Tools

Some common tools to access the data warehouse:

Several authors have asked when to use Power BI, when to use OBIEE, and when to use any number of other available tools for creating and exploring data. Note that the following are just suggestions and shouldn’t be taken as explicit rules for when to use the various tools at your disposal. 

Power BIThe best full-featured tool for authors who want to build interactive BI content for the future, with a learning curve to match the power. You should use Power BI if you need rich visualizationsautomatically-updated custom content, and regularly create your own data models with data from many external sources and files. 

  • Best available interactivity and visualizations available to all UWM faculty and staff without access requests (if you have a Premium Workspace). 
  • The most flexibility in creating custom data models from different data sources including Excel/CSV files and refreshing that data automatically on set schedules. 
  • Enormous depth and functionality also requires the most technical competency to identify and join data sources, build reports/dashboards, and apply security. 
  • No formal support provided for Power BI authors 

OBIEE: The best tool for quickly creating simple reports and dashboards for a small set of defined users who already have OBIEE access. Use OBIEE if you are a less technical report author who mainly creates operational dashboards or tables with data from the UWM data warehouse. 

  • Pre-defined OBIEE data model simplifies report and dashboard creation, but also limits data flexibility by precluding custom join relationships between data and the use of Excel/CSV files 
  • Simpler set of visualizations that also requires all users to apply for Student Records Consumer access through the Data Access Request form. 
  • OBIEE environment requires FERPA training as a pre-requisite, so there are fewer security responsibilities for individual authors in securing content. 
  • Formal OBIEE author support provided by the UITS Enterprise Data Management team