The latest version of the Oracle E-Business Suite (R12) has many strengths and some notable weaknesses, namely in terms of reporting. Oracle has added some impressive new features to R12, including a powerful sub-ledger feature that allows for a more granular approach to accounting.
However, Oracle has not made similar upgrades to the built-in reporting tools, making it hard to extract any of the information inside the Suite. No solution is perfect, but the limitations of reporting in Oracle EBS R12 can’t be discounted. Data is the most critical asset in today’s business world, and the companies that leverage it successfully are the ones who gain a competitive advantage. Stellar reporting is essential for that effort, yet the built-in Oracle solution falls short in many ways. Here are some examples, along with the solutions.
Lack of Integrated Data
Oracle EBS reporting does not span all the data in the ERP. Users can extract data from various sources, but they must integrate it manually, which can take hours or days, in some cases. Relying on manual inputs also invites the possibility of human errors that can compromise the data used for reporting. Using reporting tools that automatically integrate all data from all relevant sources makes reporting faster, easier, and more reliable.
Oracle EBS R12 claims to offer “real-time reporting.” The reality is that users have access to a read-only database that is updated every 24 hours. So at best, decision-makers are acting on day-old information that might be irrelevant at this point. Dynamic reporting tools offer true real-time reporting, meaning that as soon as information is entered into the system, it’s integrated into metrics and made visible to decision-makers.
Heavy Reliance on IT
In the absence of a true Oracle EBS reporting tool, many users turn to IT for help gathering and analyzing data. As a result, accountants have to wait days or weeks for reports to be ready, and IT has to spend an equivalent amount of time working on something besides its core objectives. Both parties would prefer an alternative. Self-service reporting tools allow anyone (with permission) to build the reports they need from the ground up, cutting out the IT middleman in the process.
When Oracle EBS reporting is possible, the reports themselves are underwhelming. As noted above, all of them contain outdated information. They’re also filled with static data. Users have no way of diving into the data and exploring the numbers behind the metrics, which only obscures their understanding of enterprise performance. Dynamic reporting tools allow users to drill into the data in order to give information context and clarity. In that way, reports become a jumping-off point for exploring every aspect of enterprise performance, financial and otherwise.
Previously, Oracle EBS had an ad hoc reporting tool called Discoverer, but support stopped in June 2017. Some users continue to rely on Discoverer to meet their needs for Oracle EBS reporting, but that temporary solution won’t continue to work for long. Unsupported software creates security risks, user headaches, and data accessibility issues that make it less appropriate for reporting the longer it’s in use. Discoverer won’t be a viable option for much longer, so it’s imperative to find a replacement.
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