In early 2022, technology research firm IDC conducted a survey with 1600+ technology decision-makers from across North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. The primary topic of the survey was cloud migration, with a specific focus on migrating Oracle ERP systems to the cloud. Of course, once migration is done (let us say, to Oracle Fusion), it is also critical for decision-makers to figure out the right tool for Operational Reporting and Financial Reporting from Oracle Fusion. 

Key highlights from the survey report

  • About 40% of Oracle customers have already moved or are in the process of migrating their business systems to Oracle Cloud ERP (also called Oracle Fusion)
  • Nearly half (47%) of Oracle customers plan to transition to Oracle Fusion in the next 2–10 years, predominantly within the next five years. 
  • A minority (13%) of Oracle customers have no intention to move to Oracle Fusion, mainly due to reliance on their existing Oracle on-premises systems and divergent digital transformation strategies.

Are You Migrating to Oracle Cloud Fusion? Key Challenges To Plan For

The report also captures key challenges organizations face during and post-migration. The list of challenges revolved around the following six aspects:

  • Need for specialized IT resources to manage the shift to Oracle Fusion
  • Data access, data security, data governance
  • System integration and “connecting” the new ERP with the rest of the workflow
  • Reporting challenges – both operational reporting and financial reporting
  • Data residency and flow of data between systems
  • Costs of implementing the migration and then OpEx to run a cloud-based ERP like Oracle Fusion
One of the major challenges that users face after migrating to Oracle Fusion is related to operational and financial reporting.

After making the shift, IT decision-makers and teams in finance, operations, supply chain, HR, etc. are not able to efficiently migrate past reports and the whole process of operational reporting requires a whole new set of processes, and it becomes a complex project in itself.

The question is: Is there a way to make Oracle Fusion Cloud Reporting efficient, effective, and seamless? 

In this guide, we’ll cover the following:

  • Reporting tools in Oracle Fusion: What are your options?
  • Key limitations of these tools and why these tools alone are not enough
  • How Orbit can help enterprises with a complementary solution for both operational and financial reporting
  • The value of Orbit’s Data Pipeline Solution and why data movement is critical to better reporting and operational insights

Reporting Options in Oracle Fusion

Oracle Fusion Reporting offers a diverse suite of report-authoring tools designed to cater to various operational and financial reporting needs. Each tool is uniquely equipped to handle different aspects of data reporting and analysis, ensuring that users can extract maximum value from their Oracle Fusion data. 

Tools offered by Oracle include: 

  1. Financial Reporting Studio Reports: These reports are ideal for creating highly formatted, multi-dimensional reports. They are particularly useful for balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and other financial documents that require a sophisticated presentation.
  2. Oracle Smart View Reports: Smart View provides a versatile Excel add-in, allowing users to perform ad-hoc analysis and create ad hoc reports. It’s perfect for users who prefer working within the familiar environment of Microsoft Excel.
  3. Business Intelligence Publisher (BI Publisher) Reports: This tool is excellent for operational reporting. BI Publisher (BIP) facilitates the creation of highly formatted documents such as checks, invoices, and government forms as well. 
  4. Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence (OTBI) Reports: OTBI is geared towards real-time ad-hoc reporting and analysis. It allows users to create and modify reports and dashboards directly from their browser, using real-time transactional data.
  5. Analytics Cloud Reports: Ideal for advanced analytics, these reports leverage the power of Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC), offering deeper insights with robust data visualization capabilities.
  6. Account Monitor and Account Inspector Reports: These tools provide real-time insight into financial balances, offering a quick view of the general ledger and other financial data, which is particularly helpful for account reconciliation and monitoring.
  7. Oracle Fusion Data Visualization Reports: This tool allows users to create visual and interactive representations of data, making it easier to identify trends, patterns, and outliers in large datasets.

Each of these reporting tools has been designed with specific user needs in mind, offering a range of functionalities from basic data representation to complex financial analysis. By leveraging these tools, businesses can gain a comprehensive view of their operational and financial performance, driving informed decision-making and strategic planning.

