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Business Intelligence Tutorial: Getting Started

Most of the samples in this Business Intelligence tutorial are part of the Samples-BI sample ( in a new tab). InterSystems recommends that you create a dedicated namespace called SAMPLES (for example) and load samples into that namespace. For the general process, see Downloading Samples for Use with InterSystems IRIS® data platform.

One part of the sample is the BI.Study.Patient class and related classes. This sample is meant for use as the basis of a Business Intelligence model. It does not initially contain any data. The BI.Model package includes sample cubes, subject areas, KPIs, pivot tables, and dashboards, for use as reference during this tutorial.

This sample is intended as a flexible starting point for working with Business Intelligence. You use this sample to generate as much data or as little data as needed, and then you use the Architect to create a Business Intelligence model that explores this data. You can then create Business Intelligence pivot tables, KPIs, and dashboards based on this model. The sample contains enough complexity to enable you to use the central Business Intelligence features and to test many typical real-life scenarios. This tutorial presents hands-on exercises that use this sample.


The system uses SQL to access data while building the cube, and also when executing detail listings. If your model refers to any class properties that are SQL reserved words, you must enable support for delimited identifiers so that Business Intelligence can escape the property names. For a list of reserved words, see the “Reserved Words” section in the InterSystems SQL Reference. For information on enabling support for delimited identifiers, see Identifiers.

Be sure to consult the InterSystems Supported Platforms for information on system requirements for Business Intelligence.

Getting Started

Most of the tools that you will use are contained in the Management Portal.

To log on:

  1. Click the InterSystems Launcher and then click Management Portal.

    Depending on your security, you may be prompted to log in with an InterSystems IRIS username and password.

  2. Switch to the namespace into which you loaded the samples, as follows:

    1. Click the current namespace name to open the list of available namespaces.

    2. In the list, click the name of the namespace into which you loaded the samples.

Regenerating Data

The tutorial uses a larger, slightly more complex set of data than is initially provided in the Samples-BI sample.

To generate data for this tutorial:

  1. In the Terminal, switch to the namespace into which you installed the samples, for example:

     set $namespace="SAMPLES"
  2. Execute the following command:

     do ##class(BI.Populate).GenerateData(10000,25,"ADETR")

    This class method generates 10000 patients, with 25 patients per doctor. The "ADETR" string means that the sample will include allergy data (A), diagnosis data (D), encounter data (E), details (T), and the city rainfall data (R).

  3. Because we will use SQL queries that run against the tables that we have just populated, it is good practice to run the Tune Table facility on them:

    1. Access the Management Portal and go to the namespace into which you installed the samples, as described earlier.

    2. Click System Explorer > SQL.

    3. Click the Execute Query tab.

    4. Click Actions and then Tune all tables in schema.

      The system then displays a dialog box where you select a schema and confirm the action.

    5. For Schema, select the BI_Study schema.

    6. Click Finish.

    7. Click Done.

    The system then runs the Tune Table facility in the background.

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