by Adam Binnie, Global VP & GM, Business Intelligence, SAP and
Donald McCormick, Antivia
When they first became popular, dashboards were generally thought to be best for an “at-a-glance” overview of the current situation. In some situations (e.g. real-time dashboards monitoring operational facilities) this overview is sufficient, however, in the vast majority of cases more is required because dashboards are designed to drive action and in most cases this means business users need to interact with their dashboards.
Over the past few years, this has led to a significant evolution in the nature of dashboards and it is now the norm for dashboards to have some level of built-in interactivity allowing users to drill into the data, to view it from different angle and to see new analyses all at the click of a mouse or a tap on the screen. These new, interactive dashboards have quickly become central to the BI strategy of most organizations as they typically offer the simplest and most effective way of delivering information to business users. The combination of data interactivity and a no-training-required, mobile app like interface mean that users can access the information they need more easily than ever before.
SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards has been at the forefront of this evolution because, uniquely, its great innovation was to provide the flexibility required to create these new interactive dashboards to people who simply know Excel, without them needing to learn a technical programming language. However, as the data volumes underpinning dashboards have grown and as user requirements are more and more sophisticated, so too have both the dashboards and the projects required to deliver them become significantly more complex.
Fortunately, for users of SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (previously Xcelsius), the ecosystem which has grown up around the products, driven by the partner SDK, means there are a number of extension products which can help curb this complexity.
One such product is XWIS Advantage from Antivia which embeds an in-memory cube engine to provide fully interactive, multi-dimensional (or OLAP) capabilities in dashboards whilst retaining “point and click” design simplicity. Not only does this mean that SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards can be extended to a wider set of BI problems (further enhancing ROI) but it also cuts dashboard development time and makes the process easy enough to open up the possibilities of end-user, self-service dashboard design.
To learn more about the evolution of interactive dashboards register for the upcoming webinar “From At-a-Glance to Interactive – The Evolution of Dashboards”.
To learn more about the how XWIS enhances and extends both SAP Dashboards watch this short video or register for the “Breathe new life into SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards and Xcelsius” Webinar being hosted by Antivia.