Business Objects Polestar is a tool for the Business User who needs to sift through a lot of data and needs more than a dashboard, but is not an analyst who would deal with a more complicated user interface. It looks like this:
You can pick from the available numeric metrics (here: sales revenue), which are already pre-aggregated along the different “facets” (by year, by quarter, by state). You can sort the facets. You can click on an entry and all data will be filtered by that value (e.g. click on Q3 and values will only be for Q3). Can’t find what you are looking for? You can use a search field to find “jewelry sales in 2005 for California” and it will propose the right facets and most likely values you are looking for.
At the bottom you see the charts (Polestar finds the best for your current research) and a little data table to only show “top n” values.
There are a few more features, but by and large that is the idea… and every click gets a response in a second. Actually, SAP coupled Polestar with the BI Accelerator and you can wade through a billion source data records and still get a one second reply for each action. This tool invites business people to explore left and right and up and down, click click click, because it has a simple UI and is fast.
Naturally, people started to ask for showing the data on maps as well. So in the Office of the CTO we built a little prototype and now you can see your data by geographic area…
… and also use differently sized circles instead of colors …
… and if you want to show a breakdown of the data by another dimension (e.g. revenue by state and by quarter for that state) we can show a little chart:
This can be used for sales analyses, marketing analyses, warranty analyses, market segmentation, territory management … It is not a full-blown Geographic Information System (GIS), but offers value in its simplicity.