Look Smarter Than You Are

January 6, 2009
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We talk a lot about the ‘foundational’ technologies of Enterprise Performance Management, which include:

  •    Enterprise Planning
  •    Statutory & Management Consolidation & Reporting
  •    Financial & Operational Modeling and ABM
  •    Business Intelligence and Scorecarding
  •    Data Relationship & Data Quality Management
  •    Analytics including OLAP

It’s the last one, OLAP (OnLine Analytical Processing), that I was first introduced to when I was

We talk a lot about the ‘foundational’ technologies of Enterprise Performance Management, which include:

  •    Enterprise Planning
  •    Statutory & Management Consolidation & Reporting
  •    Financial & Operational Modeling and ABM
  •    Business Intelligence and Scorecarding
  •    Data Relationship & Data Quality Management
  •    Analytics including OLAP

It’s the last one, OLAP (OnLine Analytical Processing), that I was first introduced to when I was with Deloitte in the early ‘90s through a product called Compete! (the exclamation mark was part of the product name), which I think was acquired by Computer Associates.  When I joined Hyperion in 1999, they had just acquired Arbor Software, makers of arguably the top OLAP Engine: Essbase.

Essbase, which stands for Extended SpreadSheet database, is a multidimensional database system that allows you to slice & dice data in a variety of points-of-view and drill up and down throughout the data’s hierarchy.  It’s ideal for analyzing and reporting trends, patterns, variances, categories, and so on with large amounts of data.

Finally, there’s a very clear, accessible book on using Essbase from Edward Roske and Tracy McMullen of interRel consulting.  It’s called Look Smarter than You Are with Hyperion Essbase

This book walks you through from the beginning of starting and using Essbase with step-by-step instructions and a generous amount of screen shots and directions.

It gives you sample applications to build and even tells you how you can use Essbase for a variety of applications: Financial Reporting, Sales Analysis, Budgeting, etc.  And the authors manage to be entertaining on what could have been a very dry topic: they are clearly excited about turning data into useful, actionable information – and they really want me to look smarter than I am!

The Author’s blog is here. And you can order from Amazon.com:


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