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BI - Business Intelligence Glossary of Terms
Listing of terms and definitions used in BI.
Aggregations – Used to implement query performance optimization while running reports. This eliminates the time taken by query to run the calculations and delivers the results at a fast speed. Aggregate tables have less number of rows as compared to the normal table.
Analysis – Detailed examination of the elements or structure to provide answers to business questions.
Author – User role that can create most types of content.
BI Publisher – Reporting solution for authoring, managing, and delivering all your highly formatted documents, such as operational reports, electronic funds transfer documents, government PDF forms, shipping labels, checks, sales and marketing and much more.
Catalog – Stores business intelligence objects and provides an interface where users create, access, and manage objects, and perform specific object-based tasks (for example, export, print, and edit). The catalog is organized into folders that are either shared or personal.
Consumer – User role that can consume content but are restricted in what they can create.
Dashboard – A data visualization tool that displays the current status of metrics and key performance indicators for an enterprise. They consolidate and arrange numbers, metrics and sometimes performance scorecards on a single screen.
Data Warehouse (DW) – A system used for analysis of data and reporting purposes. They are reposiotories that saves data from one or more heterogeneous data sources. They store both current and historical data and are used for creating analytical reports.
Dimension – A table in the star schema of the data warehouse that stores and categorizes data, such as people, items or other objects, in order to enable users to answer business questions.
ETL – Extract, Transform and Load. Extracts data from data source(s) and transforms the data for storing it in proper format or structure for querying and analysis purposes.
Fact – Tables that help quantify activities and typically consist of numerical values as it relates to the Dimensions.
Filter – Used to limit the results that are displayed when an analysis is run, so the results answer a particular question. Based on the filters, only those results are shown that matches the criteria in the filter condition.
Mart – Logical divisions within the warehouse and are comprised of subject-specific dimensional data models designed around a specific institutional process. The warehouse includes Admissions and Recruiting Mart, Campus Community Mart, Student Records Mart and Student Financial Services Mart (includes some Financial Aid).
MDW – Multidimensional Warehouse. After the ETL jobs move the source data into the OWS, another set of ETL jobs move the data into the MDW. Data is grouped as it is related to one or more business processes. Data is in a star schema format – a fact table surrounded by one or more dimension tables. The MDW contains data at the most granular level found in the source for flexible reporting.
OBIEE (BI) – Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Engine. A comprehensive collection of enterprise business intelligence functionality that provides the full range of business intelligence capabilities, including dashboards, full ad hoc, proactive intelligence and alerts, and so on.
OWS – Operational Warehouse Staging. The first step in preparing your data for multidimensional reporting is to load source data from your source transaction system into this layer. All table and field names and key structures are the same in the OWS as in the corresponding source table. In addition to the fields that match the source, there are fields that facilitate the incremental loading and source & error tracking.
Prompt – A special type of filter that is used to filter analyses embedded in a dashboard. The main reason to use a dashboard prompt is that it allows the user to customize analysis output and allows flexibility to change parameters of a report.
RBIDEV – UW-Platteville’s Development and Test OBIEE 12c environment.
RBIPRD – UW-Platteville’s Production OBIEE 12c environment.
Repository (rpd) – A file which stores BI Server metadata. The metadata defines logical schemas, physical schemas, physical-to-logical mappings, aggregate table navigation, and other constructs. The file can be edited using the Oracle BI Administration Tool.
Shared Queries – See UWBI
Slowly Changing Dimensions (SCD) – A dimension that stores and manages both current and historical data over time in the data warehouse. It is considered and implemented as one of the most critical ETL tasks in tracking the history of dimension records. There are 3 types of SCDs:
Type 1 SCDs – Overwriting
The new data overwrites the existing data. Thus, the existing data is not stored anywhere else. This is the default type of dimension.
Type 2 SCDs – Creating another dimension record
Retains the full history of values. When the value of the chosen attribute changes, the current record is closed. A new record is created with the changed data values and this new record becomes the current record. Each record contains the effective time and expiration time to identify the time period between which the record was active.
Type 3 SCDs – Creating a current value field
Stores two versions of values for certain selected level attributes. Each record stores the previous value and the current value of the selected attribute. When the value of any of the selected attributes changes, the current value is stored as the old value and the new value becomes the current value.
Snapshot – Fact tables that contain point-in-time data using Type 2 SCDs. Subject Areas using this method include Enrollment, Admissions Weekly and Student Financial’s AFIR dashboards.
Subject Area - Are physical tables that are grouped together in a dimensional model or star schema that reflect general data or functional categories. Subsequently, subject areas are synonymous with functional areas and each subject area identifies and groups the data that relates to a logical area of the business.
UWBI – University of Wisconsin System Business Intelligence. This replaces the legacy Interactive Reporting which consists of HRS Shared Queries. https://uwbi.wisconsin.edu/analytics/
Variable (Presentation) – Created with the creation of Dashboard prompts. There are two types of dashboard prompts:
Column Prompt – Presentation variable created with column prompt is associated with a column, and the values that it can take comes from the column values.
Variable Prompt – Presentation variable created as a variable prompt is not associated with any column, and you need to defines its values.
Variable (Repository) – A single value at any point of time. These are defined using the Oracle BI Administration Tool and can be used in place of constants. There are two types:
Static – Contain default initializers that are numeric or character values.
Dynamic – Same as static but the values are refreshed by data returned from queries.
Variable (Session) – Similar to dynamic repository variables and they obtain their values from initialization blocks. When a user begins a session, new instances of the variables are created and initialized. There are two types:
System session variables – Used for specific purposes and have predefined reserved names which can’t be used by other variables.
Non-system session variables – Used for setting the user filters.