In a generic sense, it is simply a complete pre-built BI and Data Warehouse system. It encompasses ETL, a data model, a
technology platform, metadata and pre-built analyses and reports. Just download the software and the application
configuration files, install, load the data and you are ready to go. In some cases it really is that simple.
A full BI application, such as Oracle's, contains everything professionally done by an engineering team at the direction of
not only technical experts, but also industry and functional experts. A basic BI application goes far beyond "industry
standard data models", and would include all necessary ETL, data model, BI tool Metadata, and pre-built reporting
content. Some may even go further to include change data capture or integrations with other consumers such as front
end applications, portals, advanced data services, or even other BI tools.
Within Oracle's world of applications, there is some potential for confusion given their names. Oracle presently sells
three different OBI EE base applications; 2 of them are called Fusion Intelligence (there is one for Oracle EBS & DBI, and
another for PeopleSoft & JD Edwards). Note that these applications are officially not part of Oracle's direction, and will
not be actively pursued. Instead Oracle is focusing on it BI crown jewel, the poorly named BI Applications. It is these BI
Applications, which include nearly 50 modules such Applications as Marketing Analytics, Partner Analytics, Service
Analytics, and Sales Analytics that this post is discussing.
The answer is identical to why we have ERP systems today. SAP, PeopleSoft, Oracle EBS, Baan, Siebel, Clarify, etc were all
built with the same thought in mind: a customer can buy a fully functioning system instead of going through the risk,
cost and delay of building it themselves. It just started with the front end systems first. Now that the vast majority of the
fortune 2000 companies have standardized on one or a few ERPs, the ability to make a pre-built BI system becomes
possible. Only with clearly defined data models existing throughout so many companies is cost effective to have prebuilt
ETL, and with pre-built ETL comes the vast majority of the benefit of the BI Apps from an effort perspective.