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How Happy are You with SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards?

How happy are you? I don’t mean with life in general, though that is important as well. But what I really want to know is how happy are you with SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards and what is important to you.

As many of you probably know, I am responsible for responsible for the product marketing for this solution. I consider it to be extremely critical to have a good feel for what our customers and users are thinking but it is hard to get a fuller sense of things by a small number of interactions during our conferences or the
occasional phone call with a customer.  I didn’t have budget for a survey but I didn’t want to let that stop me so I’ve crafted a short survey in Google Forms so I could reach out on a broader basis for feedback.

The survey is short – it won’t take you more than a couple of minutes to fill in some multiple choice questions. But it is designed to give us some feedback on what categories are most important overall to your business intelligence strategy (i.e. dashboards versus reports), the relative importance and satisfaction with our mobile solution, the overall experience with SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards and how we are doing against our competition.

The survey results will be shared with the development team, solution management and of course marketing. The more responses we have, the more attention is likely to be paid, so please take the couple minutes to fill it out. The good, the bad, the ugly – we’d like to know the cold hard truth as it only from there that we can make the right decisions. 


And to convince you that it really isn’t a long survey – here are the questions I’m asking

  • How important are each of the following categories to your overall business intelligence strategy (on a scale of 1 to 5)
      • Categories: Reporting, Dashboards, Self Service, Ad hoc Analysis, Predictive
  • Have you used the mobile functionality for SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards? Yes or No
  • How critical is mobile dashboards to your organization and your BI success on a scale of 1 to 5?
  • Please rate your satisfaction with mobile Dashboards functionality and performance on a scale of 1 to 5
  • Please rate your experience with SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards on a scale of 1 to 5 in the following areas? 
    • Performance
    • Quality and quantity of visualizations
    • Ease and time needed for designing
    • Integration with portfolio
    • Flexibility
    • Ease of use for end users
    • Ability to integrate any data sources
  • In your overall evaluation of SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards, please rate SAP against the competition on a scale of 1 to 5.
  • Have you considered using an alternative to an SAP solution?
  • If you use an alternative to SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards which solution do you use?
  • Optional: Elaborate further on your experience with SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards
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  • There are 877 views on this in SCN but only 41 people have bothered to take the 5 mins to fill out the survey. Not good - 41 is not enough responses for convincing conclusions. I think you are more passionate about Dashboards than this - please do respond and give us the feedback!

    • Hi Anita,

      I guess most of the viewers like me are developers. However the questions are most likely to be answered by users. That might be the reason behind your numbers.

      • Hi Erdem,

        I have to say that I found it strange that you would say that. The questions are largely aimed at IT / developers. Yes not all developers may have an idea of the overall BI strategy but most of the users (i.e. sales or other executives do not). I'm asking things that IT knows about - BI Strategy, whether you are doing mobile or not, whether you considered using another solution than Dashboards.  It is only those of you close to the solution that can answer  the functionality and performance question- those of you who see the nuts and bolts and if you are are developing you have a sense of the satisifaction of your internal clients.

        It's true that perhaps not everyone has the bigger picture to know concretely that their company never uses mobile etc but I'm asking individuals not the overall CIO. With enough responses it still gives an interesting picture of what people closest to the tool are doing and thinking as a collective group.

    • Hi Anita

      Although I love dashboards it appears to be a manual tool rather than something that can eb linekd efficiently to data sources. For example I have had numerous questions and posted numerous times but have yet to recieve a definitive reply. Can SAP dashboards handle a prompt from bex queries and display this in a query prompt whilst at the same time displaying query prompts staright from dashboards? If you look at my questions it appears not.

      Dashboards would be far better if I could have some answers from people at SAP to my questions as at present it feels as though I am hitting a brick wall!!!!!

      • Hi Michael,

        Sorry for the delay here, I've been on vacation the last 2 weeks and won't be back in the office until next Wed. In terms of your question: Yes Dashboards can handle the prompts from BEx queries, known as BW BEx variable, and this kind of prompt can be shown on the dashboard wih the component "Prompt Selector" like other prompts it can as well be linked with the excel spreadsheet, binding LOV into excel cells or reading the value from bound excel cells.

        Let me know if this answers your question and if you don't get it working right and I'll try and help further.

        Best Regards,


        • Hi Anita

          Thank you for responding. As per my screenshot in this link

          I am unable to use both a BW BEx variable AND a dashboard variable together it appears to be either or as per my screenshot. Are you aware if this is a bug as I need data to be visible in the prompt and I can only get the query prompt to display the variables from Bex or Dashboards but not both unfortunately.

          • Michael,

            I don't know about the bug but I've asked the development team to look into it. Hopefully we will be able to get you an answer soon.

            Best Regards,


          • Hello Michael,

            Dashboards cannot handle the case when there is dependencies among prompts at runtime, so the "parent" prompts will be disable for end user to change value at runtime. The combination of Bex Variable and Dashboards prompts is one of above case, that's why you cannot use and see the dashboard prompts in your dashboard.

            This is not bug but a known limitation, this is a feature that Dashboards cannot handle well, we have address it as SAP note 1927377.

            Best regards,


  • I recently commented on the twittersphere that depending on what I'm developing with Dashboards, the tool either seems antiquated or ahead of it's time.  Anita asked me to elaborate further on what I meant by that statement.

    As early as I've been using the tool, since 2007 as Xcelsius 4.5, it has had issues with data aggregation and filtering.  While the filtered rows feature was a welcome addition, it still doesn't handle aggregating measures based on what has been selected.  I find dashboards difficult to use without the filtered summary add-on component provided by Centigon Solutions.  Without it, I have to bring in multiple blocks of data based on different levels of aggregation. I find this results in a clunkier dashboard and more difficult to maintain.  I feel that by 2013, Dashboards should have incorporated a similar function out of the box.   While I love the creativity that 3rd party add-ons have brought to the table for dashboards, I feel there should be a minimum level of functionality that should exist within the 'stock' tool.

    Where the tool excels is in the ability to customize existing components and make them look as classic or as modern as possible.  Most of the components are pretty much the same as they were when version 4.5 of Xcelsius was out in the market, but the designer is awarded with multi-purpose component functionality not as easily available in other reporting or viz tools.  You are not limited with how the dashboard can look or where components can be placed.

    I think the progress within the last year to bring Dashboards mobile functionality into the tool has been successful and it seems with every SP release, more component functionality is becoming mobile compatible.  Currently, I still find it easier to create a dashboard for mobile from scratch than to modify an existing dashboard to become mobile compatible in order to handle the non-mobile compatible components. 

    • Ahmed,

      I really appreciate the feedback - this is very useful and I'm passing it on the the development team and those who make some of the strategy decisions. Thanks for taking the time to give feedback!

      Best Regards,


  • Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out the survey. I'e consolidated the results into a report and sent that off to the development team and executives involved in the decisions around Dashboards. We really appreciate that so many of you took time to give great comments as well.