We mentioned that we chose the name Casabase for a simple reason – our mission is to help you “bring your data home”. While we believe Casabase Personal Edition is the best choice for doing so, we also recognize that companies have large investments in existing tools. And given our Essbase background it’s only natural that we have insight into the needs of its community.
Companies are actively looking at alternatives to Hyperion tools, but they also want to leverage their huge investments in these legacy products. One of the most oft-expressed needs in this regard is a connector to Essbase from Power BI (PBI). The meteoric rise in popularity of Microsoft’s self-service business intelligence product has lead to a situation where new development is often done in Power BI, yet historical data remains in Essbase.
People have been literally begging Microsoft to create this Power BI Essbase connector. Microsoft has backlogged this request, because it just isn’t a priority compared to the monthly release cadence on which they publish upgrades to PBI. They (rightly) want to perfect the core product itself before moving on to nonessential add-ons.
Given our use of Microsoft products while developing Casabase (Excel, C#, etc.) and our decades of Essbase experience, we have a unique ability to bring these two worlds together. After all, who wouldn’t want to see their Essbase data presented in such a gorgeous dashboard?
Bridging the gap between Power BI and Essbase isn’t an easy undertaking. However, we’ve been able to hide all the grisly details and make getting data from Essbase as simple as:
Below you can see that all dimensions (stored and attribute) are fetched from the Essbase cube. Clicking on a dimension shows it members in the preview pane on the right:
Just as you can preview metadata (dimensions), you can also preview data by entering an MDX statement. Clicking Apply will show the results below:
After you’ve selected the dimensions and data you’d like to include, you can see that relationships will automatically be identified between the fact table (GetData, where you entered the MDX query) and the chosen dimensions:
As shown above, a knowledge of mdx is necessary in order to utilize the connector. (***UPDATE: Our innovative POV String functionality now allows you to use the connector even if you don’t know mdx.) If you aren’t familiar with it coming from the Microsoft world (Analysis Services multidimensional developers excluded), your Essbase administrator can provide you with the queries necessary to pull in the data for your dashboards. You’ll have to contact them to get the EssbaseXMLA_Url above anyway. Don’t worry, they’re very nice folks – as long as you don’t ask them during month-end close (don’t say we didn’t warn you!).
Once you get the information from your Hyperion group, you’ll be well on your way to working your visualization magic! It’s very easy to wow your CFO, by the way. They’re used to seeing stodgy old spreadsheet grids. Just picture the look on their face when you show them that their Essbase data can be presented thusly in Power BI by using the Casabase Connector for Oracle Essbase:
So if you’re interested in becoming the data hero in your company, contact us about buying a license for the Casabase Power BI Connector for Oracle Essbase.
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