually), as well as potentially costly duplicates. One surveyed Fortune 500 manufacturing company generated more than 10,000 internal management reports ― one for every 25 employees.
The Lab Consulting’s suggestion: manage your reports with as much attention as you give your office furniture inventory, using standard names, clear descriptions and a centralized inventory. Their experience has shown that as many as half of a large company’s reports can be eliminated, “allowing finance to spend more time in a consultative role.”
While migrating to a new reporting platform for reporting from Financials ― and Supply Chain, HR, Manufacturing, Service and other Oracle EBS modules ― may seem a daunting task, it also offers a great opportunity to develop leaner reporting processes across an organization with the right tool in place. Next-generation Excel-based reporting like Reports Wand not only offers an easy conversion process, but an ongoing way for users to easily create and centrally manage reports while adding value through improved data analysis.
Author: Dean Jones
Global VP Oracle EBS Solutions, Excel4apps