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Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas

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:

  1. 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
  2. Analysis Edition for OLAP – web-based – business analysts can run their own analysis private or share via BI platform – successor to Voyager
  3. 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:

World Premiere of SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio

Latest Innovations in SAP BusinessObjects Analysis for Microsoft Office and OLAP

Implementation of SAP BusinessObjects Analysis at Colgate-Palmolive

Road Map for SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards and SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio

ASUG Influence Council – SAP BusinessObjects Analysis Update

Road Maps for SAP BusinessObjects Analysis

Better Reporting with SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, Edition for Microsoft Office

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Great work.

      Hope in the future A-Office will support UNX universes.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thank you Tammy!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      I agree with you. Thanks.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Tammy:

      It is very informative! Thanks a lot.

      Can you talk a little bit more about Analysis MS office vs EPM 10 Excel Add in?

      The EPM10 Excel Add in offers lots of functionalities and do you think it could be an option for overall BI reporting(not only EPM) other than Analysis MS office?



      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Eric - I don't use EPM where I work; I recommend posting this question in the discussion forum.  Tammy

      Author's profile photo Ali Toor Muhammad
      Ali Toor Muhammad

      Does it support the universe connections at all ! for 3.1 or 4.0