I work as a Business Analyst in the Safety and Workers Compensation department of a global logistics company. One of my duties is to prepare regular reports for different parts of the business to show how they are performing against their safety targets and provide data to help prevent against the re-occurrence of incidents. Every day at work, I would get the same request for information. People from all parts of the business would require graphs showing injury data, comparisons of motor vehicle accident data in the last few years and data specifically for a particular business unit. I would spend my time uploading data and creating queries in Microsoft Access for every request. Most of these queries use the same data that is updated every month. I’d have to create a graph for each query as a report in Microsoft Access or copy and paste the graphs in an Excel or PowerPoint document, then email it to those requesting them. Sometimes, the same people from different business units request the same information and I would do a routine email out to them every month.
There must be a better way.
I had heard of BI OnDemand very briefly in a lecture for the subject BCO6603 – ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING SYSTEMS at Victoria University, but never had a chance to explore it further. The lecturer, Paul Hawking (SAP Mentor), demonstrated just how easy it was to display graphs on his phone. He said all you need to do is upload your data and select the display options and the type of chart you want and it will create it for you. I thought, that would be a great idea to use for work but left it at that.
One of my subjects this semester is BCO6181 – ERP Applications, where the lecturer, Tony De Thomasis (SAP Mentor) told us about Cloud offerings. He asked what we were interested in and I told him that I worked with data and created reports and dashboards for the company I work for. He told me to bring a sample of data and he would show me how to upload them into BI OnDemand and create graphs. The next lesson, I brought a spreadsheet with data and had a look at what BI OnDemand could do with it. I was impressed. When we were asked to prepare a 6-minute hands-on presentation about something we learnt in the subject, I decided it would be a great opportunity to do a demonstration on how to create graphs, add them to the dashboard and update data in BI OnDemand. I found it so easy to use and can see the potential to have it as a tool at work. I can use
it to create graphs for specific business units and the sharing function will allow me to invite authorised members of those business units to either view or edit the dataset, visualisations and dashboard.
Here is a video I created based on the presentation I did in class:
It will be very exciting to develop a system where those who request graphs from me can log in to BI OnDemand and serve themselves to what they need. As seen in the video, it is very quick and easy to use. This is something that I have never seen at work before and I am very excited to be one of the first to test it. I hope those who I will be sharing it with, will embrace it as much as I have and find it as
useful. It was great to take something from the classroom and be able to apply it straight away in the workplace.