BEx Analyzer vs. Analysis for MS Office
- BEx Analyzer widely used as the MS Office integration tool to analyse multidimensional data from SAP BW.
- SAP have clearly positioned Analysis, edition for Office (AfO) as the “premium alternative” and eventual replacement to BEx Analyzer.
- Understand if there are any gaps in functionality.
- Understand what benefits could be gained by adopting now.
Note: At point of comparison, the following versions of the tools were evaluated.
- Analysis, edition for Office 1.4 SP6 (14.6.2960)
- BEx Analyzer 7.30 SP3 Revision 1906
➕ Intuitive UI (larger buttons, contextual information, visual cues).
➕ Current feature set is comprehensive and provides good coverage for typical BEx Analyzer users.
ℹ There are some features from BEx that are still lacking from Analysis. Those identified are planned for future releases (e.g. variable personalisation, variable history).
➕ In addition to the improved UI, there are many features that are only available in Analysis that could enable faster and smarter ways of working.
Comparison: Select a Data Source
➕ Recently used queries are immediately visible.
➕ Ability to leverage OLAP connections defined in SAP BO (e.g. HANA)
➕ Interoperability across BI platform via Analysis Views.
➕ Support for multiple data sources.
➕ Toggle display of all optional prompts at once via [Display] button.
➕ Toggle display of specific optional prompts via pins.
➖ Variable Personalization.
➖ Variable History.
Comparison: BEx Text Elements (Information)
➕ Not constrained where/how information displayed.
➕ Drag and drop dynamic text elements directly into worksheet.
➕ Info Field can be used for quick access to common elements.
➕ Improved UI enables users to identify filters at a glance.
Comparison: Navigational State
➕ Improved UI facilitates faster workflows (no need to right click and access “query properties”).
➕ Quick access to attributes by expanding [+] sign.
➕ Analysis pane visible by default and can be toggled via a single click.
➕ Intuitive Columns, Rows & Background consistent with Analysis, edition for OLAP.
➕ Multi-step undo/redo.
➕ No longer need to undo one navigation step at a time, able to jump to a particular state.
➕ Toggle automatic refresh.
➕ Schedule (broadcast) via BI platform.
➕ PowerPoint publishing.
➕ Conditional Formatting.
➕ Save workbooks to BI platform.
➕ Unified “Design Mode” – no need to switch between consumption and design.
➕ Support for multiple data source (e.g. multiple BEx queries in a single worksheet, combination of BW & HANA, etc)
➕ Interoperability with Design Studio (e.g. prototype a web application).
- Existing users who are familiar with BEx Analyzer will find the transition to Analysis relatively smooth. With a familiar MS Office UI, comprehensive feature set and overall improved design, unlocking value out of your enterprise DWH should be made even easier.
- Analysis specific features such as interoperability with Analysis Views, interactions with the BI platform and access to more data sources will further support our ability to leverage existing investments (BW, HANA, BO) and promote cross collaboration across the wider BI community.
- The intuitive design will attract new users who may have required BEx in the past but were intimidated by the non friendly UI, ultimately driving broader adoption.
- Analysis is inline with SAP’s strategic focus and will be the target for future innovations. The tool appears to be sufficiently mature (1.4 SP6) to start being used today as the replacement for BEx Analyzer.