Use and Explore a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet File Directly in SAP BusinessObjects Explorer 4.1

  • by Adam Getz, Manager – Business Intelligence, CGI Federal
  • August 19, 2015
Learn how to use a feature of SAP BusinessObjects Explorer 4.1 by following step-by-step instructions for uploading a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet file into SAP BusinessObjects Explorer and then exploring the data included in the file. Discover how to make data residing within an Excel file available so that it can be explored with the creation of a temporary information space. In addition, learn how to make the data available both without and with any configuration changes.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article you will learn how to:

  • Connect to SAP BusinessObjects Explorer 4.1 and import a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet file
  • Explore the data in an Excel spreadsheet file without any configuration changes
  • Explore the data in an Excel spreadsheet file by previewing the data and making configuration changes
Key Concept
SAP BusinessObjects Explorer 4.1 is a relatively new end-user application within the BusinessObjects 4.1 application suite that provides data discovery and ad-hoc query capabilities.

Fundamentally, SAP BusinessObjects Explorer 4.1 allows users to rapidly explore data in a highly graphical and intuitive format. The Explorer application can be accessed by users through the BI Launch Pad portal, which is the common end-user interface for all BusinessObjects applications. SAP BusinessObjects enables users to quickly and intuitively find the information they are looking for without the need for creating and formatting reports. Users can combine multiple data perspectives into a single view and quickly go from data discovery to at-a-glance dashboard to details of the data.

SAP BusinessObjects Explorer allows for Microsoft Excel to be used as a data source for data exploration with the use of a temporary information space. Moreover, permanent information spaces are typically created by developers and not end users. However, this temporary information space enables any user to explore data residing in an Excel spreadsheet file. In addition, SAP BusinessObjects Explorer contains functionality to enable users to upload and explore an Excel spreadsheet while keeping the file on the user’s workstation.

I show how you can use and explore an Excel spreadsheet file directly within SAP BusinessObjects Explorer 4.1. I also demonstrate how to connect to an Excel file, how to explore data without any configuration changes, and how to explore data within preview mode with configuration changes.

Step 1. Connect to SAP BusinessObjects Explorer 4.1

In order to import and use a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet file for the basis of a temporary information space, SAP BusinessObjects Explorer users must have the following prerequisites:

  • Access to the SAP BusinessObjects BI launch pad application
  • Access to the SAP BusinessObjects 4.1 Explorer application
  • Have view rights to information spaces

An administrator of SAP BusinessObjects should be able to set these rights for any users of the system as needed.

Adam Getz

Adam Getz currently serves as a Manager, Business Intelligence for CGI Federal. In this position, he is leading a large business intelligence and data warehousing implementation for a federal client.  He is a thought leader in the field of information technology and an expert in the deployment of leading business intelligence, database management, and data integration products. He has presented at a variety of local, national, and international events, including the 2006 BusinessObjects International Conference, 2007 Oracle BIWA Summit, 2008 Oracle Open World, and 2010 and 2011 ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conferences. In addition, Adam is the creator and main author of, a website, portfolio, and blog that provides rich technical and functional content to business intelligence and data warehousing professionals. He has also published numerous technology white papers that have focused on various topics within business intelligence and data warehousing. Adam currently serves as the chairperson of the Washington DC Business Objects User Group.

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