Limitations of Oracle Native Tools from a Real-Time Operational/Financial Reporting Perspective

For real-time transactional reporting on Oracle Fusion Cloud, in most cases, Oracle recommends BI Publisher (BIP) or Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence (OTBI). Since BI Publisher has been primarily designed for users with technical skills, many business users cannot generate the reports they need by themselves and need the support of IT to build ad-hoc dashboards or reports. This makes it difficult for ad hoc real-time reporting, which needs a timely generation of reports to be meaningful. Dependence on IT can cause delays sometimes, which business users cannot afford if they wish to make quick decisions to remain competitive.

OTBI is often chosen as customers don’t need to buy an additional license to use it. It comes bundled with Cloud ERP and brings to the fore several advantages: 

  • Being a real-time online reporting tool, it is used for querying directly from Fusion Application data
  • It is easy to conduct ad-hoc analysis that accesses transactional data and this can be used for operational and transactional reporting
  • It does not need a separate data warehouse as it pulls data directly from Fusion’s database. As a result, an ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) process to populate any data warehouse is redundant
  • Personalized reports and dashboards are available 
  • Drag and drop of the required data to create graphical views, enabling self-service by business users
  • The creation of unconventional reports is also possible

Despite its many advantages, OTBI also comes with several limitations that can impact real-time, operational reporting in a serious way. 

These limitations include:

  • OTBI can pull data only from Oracle Cloud Apps and so it is cumbersome to pull data from multiple sources, especially if these data sources are outside of the Oracle ecosystem
  • It also cannot access historical data from legacy applications, thereby limiting the type of analytics that can be run
  • If any configuration parameter needs to be changed, a service request with a business justification has to be submitted to Oracle
  • To query the Fusion Apps database, business users have to rely on IT to run the query using BI Publisher. This limits the usefulness of the tool for business users.

Why Orbit is Ideal For Real-Time, Operational Reporting with Self-Service Features

Businesses moving to cloud platforms such as Oracle Cloud ERP migrate their live data but also tend to keep some data on the premises to leverage their existing investments and for security reasons, among others. Additionally, several enterprises do not want to go through the challenges associated with moving legacy data to the cloud. So, this remains in the legacy ERP. But, when business users need to conduct analysis and pull up reports, they want at their disposal the opportunity to pull data from diverse sources. With Orbit, this can be done with ease. 

Seamless Integration with Oracle Fusion

Orbit Reporting and Analytics provides a certified adapter to integrate with Oracle Fusion Applications. Orbit’s integration with Oracle Cloud yields the following immediate benefits: 

Full certification to work with Oracle Cloud Applications, including: 

  • The ability to extract ERP Cloud data and combine Oracle Cloud data output with your on-premise data 
  • The ability to run BI Publisher reports directly from Orbit Produce live financial reports and operational reports with the convenience of Excel 
  • Eliminate the need to invest in expensive data warehouses or extract, transform, load (ETL) tools 
  • Provide an interactive user interface (UI) to control the frequency of data synchronization and more
Other key capabilities of Orbit from an operational reporting perspective include: 

1. Self-Service Capabilities for Business Users across HR, HCM, Operations, Supply Chain, Project Managementm, and Finance Departments

While for operational reporting, real-time data on the cloud may be enough, for a deeper understanding of operational issues as well as to plan the future course of action, integrating historical data with real-time data can provide a more holistic view. OTBI does not enable pulling out data from enterprise systems and users need to use BI Publisher for this access. Since this tool is meant for developers and users cannot do the querying themselves to get the relevant data, they need to depend on the IT team to facilitate this. This can cause delays that businesses cannot afford in these times of rapid decision-making.
Orbit Reporting and Analytics, can not only access near real-time data available in Fusion but also historical data from EBS to facilitate improving the overall efficiency of operations. Empowering business users with self-service capabilities is one of the many reasons why many of our clients opt for Orbit besides OTBI and BI Publisher.

2. Excel Reporting with Orbit’s XLEdge Plugin

Microsoft Excel is a popular tool that lets business users maneuver data based on their analytics needs and access it from a desktop or a mobile, making it quite convenient. However, data needs to be exported to Excel as it cannot pull data in real-time. This makes it dated and therefore limits its capability as a resource for making important business decisions based on current data. 
Orbit’s XLEdge, an Excel add-in, overcomes this limitation by allowing live data to be pulled in from multiple applications into Excel for real-time analytics. It also ensures data security by aligning with the data governance rules of the company and providing access only to those who have the permission and the required authorization. 

