SAP Lumira as a “BI beginner” is a journey we are taking through this weblog to show that even a bunch of newbies can show off with great visualizations.
Our journey to this blog started as an assignment of BCO6181 which is a part of an SAP Post Graduate degree at the Victoria University of Technology (VUT) in Australia.
Step 1: Assemble a team
The first hurdle we faced was to find people in our class who have similar goals and expectations. Now here we are – four guys who don’t know much about BI or analytics but want to work in the BI field after finishing our course (we wish!!!!)
Step 2: Learn the art of weblog authoring
The second hurdle is learning how to write a decent weblog – since none of us have posted any weblog to date. By researching several other beginner weblogs on the SAP Community Network, we have come to understand what it required. Although we now know a little about the mechanics of a weblog, understanding SAP BI and the world of analytic’s is a huge undertaking, especially as SAP have many product offerings which sometimes have a name change. During our research, we found a common theme – “Lumira” was constantly hit during our research which intrigued us to dig and explore further.
Spoiler alert – This weblog is not a Lumira how-to guide but a means to an end.
Step 3: Lumira
SAP Lumira is a self-service solution that allows analysts, decision makers (and students) to access, transform, and visualize data. Lumira is the SAP bold new vision for data discovery that helps the analyst bring together and transform data sources to help discover hidden insights, patterns and answers. It connects access and visualizes data without a single line of code. As the saying goes – if a picture is worth a thousand words, and then surely data visualization is worth more than any wordy business report. The visualizations include all one can expect such as bar, line, pie and combination charts that include visualizations such heat maps, scatter matrix, waterfall and geographic mapping.
SAP have also introduced the Lumira Cloud, which cuts down on hardware and software requirements allowing access from anywhere, and from almost any machine. This cloud-based solution is coded in HTML5 and scales nicely across variety of devices running modern browsers. As explained on the SAP product page – Lumira gives “business users the solution they need to access, transform and visualize their data in a repeatable, self-service way”
Step 4: Our experience of Lumira
Working with Lumira consists of simply uploading dataset and building some visualization to explore interesting facts which can be easily shared and presented in various formats. Our experience starts with researching some interesting datasets covering New South Wales crime data.
The visualization below shown crime data in various suburbs of Sydney over the last 4 months of 2012. For simplicity we picked 2 types of crime categories to understand trends in data set. The first visualization we had created to understand the trend in data is clearly visible in the chart below. There is an obvious trend in the crime rate in various suburbs and particularly there is one suburb where the crime rate is high across several categories. This trend is the same across the 4 months data uploaded. This is just one simple example how Lumira can help to analyse a data set very quickly
We have used SAP Lumira only couple of times and found it to be very easy and interesting to use. We have made a complex graph with few clicks and data set of few entries, this shows the power and simplicity of SAP Lumira. We are now in a zone where we want to learn more “can we do this, can we do that” was a common theme and we end up spending three hours in SAP Lumira with this dataset.
Now let’s take a look at another dataset we used to demonstrate how many people were able to board life-boats during the sinking of the Titanic.
The following visualization demonstrates the number of life-boats launched at the time of Titanic tragedy. The chart below provides further details into the capacity of the life-boats across the men, women and crew on-board. Here we can see the lifeboats on the Titanic with date and time of launch.
Step 5 Conclusion
After our first try with SAP Lumira, we felt that business data was not actually like a jigsaw puzzle any more. SAP Lumira gives non-professionals an opportunity to access data in “expert mode”.
At the end of our weblog we all can say confidently that Lumira has increased our confidence to work in BI and analytics and we also believe this is our first step in the right direction. Maybe we will be inspired to enter the next Dashboard Competition.
Special gratitude to the following influences:
Hafiz M Fareed Bakhsh (Twitter: @hmfbakhsh)
Vijaykumar Dodia (Twitter: @vijaydodia)
Eapen Joseph Valakuzhy