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Lumira can get the best out of your workforce

A few years ago the IT department I was managing were asked to show case student progress in a way that would motivate students and stakeholders.  I wish we had known about the SAP HANA Academy.  I think we could have found a solution in SAP Lumira.  We decided that a real-time system that plotted students’ CAT scores against their current attainment was the way forward.  We needed the display to update every time the data was changed. 

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Today we are going to focus on using SAP HANA as a data source in online mode which is described in the SAP Lumira series entitled Using HANA Online as a Data Source.  This means that the data remains inside SAP HANA on the cloud.  Now you expected this blog to be on chart types or visualizations didn’t you? However, I have found that the most important thing when working with data is sharing it and getting others involved right from the start.  This makes for projects that people buy into and that means they get used more and last longer.  This is obviously useful for collaborating but is especially useful for ensuring that you get the most and best out of your staff.  The main advantage that SAP bring is the lightning fast HANA platform which when you are presenting to an audience in a draughty hall is priceless.

The tutorial starts with a reminder that the only views supported at present are analytic ones.  It then demonstrates the analytic views that that are going to be used to build the data set.  Prior learning is reinforced by drawing attention to the data sets made in previous tutorials.  The steps to create a New Dataset are outlined with a succinct explanation of the options available.

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What I really liked about this video was the spoilers. The way it explained what was going to happen next.  For example, at 0:59 when Bob says, “when you build the new data sets it will look at the actual analytic view and will derive the measures and the dimensions or attributes from that analytic view”. 

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The video demonstrates how you can click on the Values Preview to see a sample of the data that’s coming across.  It also shows how once attributes have been imported that the appropriate measures have also been created.  This is useful for obvious reasons especially when staff time is precious.

Another thing I really liked about this video was its timing.  It tells you at the right time what you need to be aware of.  For example,  when explaining that you don’t have the ability to combine i.e. append or and merge data from different datasets to the existing dataset.  The tutorial usefully describes what options will be greyed out and temporarily not available when working in an existing dataset.  This is so important as I can see hours wasted if this is point is not drawn attention to at the right time.  However, the video shows ways around these issues as well.

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The tutorial describes the concept of hierarchies extremely thoroughly.  These are split into two types.  One is a time-based hierarchy and the other is a geographical based hierarchy.  After outlining issues you may encounter while attempting to build hierarchies the video then posits solutions neatly to address them.  This methodology is consistently applied, for example, when the video explains how to resolve ambiguities.  This approach reinforces learning because the point being demonstrated is shown in context. The video illustrates learning using a variety of contrasting examples from this point on to show how SAP Lumira handles geographical data before demonstrating how to save and share the data created. 

How SAP Lumira could helped my staff!

We wanted a way to show student achievement as a cohort in a way that was visually appealing and simple to read to parents.  A real-time system that plotted students’ CAT scores against their current attainment with a line of best fit which would show the students as dots.  Students over the line would be high achievers and those under the line would be low achievers.  When projected onto a whiteboard you could hover over a dot to reveal a student’s name. The system could identify under performance at a glance.  It was used at parent evenings to show student progress against the entire cohort without revealing other students’ names.  The system was live so high ability, low achieving students could be convinced that they needed to improve by comparing them against their peers anonymously.  I am confident that if we had Lumira running on SAP HANA we would not have had to meddle with script to get the display updated every few seconds.  We could have saved a lot of staff time by being able to collaborate when off site.  I am also sure that we would not have our hearts in our mouths when the display looked as if it was going to freeze up in front of parents! 

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