3. Ad-hoc Data Reporting Made Easy

Orbit Data empowers business users to generate their own ad hoc reports based on their needs. Orbit uses a sophisticated data grid functionality to let users search, organize, and interpret data efficiently for their immediate needs.

4. Operational Insights – Go from Data to Insights Fast

The different functions in an organization have different requirements at different points in time. With Orbit Reporting and Analytics, users can personalize the report output and analyze data based on their requirements. These reports can be saved as Insights that only they can view, without affecting the organizational-level report(s).

5. SQL DirectQuery

SQL DirectQuery enables organizations to be agile and data-driven as it empowers users to centrally maintain, share and reuse scripts as SQL Models. These models help create reports that cannot be produced by semantic data models. It also facilitates the creation of data extracts and much more.

6. Pre-built content and reports 

With Orbit, you don’t need to recreate the wheel and create reports from scratch. Orbit comes with pre-built content for Oracle Cloud ERP that can also be accessible from Excel. 

7. Scheduling Reports and Jobs 

Users can also schedule report generation at a predefined frequency. This helps improve productivity as well as electronic document bursting and distribution of reports based on organizational policies. 

8. Data Security, Governance, and Privacy 

Orbit is aligned to the organizational data governance policies, synchronizing with the data security rules that limit business users to only see the data they are allowed to see. Orbit’s direct query functionality enables access to real-time data by pushing queries down to the canonical data sources. These queries are automatically enforced with row-level security and executed with native database drivers fetching data that users are authorized to see.
The Orbit Reporting and Analytics tool provides access to more than 1,000 finance, HR, supply chain, and other pre-built business reports. Run these reports on-demand or submit them through the Orbit Scheduler. 
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Orbit for Financial Reporting from Oracle Fusion

CFOs and finance professionals want easy access to data from Oracle Fusion Cloud Financials in Excel. 

They need a 360° view of data from the general ledger to the supporting details in the subledgers for generating reports and running analytics to make data-backed decisions. Most importantly, the data in Excel must be refreshable in real-time and the process of drilling down multiple levels must be seamless. 

Simply put, finance teams need an Excel-based, Self-Service Reporting Solution for Oracle Fusion. If the solution can make user authentication, data governance, and data security seamless that would be even better. 

GLSense from Orbit for Faster Financial Reporting 

Orbit’s GLSense is a purpose-built software that empowers finance users to report directly from Excel for faster and more efficient financial reporting. It also allows ad-hoc inquiries and drill-downs. 

Orbit GLSense enables the automation of data aggregation from multiple data sources, thereby eliminating manual processes, which reduces human error. The accuracy of reports is critical for generating meaningful insights and making critical business decisions.

With Orbit GLSense, finance professionals can accelerate key processes by quickly accessing several pre-built, sub-ledger drill-down reports for modules such as Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Fixed Assets, Inventory, Purchasing, and more. It is also possible to analyze the journal activity by creating charts, applying filters, and using conditional formatting.

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Orbit’s Data Pipeline Solution for Oracle Fusion

Reliably process and move data from Oracle Cloud ERP and other business systems with Orbit Data Pipeline 

In the world of data and analytics, we’re no strangers to the phrase Data Explosion. Enterprises today use a wide range of data sources – ERPs, CRMs, several SaaS tools, data from IoT devices and sensors, etc. 

For companies in the Oracle ecosystem, there is Oracle Cloud ERP, Oracle Cloud SCM, Oracle Financials, and Oracle Cloud HCM. Each of these tools plays a key role in streamlining and automating your business operations. 

To derive maximum value from all the data stored across these sources, you need to unify data quickly and efficiently. Orbit’s Data Pipeline is the preferred solution for this. 

Orbit’s Data Pipeline provides a seamless and efficient integration solution to move data from multiple sources to a central warehouse for BI and analytics. It is an ideal solution for complex data processing workloads, with reliability and high availability. 

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