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The concept of Business Intelligence for ALL (part 1 of 3)

The concept behind the BI4ALL community and the BI Experience Day live-event


Do you know your BI community? Let’s guess you are working in a 50,000 employee company and Business Intelligence tools are available for reporting, analytics and decision support. How much knowledge workers, power users, information consumers, report writers, dashboard designers and data owners do you have? Hard to guess?

I am working in the area of Business Warehouse and Business Intelligence at SAP since 10 years and it is not the first time that I did discuss this question with others, but 6 months ago I left all enduser-surveys and stakeholder councils behind me and tried something new. What did change? As an SAP representative for the BI sessions at the BITKOM KnowTech conference during the last two years I had the great chance to see how Enterprise 2.0 and Knowledge Management works for other large and medium size companies. The last reorganization did move me in a less technology and more business-driven position. SAP did great efforts in 2010 to have a wide area of Social Media tools available for all employees in the Intranet.

This was the starting point. Six months later I run a prospering internal community, a more and more popular eLearning solution, organize live-events in different SAP locations worldwide and all this together with the highly-motivated team of four colleagues in the picture below.


First part of the concept was ‘Business Intelligence for ALL’ – the virtual platform, the content and the roll-out. (BTW: I did not invent this name. It was in use at BusinessObjects before, as the entire concept is very much inspired by friends and colleagues from Paris and Vancouver.)


Platform: Jive SBS is in use for some parts of the SAP internal Employee Network Communities within the SAP Portal. Here we have all components for the needed virtual platform, e.g. blogs, documents, discussions, news, polls. We only had to train ourself, which we did within Jive SBS, but in a hidden space just visible for us. We then discussed the near-final version with colleagues and did adapt their feedback right away.

Content: There is one big issue when you start and want to roll-out the new platform to your community: You have no content. Probably your team will write some blogs, or you will replicate some topics from internal or external sources. But what you need is something really cool, which is from beginning on a reason to visit your site a second time. In our case this was the ‘Speak BI’ eLearning solution full of short videos (up to 10 minutes) for most current BI solutions and related topics. I will give more details about Speak BI in the next blog.

Roll-out: What is the typical way to spread information at your company? Avoid this mainstream communication! At SAP the most used communication tool is eMail, so we decided to organize local roll-out parties. Real community administrators to meet real to-be community contributors.  Our working student made some small BI4ALL flags and the members of the team organized on-site sessions with some of the identified first customers. We had also some sweets and drinks with us, presented the solution, made some photos and afterwards published the roll-out event photos within BI4ALL. You know what? The colleagues were surprised about the effort we did, but delighted about the very personal way we brought the message to them.


In a nutshell:

  • Discuss your plans with somebody in your company who did this already. There is somebody – learn from him!
  • You can’t build a professional site in some minutes. Learn it, train it, involve others for review.
  • Have your site ready before launch, don’t start with a construction set.
  • Don’t use the mainstream communication of your company for the roll-out.



In the next blogs I will explain more in detail

  • How we did use Speak BI as eLearning solution and kick-start for the content in BI4ALL
  • How the BI Experience Day as live-event does change publicity and enthusiasm for the BI4ALL community

Best regards,
Matthias Wild

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