PeopleSoft Speeds ERP Data Analysis

Enterprise warehouse upgrade packages business intelligence content, Web services support.

The latest version of PeopleSoft Inc.s Enterprise Warehouse business intelligence and analytics platform, which became available last week, gives users immediate access to enterprise data and pre-defined business metrics.

Enterprise Warehouse 8.8 includes prepackaged analytic content, a portal interface and Web services capabilities and ships within PeopleSofts AppConnect product suite. The software can also be used with the Pleasanton, Calif., companys Enterprise Portal.

Enterprise Warehouse 8.8 consists of an operational data store for offline reporting, a data warehouse for hosting analytical applications and pre-defined data marts for multidimensional analysis. The suite also has more than 1,200 pre-defined business metrics that can be delivered in portals, applications or OLAP (online analytical processing) tools, according to PeopleSoft officials.

An ETL (extraction, transformation and loading) tool enables users to consolidate data from any business application for real-time analysis, the officials said. In Version 8.8, the PeopleSoft Warehouse Builder component incorporates Informatica Corp.s PowerCenter for data ETL. It also has Crystal Decisions Inc.s Crystal Reports bundled in for query and reporting, although it can be used with other query and reporting tools as well.

New features include support for extended content delivery. This ensures reports from the warehouse include content related to the data, such as from project management systems.

Version 8.8 also supports tighter portal integration and enhanced use of Web services, enabling reports from the data warehouse to be published as Web services.

Chris Clothier, vice president of global infrastructure systems at Sterling Commerce Inc., has taken the best-of-breed approach with his companys IT infrastructure. It has deployed PeopleSoft 7.5 Financials and Version 8.4 of PeopleSoft Customer Relationship Management, along with software from other vendors.

PeopleSofts Enterprise Warehouse 8.8 Checklist

  • Operational data store for offline reporting
  • Data warehouse for hosting analytical applications
  • Pre-defined data marts for multidimensional analysis
  • Pre-defined business metrics that can be delivered in portals, applications or OLAP tools
  • ETL tool to consolidate business data for real-time analysis
"We want each and every one of our functional areas to be the absolute best they can be, and to be that, we have to adopt the absolute best tools," said Clothier, in Dublin, Ohio. "With all PeopleSoft tools, youre going to get the best they can bring to market, but maybe its not going to be the best sales product or the best [product] for our marketing team."

When it comes to data warehousing, Sterling has deployed software from vendors other than PeopleSoft. Although Clothier will look at Enterprise Warehouse 8.8, he thinks PeopleSoft has a ways to go before its data warehousing products become mature.

"If you look at the market and consider companies like Teradata [a division of NCR Corp.], who have been in data warehousing for 25 years, certainly they have expertise and a customer base that PeopleSoft does not," said Clothier. "So if youre comparing the two, maturity levels are on two different playing fields. It doesnt mean PeopleSoft cant compete; they just dont have the track record yet."

Clothier said it could be as short as two years or as long as five to 10 years for PeopleSoft to catch up.

"It depends on the quality of their product, or if they found a weakness [in their competitors]," said Clothier.