Give Managers Detailed, Visual Dashboards for Improved Decision Making

  • by Ingo Hilgefort, Vice President of Product Management, Visual BI Solutions
  • August 14, 2009
Find out how you can use Xcelsius, SAP BusinessObjects Live Office, SAP NetWeaver BW, and Crystal Reports to provide compelling data visualizations and dashboards. For example, you can add simple drop-down selection boxes to your charts to allow users to easily manipulate the data views in real time.
Key Concept

With the current BI roadmap, Xcelsius is becoming the flagship product for simple dashboarding and data visualization. Crystal Reports, SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence, and universes can be data sources for your analytics. For complex composite applications, SAP recommends SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment and SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer in combination with Xcelsius.

Say you need to build a dashboard that shows the revenue for a variable period of time broken down by month in a dashboard. In addition, you want the functionality to allow users to select a country and specify start and end months to allow them to view a more detailed report created with Crystal Reports — for example, to view open orders by country for a given period of time. The dashboard retrieves the data from an SAP NetWeaver BW system via SAP BusinessObjects Live Office and via Query as a Web Service (QaaWS).

I’ll show you how you can set up this dashboard using Xcelsius, Crystal Reports, SAP BusinessObjects Live Office, and SAP NetWeaver BW. I’ll explain the three SAP NetWeaver BW queries you need to set up and demonstrate what you need to do to set up the Crystal Reports report. I’ll then show you what you need to do to set up connections between SAP NetWeaver BW and SAP BusinessObjects Live Office and Xcelsius and SAP Business Objects Live Office. (For information about the data connections involved, see the sidebar “Data Connectivity in SAP BusinessObjects XI 3.x.)

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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