How To Use Key Performance Indicators In OBIEE

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 Oracle Business Intelligence (OBIEE) Training Tutorial

obiee-11g-tutorial-KPIsAs part of our ongoing OBIEE training curriculum tutorials we will discuss an example of how to use KPIs in an OBIEE 11g Analysis.

To assess your business performance, you must first understand how success is defined. In most businesses this will be via Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), benchmark metrics against which current performance can be measured.

OBIEE 11g allows you to define and customize KPIs, and to then integrate them into your dashboard. In this way you can assess current performance at a glance. Your KPI Watchlist can also be used to create analyses and agents that trigger based on certain threshold conditions and actions.

How To Work With OBIEE 11g KPIs and A KPI Watchlist

Before you start

Before building your OBIEE 11g Analysis report, you will need:

  • An Oracle 11g database that is installed and running.
  • Properly installed and configured Oracle Business Intelligence 11g (OBIEE) tools.
  • OBIEE credentials with the appropriate level of permissions.

Once you have each of these pre-requisites in place, you are ready to proceed.

Creating a new KPI

Log into the OBIEE toolset using your develop credentials to open the “welcome” screen.

obiee 11g tutorial training

  1. Select KPI from the New menu on the Home screen:new menu learn OBIEE 11g KPIs
  2. From the pop-up that appears, select A – Sample Rules:oracle bi training tutorial sample rules screenshot
  3. The General Properties screen of KPI editor will load. The Description field is optional, but you will need to supply both an Actual Value and a Target Value. You can use the function buttons to the right of each field to access key system functions if required.For the purpose of this tutorial, select Base Facts -> 1 – Revenue using the small down arrow to the right of the Actual Value field. Then for the Target Value field, select Base Facts -> 5 – Target Revenue.

    obiee general properties tutorial

    To ensure the KPI meets our specific needs, we’ll also change the Data Format by clicking the Edit icon. Change the fields displayed in the pop-up as follows:

    • Set Treat Numbers As to Currency.
    • Change Currency Symbol to $ English – United States
    • Set Negative Format to Minus: -123
    • The remaining fields can be left as-iscurrency settings - business intelligence training
    • Click OK to return to the General Properties screen.

    At this point you can use the Enable trending checkbox to define whether you want your KPI to show historical performance. We want to be able to see how the KPI changes each month, so select Time -> T02 Per Name Month from the drop-down. Set the Tolerance value to 3 to have the KPI indicate every time revenue fluctuates by 3% or more.

    set tolerance - obiee training course

    Click the Next button to move on to the Dimensionality screen.

  4. The Dimensionality screen allows you to further refine the KPI settings. Click the Add button at the bottom of the screen, then select Time -> Time Hierarchy from the Add New Dimension pop-up. Click OK when done.dimensionality learn obiee 11g

    By default, the new Time.TimeHierarchy KPI will prompt the user for a value at run time.

    learn obiee 11g - runtime value

    Add a second dimension: Offices -> Offices Hierarchy. And then a third, Sales Person -> Sales Rep Hierarchy. As before you can leave the values set to the default <is prompted> value.

    Click Next to move on to the States screen.

  5. By default KPIs have three standard states – OK, Warning and Critical. To add your own KPI stats, select the Show Advanced Properties checkbox on the right-hand side of the screen.learn obiee 11g - properties

    Add a new state between Critical and Warning by clicking the green ‘+’ icon to the right of the Critical box and selecting Add Above from the context-sensitive menu.

    oracle bi tutorial - adding a new state

    A new state field will be added. Change the names of the fields so that they read OK, Fair, Warning and Critical down the list.

    obiee tutoril - new state settings

    Use the tiny drop-down to the right of the Warning label field to access the Color Selector palette. Choose the orange color and click OK:

    obiee 11g kpi color pallete

    Click the ‘x’ button (the one next to the color selector) to change the icon associated with the Warning state. Pick any picture you like from the pop-up – we’ve chosen a purple triangle – and click OK.

    obiee training color palette settings

    You can also use the Actions button to automate certain activities should your KPI reach that state. At this point your states should look like:

    color coding in obiee 11g kpi

    To make the KPI state thresholds more realistic, change the threshold values on the right-hand side of the screen to 90%, 85% and 80% as shown below:


    Click Next to move onto the Related Documents screen.

  6. The Related Documents screen allows you to add catalog or link items to your KPIs as required. For the purposes of this tutorial, we will not be linking any related documents. Click Next to moverelated documents obiee 11g training
  7. The Custom Attributes screen allows you to add any additional formulas you might need in exactly the same way you would add a column to a report or similar. Again, we’ll leave this blank for the purposes of this exercise.Click Finish to complete the wizard.obiee 11g kpi tutorial
  8. Save the new KPI into a new folder called kpis under My Folders. Give it a suitably descriptive name – Revenue KPI will do fine for this test.obiee tutorial - save kpi settings


Adding the KPI to a KPI Watchlist

Before you can add your new KPI to a dashboard, it must first be added to a KPI Watchlist, essentially a collection of KPIs. KPIs can also be defined as ‘pinned’ or ‘unpinned’ – so we’ll show you how to use both.

