In the Sept 2020 (20.09) release of EPM Cloud, Oracle unveiled the next iteration of their dashboard, Dashboard 2.0. Built upon the powerful Oracle JET platform, Dashboards 2.0 will allow for more modern and advanced visualizations. To name some highlights of this release, you can now add geomaps, spark charts, ring gauges, pyramids, and waterfall charts. In addition, dual Y-axis is now supported for charts.
A number of us Oracle EPM Partners were invited to be part of the Dashboard 2.0 beta back in May, and I did not hesitate to sign up. Although my skill set runs more towards the EPM side of the house, the truth is that I have much appreciation for data visualizations. Getting more visualizations tech in EPM is a win for anyone who loves data.
This is an initial release, however, so it’s important to keep some “initial release” limitations in mind. And if you’re reading this post and months have passed, you will want to check the Oracle online documentation to see if any of these limitations have been lifted and/or enhanced.
Factoid #1: Dashboard 2.0 co-exists with 1.0
The original version and the new version are both available in multiple EPM Cloud solutions: Planning, Financial Consolidation and Close, and Tax Reporting…and right next to each other. When you go to create a new custom dashboard you can choose from the original 1.0 version or the 2.0 version. Why? Well, keep reading.
Side note: Oracle recommends that you use both for now, as there are features specific to each version that customers today can take advantage of.
Factoid #2: Oracle’s pre-built dashboards are on release 1.0
If you look at any of the Planning Cloud modules (Financials, Workforce, Capital, and Projects), those dashboards have not been upgraded to the new technology. Although I haven’t verified personally, I assume the same for Financial Consolidation and Close and Tax Reporting. These pre-built dashboards still exist in v1.0, which uses the ADF technology stack. We did ask the question back in spring whether or not they would be upgraded to 2.0 and it was undetermined at that time.
Financials Revenue dashboard example in 1.0:
From Oracle’s public slides – an example of the capabilities of Dashboards 2.0:
Factoid #3: Dashboards 2.0 do not allow for write back…yet
It’s coming, but it’s an important distinction between Dashboards 1.0 and 2.0 at this time. Some customers choose to use write back from within their custom dashboards because it allows for visual planning and forecasting. The dashboards available in the pre-built content for Planning modules highly leverage write back, too.
Write back is coming to Dashboards 2.0, and I hope very soon.
Factoid #4: Dashboard 2.0 allows for new data sources compared to 1.0
Dashboard 2.0 will allow you to essentially use any data available within that instance’s application. You are not limited to the forms anymore – you can now select any cube within that application or even an ad hoc form. And, Oracle plans to expand data sources to be cross-pod so you can use any cube within any Oracle EPM Cloud application sometime in the future!
But how does this work logistically – if you use a cube and not a form based on the cube, how do you build the data grid? There is also a new feature related to this open data source choice – “quick analysis”. You select a cube and spin up a grid similar to a Smart View ad hoc by typing member names into a search bar. Then you can choose to modify where the dimensions are located, and/or switch to a visualization of your choice. Here’s a sneak peek into the quick analysis feature using the OEP_FS cube as the data source:
One more note, Dashboards 2.0 supports all versions of Planning Cloud, if you were curious. This includes custom, modules, and freeform planning.
Factoid #5: The geomap visualization is limited in nature…for now
The geomap visualization is one of the most promising new features. However, it’s also limited currently in that you have to map your application’s geography members exactly as the visualization requires it. Oracle has provided a metadata file that you can load into your application to get started. This will eventually be enhanced to allow for custom geography member names.
If you’d like to learn more, Oracle has recently released a set of videos about how to design and use the new features of Dashboards 2.0: https://www.oracle.com/webfolder/technetwork/tutorials/tutorial/cloud/epm/wn/epm/releases/Oct/20oct-epm-wn.htm#F15852
In addition, you can find the Oracle online documentation about both dashboard releases here: https://docs.oracle.com/en/cloud/saas/planning-budgeting-cloud/pfusa/designing_dashboards_100x0c083681.html