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Sometimes is it is hard for students to understand BI without a “hands on” experience.  One of the secrets at SAP is the Experience SAP site.  http://experience.sap.com/experience/html/Pages/index.htm .

This site includes a number of interactive scenarios utilising different BI tools.  Through a gamification approach students can use the different BI tools to answer set questions.  I like the Clean Energy scenario http://experience.sap.com/experience/html/Pages/egrid/index.htm . This scenario includes facts and data about clean energy.  It allows the students to analyse the data using SAP BOBJ DashBoard Design (Xcelsius) and SAP BOBJ Explorer to answer questions such as:

“Combined heat and power plants are highly efficient. What percent of Total Net Generation in the US comes from these type plants?”

Staff could create additional questions to test the students’ skills.

However a WORD OF WARNING there is no guarantee that SAP will retain this scenario.  There used to be another good scenario based on Micro Finance but this has since been removed.  Additionally SAP are now creating scenarios around the latest sporting events and moving older scenarios to slower environments.  This will make them unusable in a classroom environment.  They could be used as homework activity.

I have raised this issue with the people responsible for the site and they reinforced the value the site has for students but also indicated that they do not have the resources to maintain all the scenarios.  This is unfortunate as it would have been a quick way to introduce future IT professionals to SAP BI.

Even with these limitations it is still a useful resource to introduce students to BI while at the same time educating them about social issues.

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