To create a new KPI Watchlist:

  1. Select New -> KPI Watchlist from the top menu:new menu select kpi tutorial
  2. Using the tree view navigation bar on the left of the screen, navigate to My Folders -> kpis -> Revenue KPI (the KPI created above) then drag it across to the New KPI Watchlist grid on the right of the screen:learn obiee online select kpi menu

    An Add KPI pop-up appears showing the associated dimensions created earlier. Leave the default values, change the Label to Revenue KPI-unpinned and click OK:

    obiee online tutorial change label

    Repeat the Add KPI process, but this time change the Time.Time Hierarchy value to 2010 using the supplied drop-down.

    select time hierarchy - obiee online training

    Repeat the process again, this time changing the Offices.Offices Hierarchy value to Corporate Total

    change heirarchy - obiee 11g

    For more granular detail, repeat the Add KPI procedure, this time changing Offices.Offices Hierarchy to a specific office – Stockplus Inc and Time.Time Hierarchy to 2009.


    You should go back and rename each of the KPIs to give them more descriptive names. Your final KPI Watchlist should look like:

    adjust settings obiee tutorial

    Notice that three of the KPIs have slightly different icons associated with them, so you can tell at a glance they are pinned.

    You can now use the options at the top of the screen to adjust view option too. Click on “A – Sample Sales”.Time.Time Hierarchy and select Total Time -> 2008 from the drop-down.


    This will then force the KPIs to reload (it may take a while – be patient!). The red and green arrows will give you an instant visual indication of upward and downward trends.

    online oracle bi training tutorial

    Your watchlist is now complete. Click the Save button and save the watchlist alongside your KPI in My Folders -> kpis with the name New KPI Watchlist.learn KPIs obiee tutorial

Adding a KPI watchlist to a dashboard

Obviously you will first need a dashboard set up before you can add a watchlist. Creating dashboards falls outside the scope of this tutorial, but you can find full instructions in this video tutorial. Otherwise:


  1. Click Catalog and use the tree view on the left to navigate to My Folders -> dashboards and select the Test Dashboard:learn obiee KPIs online

    Click the Edit link to amend the existing dashboard.

  2. When the dashboard design screen loads, select My Folders -> kpis -> New Watchlist from the Catalog tree view in the bottom-left corner of the screen.obiee 11g tutorial online - KPIs

    Click and drag the item onto the right-hand pane.

  3. A Dimensions Pinnings dialog box will appear asking if you want pin any dimensions. Leave them all as the default unpinned status and click OK.30-dimensions-pinning-obiee-tutorial-online
  4. Click the Save button, and then Run to test the dashboard.31-click-save-obiee-11g
  5. The Test Dashboard will now display your KPIs in a simple to understand table:32-test-dashboard-display-obiee-KPIs

Improving the appearance of your dashboard KPIs

The default KPI display is often less than appealing, so you may want to adjust the appearance a little.

  1. From the dashboard, select the Edit Dashboard option:obiee 11g KPI dashboard training
  2. Select Column from the Dashboard Objects tree view and drag it over to the right-hand pane above the existing New KPI Watchlist section:34-dashboard-object-tree-kpi
  3. Click and drag Link or Image from the left-hand pane and drop it into the new Column 1 section on the right:35-drag-image-obiee-online-training

    Click the Edit button on the image placeholder and link to a suitable picture, like your company logo. For this example we have used the fmap syntax to link to a known image:

    online obiee training - use known image

    Click OK to add the image.

  4. Click the Save button to commit the changes to your new dashboard. Then click Run to test the new design. Your new dashboard should now show your logo above the KPI grid:oracle BI online training dashboard KPI

Performing analysis from your dashboard KPI

With the KPI displayed on your dashboard, completing an analysis operation is simple.

  1. Highlight the KPI in which you are interested and click Objects -> Analyzeanalyze KPI objects - obiee 11g online
  2. A new window will pop up showing you the Revenue KPI Report 1 report.learn obiee KPIs online
  3. Click the Edit link to adjust the displayed report. Click the Criteria tab to add additional columns to the report for instance. Try dragging and dropping A – Sample Sales -> Products -> P2 Product Type onto the Selected Columnsadd KPI criteria - learn obiee 11g

    Click the Results tab again to see the change in effect. Don’t forget you may need to edit the report to move P2 Products Type from the Excluded columns list. You will also need to save your changes.

Obviously these are just some very simple examples that show how to use KPIs and KPI analysis, but building on these techniques you will be able to access and display data from your Oracle database in any way you need. To check out our OBIEE online training courses click here.

For a video version of this tutorial, visit the Firebox OBIEE Training YouTube channel.

Watch The OBIEE Tutorial Video On KPIs Now

This OBIEE 11g training tutorial was created by our lead instructor Julie Johnson. Take a look at our other recent OBIEE online training tutorial on how to create an 11g analysis.

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