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In the last post I thought a little about how to better segment different business users by their different roles and today we will discover how address search and exploration demands using the new analytic tool, Polestar.

Polestar is a solution that introduces features that remember some behaviors found in the web 2.0 applications but driven to the enterprise business users.
From some time people have used features like self-service, easy-to-use interface, taxonomy, English-like search engine, collaborative environment, publishing engine and others intelligently enabled on these web 2.0 applications, as expected inside a global trend, pervasive computing.

This intuitive, user-friendly and self-service environment common for these people can be found on Polestar with some few clicks. Polestar makes Business Intelligence easier like we saw in the past when market analysts coined the term pervasive BI.
Since that Google and Yahoo turned on the web searching tool for the world, we can say today that everyone uses this kind of search on the web or one day will do, so why not use search for enterprise data? Polestar mimics the same well knowledge search capability to enable useful content for enterprise users to enable put in practice the pervasive business intelligence strategy for business users.

The big trade-offs when using traditional BI solutions is that users still lack intuitive, easy-to-use interfaces and workflows and these limitations frustrates casual users leading to a poor BI adoption. Most users are penalty with lack of speed navigating on a small amount of data or can work with more data at the expense of less data. Most vendors have worked to boost performance of BI servers and addressed the issue of huge amount of data, but we still need a more intuitive interface.

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Polestar brings a very, very intuitive navigation interface allowing business users explore any data from any source.

Polestar combines intuitive information search and exploration functionality with high performance and scalability and this way can be used against enterprise data.

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Personally I like this definition: “Polestar is a self-service, search-driven, and discovery solution for exploring and analyzing your enterprise data.”

The following key features make this solution strong in the segment of pervasive BI:

Search across all data sources – Simply enter a few search keywords to find the most relevant information instantly from across all data sources

Contextual exploration – Gain additional contextually relevant details when searching – no data model or data knowledge required

Automated relevancy and chart generation – Work with a solution that presents the most relevant keyword search results first and automatically generates the chart that best represents the information

High performance and scalability – Take advantage of the high performance and scalability you need for immediate answers across very large data sets and may initial step is need to where you start a exploration by typing a word phrase to search what information spaces have what you want.

Polestar can answer questions from casual users for different demands. For example, a HR manager may need to know the average performance of new employees compared to the previous year, as well a Marketing Manager to plan next year’s budget, need to know results for top 5 successful campaigns in 2008; nevertheless a Customer Support person may need a summary about customer satisfaction for a last minute meeting.

The main business challenges that Polestar focus are:

• Improve end-user adoption of BI tools to enable fact-based decisions
• Improve query performance and response times to increase productivity and enhance decision making
• Contend with spiraling IT costs and changing business priorities

There are clear benefits that Polestar will bring for business users that adopt it like:

• Enables higher performing organizations, thanks to pervasive BI and fact-based timely decisions
• Allows IT to become a proactive business partner supporting and even driving business changes, thanks to shorter time to delivery and heightened agility
In the next post I will show you how to use Polestar to discover and get useful information allowing you explore the best capabilities of it.

I would really appreciate suggestions for further blogs and would like to hear what is of most interest to people. I will then try to provide the information in the form of a short blog entry.

Stay tuned for more on SAP BusinessObjects BI suite.

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2 Comments

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  1. vijay kumar
    Can polestar be integrated with data from SAP R/3 or SAP-BI ? if yes then can I have some documentation on how it can be done ?
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    1. MIGUEL FIGUEIREDO Post author
      Hi Vijay,

      SAP has packaged Polestar as SAP BusinessObjects Explorer that allow you connect on top of BWA and can run faster analysis. Another way (without BWA) is allowed just creating an Universe (semantic layer) that can map different sources. Please search for SBO Explorer documentation on SAP Service Marketplace (www.service.sap.com) that will you these features.

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