Role of BusinessObjects Analysis in Self-Service BI Strategy: Suggestions for Classic BW Customers
When should I move from BEx Analyzer to Analysis? These are questions frequently asked at conferences.
I attended this Analysis webcast last Thursday provided by Nick Wall, SAP. He shared some suggestions about why/how you should adopt BusinessObjects Analysis.
On the agenda:
- What is BusinessObjects Analysis?
- Why you should adopt SAP BusinessObjects Analysis
- How you can adopt SAP BusinessObjects Analysis
What is it? Why should you consider adopting? How adopt?
Figure 1: Source SAP
What is Analysis? Analysis OLAP allows you to query OLAP data, develop analytical applications, develop additional capabilities and it has 3 clients:
- Analysis Edition for MS Office – add in to Office that allows you to do analytical multi-dimensional analysis – can be used standalone…premium alternative to BEX Analyzer
- Analysis Edition for OLAP – web-based – business analysts can run their own analysis private or share via BI platform – successor to Voyager
- Design Studio – coming Q4 – premium alternative to BEx Web Application Designer – power users to create OLAP dashboards – enabled for mobile support –deploy on desktop or mobile devices
Analysis MS Office offers a familiar environment, add-in to Excel, and extends your Analysis with Excel. It has API calls. You can create Excel formulas in Excel and extend via API calls.
You can combine datasources via BW or HANA to build analysis and it offers user interface customization via ribbons and menus. You can also take Analysis in Excel and export into PowerPoint, and it is a live image, or go via BEx query into PowerPoint. It is a live object; you are not cutting and pasting.
Nick suggested using Microsoft Analysis for PowerPoint to build a board report
Why should you consider adopting? How adopt? That is what Nick covered in this webcast.
Figure 2: Source: SAP
Figure 2 shows that Analysis OLAP is the successor to Voyager
Analysis OLAP has the common look and feel of products across BI Suite
It connects to BW, HANA, EPM solutions, MSAS
It calls those information sources into a single view so you can share with others
It offers interoperability with other tools using Analysis Views with multidimensional analysis, save that result view as Analysis view, connect to BI platform and share that with other tools – share with wide user community such as Crystal Reports for Enterprise or Web Intelligence users.
Figure 3: Source: SAP
Figure 3 shows how you can use Analysis to use new BI tools without disrupting current environment
It has a direct connection to BEx queries; there is no need to edit or migrate them
It supports 3.5 BEx queries and 7.x
BEx Query Designer will remain in place for the future; will continue to use
It offers automated migration of simple workbooks (1.3 version)
You can also run Analysis MS Edition for Office and BEx Analyzer Side by side. You can deploy it without changing the infrastructure. You can install Analysis for Office without uninstalling the BEx Analyzer but only one add-in can be active at a time.
Simpler, more intuitive to use, common interfaces across suite of products, which may allow increasing user autonomy, says Nick. You can combine multiple data sources.
Nick said you can “extend the reach of your BW deployment”, reduce dependency on IT, minimize user training & support costs with Analysis.
How can you can Adopt Analysis
Figure 4: Source: SAP
Nick discussed best of breed tools, the right tool for the right job. Register for the October 2nd How to Select the Right BI Tool for Your Environment to learn more. This webcast is open to all.
Figure 5: Source: SAP
Figure 5 shows a high level mapping, a recommendation from SAP. Today SAP recommends using Xcelsius for those using BEx Web Application Designer but in Q4 they recommend Design Studio (see Figure 5).
I asked Nick “where is Visual Intelligence” and he said it is part of the “Explorer” family. Nick said the BEx suite has a “blank” for Ad hoc Reporting
Figure 6: Source: SAP
Figure 6 shows suggestions from SAP on how to transition from BEx to Analysis
Figure 7: Source: SAP
Figure 7 shows a recommended phased adoption of BI solutions for Classic BW Customers. The slide suggests starting with Analysis for Office, then adding Analysis OLAP, Crystal Reports, and Explorer. Lastly add Web Intelligence, the “best of breed”.
Hopefully many of you have seen this information before, but Figure 7 is the first time I’ve seen a recommended order of adopting BusinessObjects tools for SAP customers.
If you are attending SAP TechEd, the following lists Analysis sessions for you to consider: