Endeca is Oracle's search-based platform for combining and analyzing structured and unstructured data together without having to meticulously model and transform data to rigid schema. Instead Endeca automatically describes and indexes disparate data, quickly making it accessible by way of text-based search, faceted browsing and data visualization.
In a warranty claims application, for example, a company could combine structured ERP data on products, claims and related suppliers, CRM data on customers and their verbatim-text comments, and even social media comments about the brand. Endeca search and analysis options let users find patterns and correlations in the data.
Endeca Information Discovery 3.0, Oracle's second major release since acquiring the product in 2011, advances analysis in several ways. For starters, Endeca can now tap directly into Oracle BI foundation and the semantic models behind reports, dashboards and analyses. That's a significant step forward for Oracle customers that previously had to map back to underlying data sources.
In a second significant upgrade, Endeca's interface has been streamlined for easier navigation and bolstered with new drag-and-drop options that let users pick and choose desired data sources. And in a third advance, Endeca 3.0 lets users add their own data sets to analysis by way of Excel, so they can enrich and personalize analyses that start with corporate and public data.
"Say you've created a segmented customer list or you just downloaded government-supplied data about product safety," Rodwick said, citing examples of data that might be added to an analysis. "The business user doesn't have to know how to model the data; they simply use a Web interface to point at the information, much as you would import a data source into Excel."
Other Endeca upgrades include a native Java Script Object Notation (JSON) reader, a new connector to Web service-based APIs, extended text-enrichment and sentiment-analysis capabilities, and enhanced support for mining and understanding unstructured social media data, according to Oracle. In addition, the formerly English-only product has been localized, meaning extended coverage for currencies and measures, for countries using 10 languages -- English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese -- while raw text-analysis capabilities have been extended to 22 languages.
These might sound like incremental improvements across Endeca and the Oracle BI Foundation Suite, but in the sheer breadth of the upgrades it's clear that Oracle is continuing a steady march toward delivering comprehensive and globally applicable capabilities. It's a strategy that has kept Oracle in the top right corner of analyst reports on BI, information management, analytics and, most recently with the addition of Endeca, multi-structured information analysis.