Get an overview of Oracle CRM On Demand's Answers On Demand reporting tool in this chapter excerpt. You'll learn how to configure Answers On Demand's report development privileges, get an overview of the tool's analytics and reporting subject areas and find out how to access and manage existing reports.
Oracle CRM On Demand Reporting
Chapter 1, Getting Started with Answers On Demand
Oracle CRM On Demand Reporting, Chapter 1
Table of contents:
Getting started with Oracle CRM Answers On Demand
Pre-built CRM On Demand reports for sales
Customer activity and marketing reports in CRM On Demand
Strategies for customer retention
Answers On Demand is the business intelligence tool built into CRM On Demand, and is the topic of this book. Answers On Demand is an extremely powerful analytical tool that, with the proper planning and knowledge, can become the difference between reporting and business intelligence. This chapter looks at the basic requirements for gaining access to Answers On Demand. Chapter 2 covers recommended stages of planning your analysis.
I encourage you to read the first two chapters of this book carefully and give their content some genuine consideration before you jump into the definitions of functions and explanations of views a little deeper into the book. After all, a little planning goes a long way and pays dividends in time when you get things right the first time.
Report Development Privileges
As a user of CRM On Demand, you have access to data and features based on the settings in your assigned role. The roles in CRM On Demand are highly configurable. Many people may share the same role if they all perform the same job. Alternatively, a single person may be the only user assigned to a role. The system administrator is typically responsible for maintaining these roles and providing or revoking certain levels of access and privileges in CRM On Demand.
Before you can go much further in this book and perform the tasks it presents, you need to ensure that you have the necessary access and privilege settings in your assigned role. Figure 1-1 shows a portion of the Role Management window, showing the privileges associated with analytics. Many users will have some of these privileges associated with their roles even if they are not responsible for creating reports. For instance, the Analytics Dashboards Access and Analytics Reports Access privileges simply enable users to view the Dashboard and Reports tabs. The Access Analytics Reports—View Prebuilt Analyses privilege allows user to run the prebuilt reports. Without this privilege, users accessing the Reports tab in CRM On Demand will not see any of the prebuilt reports listed.
The privileges that are critical to the report developer's role are Access All Data in Analytics, Analytics Scripting, Manage Dashboards, Manage Custom Reports, and Manage Personal Reports. Let us examine each of these privileges in a little more detail.
FIGURE 1-1. Privileges associated with user roles
The Access All Data in Analytics privilege ensures that you are, while developing reports, able to see all data in the database. Without this privilege, you will have visibility to data based on data access settings in your role and access profile. It would be difficult to develop reports for anyone other than yourself if you are only able to see a limited dataset. If your company is rather liberal with data access, and does not limit visibility, this is not a huge issue. It is still better to have this privilege and know that you have access to data than to assume you do because you believe you are able to see all records by default.
The Analytics Scripting privilege is particularly important for some of the advanced reporting techniques that employ HTML and Java scripting. It is possible to embed scripts in data formats and some view settings. In order to create reports with these capabilities, you will need your role enabled with this privilege. Your users, however, do not need this privilege in order to use reports taking advantage of these features.
The Manage Dashboards, Manage Custom Reports, and Manage Personal Reports privileges are the most important of all of the report developer's privileges. These three privileges work together, and enable you to create new public dashboards and custom reports in the Shared Custom Analyses folder for others to access or in the My Folder directory for your personal use. With the Manage Dashboards privilege, you see the Manage Dashboards link on the Dashboard tab. When you have the Manage Custom Reports and Manage Personal Reports privileges, you are able to see the Design Analyses link on the Reports tab. Click the Design Analyses link now to open the Answers On Demand application. The first window you see within Answers is the Getting Started with Answers window, described next.
The Getting Started with Answers Window
It is from the Getting Started with Answers window, shown in Figure 1-2, that you create, edit, and maintain your custom reports. Notice that there are three sections to this window. The Create New Analysis section contains the subject areas for creating new custom reports. Before we get into the subject areas, let us look below at the Open Existing Analysis and Manage Analyses sections.
Open Existing Analysis
The Open Existing Analysis section contains the Open Analysis button. Clicking this button allows you to select an existing report to open in the Answers window for editing. You are able to open and work with existing custom reports from your My Folders directory, the Company Wide Shared Folder directory, or the Pre-built Analysis directory. Opening an existing report and saving it with a different name is a great way to create a new report without starting from a blank slate.
The Manage Analyses section contains the Manage Analyses button. Clicking this button allows you to copy, move, rename, and delete reports in the My Folders directory or the Shared Folders directory. You cannot access the prebuilt reports here. I describe the reports management features in detail in Chapter 17.
The Create New Analysis section contains two lists. The first list contains the Analytics subject areas. The other list contains the Reporting subject areas. It is important to understand the
FIGURE 1-2. Getting Started with Answers window
differences between these two subject area classifications. Choosing the correct subject area for your report is critical to the success of your analytic venture.
Analytics Subject Areas
It is highly preferable to select a subject area from the Analytics subject areas, for a number of reasons. You will achieve the best performance from reports built from one of these subject areas. Reports based on Analytics subject areas draw data from a data warehouse. The data warehouse is tuned for maximum report performance. You will also find that data from related records is more often available for reporting as the number of available columns exceeds the columns available for real-time subject areas. Data moves from the operational database daily during an overnight data warehouse refresh. For this reason, reports built in these subject areas contain data that is current as of the previous day.
You will notice, too, that the Analytics subject areas offer several more choices of subject areas. The data warehouse allows you to take full advantage of the reporting capabilities of CRM On Demand with historical analyses, additional metric columns designed to measure key performance indicators, and a more complete library of related data within each subject area.
Reporting Subject Areas
The subject areas under Reporting draw data from the operational database. The users of On Demand are updating this database through the CRM On Demand interface. Users are constantly manipulating and updating this data. The operational database is structured for efficient data creation and management. When used for reporting, it will typically be slower than the data warehouse. You will want to use the Reporting subject areas only when real-time data analysis is a requirement of your report.
Continue to the next section: Pre-built CRM On Demand reports for sales
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