How to Select the Best BI Tool to Meet Your Technical Requirements: Part 2

  • by Ingo Hilgefort, Vice President of Product Management, Visual BI Solutions
  • March 2, 2016
As part of the overall SAP BusinessObjects BI portfolio, SAP offers a wide range of tools to help companies meet their reporting and analysis needs. No one tool is a silver bullet that meets all of the technical requirements of a company. However, this comprehensive overview helps identify your company’s specific technical needs and determine the best BI tools to meet them.
Learning Objectives

By reading this article, you will learn about the:

  • Details of the different SAP BusinessObjects BI tools
  • Technical areas of the different SAP BusinessObjects BI tools, such as the hierarchical reporting capabilities as well as several other navigation and visualization options
  • Steps to help you to gather a BI tool wish-list from your business user and to turn these needs into actual requirements
Key Concept

Matching the right SAP BusinessObjects BI client tool to your requirement starts with making sure that you fully understand the requirements so that you can gather the “right” requirements at the outset. Requirements collection should start with talking to users, meaning those users who will use the BI tool and not those users that administrate the system or create the data model. During these conversations, it is very important to focus on the actual business requirements and the reasons why your users need the specific report or access to the specific BI tool. One proven method for doing this is to have users outline a use cases for their requirements in their own words.

SAP offers a broad variety of BI tools as part of the overall SAP BusinessObjects BI portfolio. However, there is no one single product that fulfills all requirements. Instead, you have to match your requirements against the capabilities of the set of BI clients and find the right mix of BI clients to implement to meet your needs.

In the first article of this two-part series, I reviewed the SAP BusinessObjects BI portfolio and how each of the BI tools maps to a different set of personas for creating and consuming the BI content. In addition, I reviewed the planned simplification of the SAP BusinessObjects BI portfolio announced by SAP. In this article, I review and compare the more technical capabilities the SAP BusinessObjects BI portfolio.

Important End-User Functionality

In this section, I look at some important end-user functionality that a lot of your business users will ask for. In addition, I compare the availability of these features across the SAP BusinessObjects BI portfolio.

Ingo Hilgefort

Ingo Hilgefort started his career in 1999 with Seagate Software/Crystal Decisions as a trainer and consultant. He moved to Walldorf for Crystal Decisions at the end of 2000, and worked with the SAP NetWeaver BW development team integrating Crystal Reports with SAP NetWeaver BW. He then relocated to Vancouver in 2004, and worked as a product manager/program manager (in engineering) on the integration of BusinessObjects products with SAP products. Ingo's focus is now on the integration of the SAP BusinessObjects BI suite with  SAP landscapes, such as SAP BW and SAP BW on SAP HANA, focusing on end-to-end integration scenarios. In addition to his experience as a product manager and in his engineering roles, Ingo has been involved in architecting and delivering deployments of SAP BusinessObjects software in combination with SAP software for a number of global customers, and has been recognized by the SAP Community as an SAP Mentor for SAP BusinessObjects- and SAP integration-related topics. Currently, Ingo is the Vice President of Product Management and Product Strategy at Visual BI Solutions, working on extensions to SAP’s product offering such as SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and SAP Lumira. You may follow him on Twitter at @ihilgefort.

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