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Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas

SAP Self-Service BI Webcast Notes

This past week I attended SAP’s Self-service BI webcast, which towards the end, was really geared towards partners (I didn’t realize that until the end).  What I found interesting is they outlined how SAP uses self-service BI and the people who use it.  I thought it provided different use cases between BusinessObjects Explorer and Lumira


Figure 1: Source: SAP

SAP said it is the ability to work with each other and work with IT


Figure 2: Source: SAP

In the past, fulfill with reporting and dashboards, which requires the author to know the questions to be asked.

Decision makers require agility, said SAP and want to move BI to the business to enable decision maker to have access

As a practical example, SAP’s Rob Enslin – has Explorer on iPad.  In the past when meeting with different individuals – dashboard or report of escalations and would have relied on people to ask him and wait on people.  Now he has Explorer on iPad, with the search interface of Explorer access information easily.  Those who report to him have access as well


Figure 3: Source: SAP

Figure 3 shows the Analyst personal who works with information 80% day job

They pull data from various sources, merging, and deliver to decision maker

They want to spend more time on discovering insight and analysis

This was the inspiration for Lumira

They want to ensure governance and deliver to IT, who has pressure to deliver more solutions with less resources


Figure 4: Source: SAP

3M given as an example; a long-time Web Intelligence customer with overhead in creating reports

They needed 2500 reports; business wanted yesterday and timeline take too long

They created 5 Information Spaces in Explorer to deliver to the business and then only needed a handful of reports.  This delivered business needs and was a great savings for 3M


Figure 5: Source: SAP

On the desktop is Lumira

Cloud is Lumira and mobile is Explorer (Lumira Cloud is also mobile)

Lumira and Explorer have different names

With Explorer, SAP said the intent is search paradigm, suggestion of charts, goal is to simplify access to information – no training but may need to know something about data

Desktop Lumira adds in data manipulation and preparation time and provide interface of blank screen from a chart perspective – for the analyst

Using Lumira you can publish information spaces to Explorer

In the future they publish story boards and have integration with BI platform

They showed a demonstration of Exploration views which you can also see here at

Explorer 4.0 FP3: Create an exploration view set

Question & Answer

Q: What is the difference between Lumira Cloud and Desktop

A: See an update soon for Lumira Cloud and will be able to share the story boards and publish those to the Cloud – in a team setting/corporate setting; coming soon to the BI platform

Q: Departmental BI – you see departments starting their own data visualization

A: See pendulum swing

Q: Explorer future?

A: Self-service with decision maker

Two experiences as one on the iPad

Work more closely together

Explorer is based on Flash and Lumira is based on HTML5

Q: What about BICS connectivity for Lumira

A: Lumira – connect through BW universes; team is working on BICS but no timelines yet and heard feedback from community on this

Related Links:

Official Product Tutorials – SAP BI Suite

SAP Lumira

The War on “Self-service”

#SAPTechEd: Can You Trust End-Users With Self-Service BI?

Book Report: Integrating SAP BusinessObjects BI with SAP NetWeaver (3rd Edition)

BI 2014 in March in Orlando has a self-service BI track as well.  See this link for a discount.

If you have a story to share about self-service, we are interested in hearing from you at ASUG Annual Conference.  Please see You’re Invited to Submit A Proposal for ASUG Annual Conference 2014 – Share Your Knowledge

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member


      I'll admit, at sometimes I had to extrapolate some information from the point-style blog post, but I LOVED IT!

      It's a great place to start for people who want to know the difference between choosing Explorer and Lumira.

      We're excited for the advancements for our cloud applications. Personally I'm glad that Lumira is taking advantage of the HTML5 flexibility.

      How did you find out about this webcast?


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

      I think I saw a promotion of it on Twitter and then I signed up.

      Thank you for commenting

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      And just to be clear, I really enjoyed your point-style of this post.

      It's in a readable format, and like many tweets over and over. Just perfect for consumption!!! 🙂

      Hope there are more like this, and I'll try to recreate that in my posts as well~~

      Take care~~