A Quick Guide to Help You Select the Right Presentation-Layer SAP BI Tool

  • by Sergei Peleshuk, SAP BI and HANA Architect
  • October 28, 2015
Discover more about the options and advantages of various presentation tools in the BusinessObjects portfolio. Learn tips and ideas for how to select an appropriate tool for your needs.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article you will:

  • Learn what major presentation-layer BI tools are available in the SAP BusinessObjects portfolio, their purposes, and an overview of each’s high-level capabilities
  • Get practical tips on how to select the right tool for the right business application
  • Understand the strengths and weaknesses of the different SAP BI tools; specifically, compare SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office, BusinessObjects Design Studio, and SAP Lumira.
Key Concept

The Report-to-Report Interface (RRI) (also referred to as the jump-to report functionality) allows a user to analyze required key performance indicators (KPIs) for a set of input parameters selected during navigation. For example, users can select one or several customers from a top 10 customer list and review their KPIs. Or, alternatively, they can jump from one to another report, SAP query, transaction, application, or web address.

When implementing business analytics technologies, many organizations face the challenge of selecting a proper BI tool for analysis, dashboards, decision making, and reporting. Here I review a few modern BI front-end tools from the BusinessObjects 4.x portfolio. Specifically, I discuss SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office, BusinessObjects Design Studio, and SAP Lumira. The remaining tools from the BusinessObjects portfolio (e.g., Web Intelligence, Crystal Reports, Dashboard Design, OLAP Analysis Edition, BusinessObjects Explorer, and BusinessObjects Predictive Analytics) are not in the scope of this article. In addition, it is my belief that 80 percent of the modern business analytics front-end needs can be addressed with the three tools covered here.

I am reviewing only the most recent product versions available on the market, and do not compare them to previous versions or BusinessObjects 3.x. The same applies to the BusinessObjects universes; I only take into consideration the latest capabilities of the BusinessObjects 4.x Information Design Tool (IDT).

Sergei Peleshuk

Sergei Peleshuk has more than 15 years of experience implementing BI technologies for global clients in retail, distribution, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), oil, and gas industries. He has helped clients to design robust BI reporting and planning capabilities, leading them through all project phases: from analysis of requirements to building BI roadmaps, technical architecture, and efficient BI teams. Sergei is an expert in modern BI tools and technologies available on the market, including SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW), SAP HANA, BusinessObjects, and SAP Lumira. Sergei maintains a business intelligence portal at www.biportal.org.

Sergei will be presenting at the upcoming SAPinsider HANA 2017 conference, June 14-16, 2017, in Amsterdam. For information on the event, click here.

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