If you’ve been reading the posts in this series, you will probably suspect that the title is a trick question. Whenever we have tried to specify a distinct boundary between two SAP BI solutions (Web Intelligence or Lumira? Design Studio or Lumira?), we have failed, because there is always overlap between solutions, both in purpose and capabilities. Given this fact, it is not surprising that some confusion exists among the SAP customer base.
During the Q & A session that inspired this series of posts, one participant asked how one should decide between Lumira and Design Studio:
Client is asking, Should I go with SAP Design Studio or SAP Lumira? What are the decision points regarding SAP Design Studio vs. Lumira?
Ty Miller: SAP Design Studio is for professionally authored (as in someone from IT usually) dashboards and applications that provide a very guided and structured data analysis experience.
SAP Lumira is for a self-service oriented trusted data discovery experience where a business user can connect to data themselves, create their own visualizations, and then create their own “dashboards,” which in Lumira we call Stories.
These Stories are not as sophisticated as Design Studio dashboards, however, which is why we almost always see the use case for both.
SAP is attempting to serve both types of users, and also to build an environment in which the two types of users can collaborate, and the kinds of output are interoperable. Lumira can be connected not just with Design Studio, but also with Web Intelligence, or anything else on the BI platform. You can drill down via Lumira to a detailed report or anything else on the platform, using this interconnectivity to produce workflows.
When we asked SAP’s Adrian Westmoreland about the gray areas where solution functionality overlaps, he told us:
We do ourselves somewhat of a disservice by formulating a neat functionality grid by which to make tool decisions. There will always be points of overlap. Customers need to take a broader view to determine which tools are both most effective and most efficient at meeting their needs… There are also use cases that are black and white, in which one tool is clearly the right answer. If you want to use BW and allow users to drill up and down the hierarchy dynamically and have no control over the final document design or layout, then Design Studio is absolutely the right choice. The great majority of use cases fall into the sweet spots of single solutions… The BI platform provides a great variety of tools capable of many things, but that variety comes at the cost of complexity. My advice is always to limit the number of tools you use, though it comes at the cost of some compromise. We can articulate the features and values of each solution very well and describe use case scenarios for each, but customers need to focus on the solution that covers the largest part of their needs.
To paraphrase Peter Drucker, to be efficient is to do things right, while to be effective is to do the right things. Because of the overlap between solutions, users can be effective simply by using the solutions with which they are most familiar, and they can develop greater efficiencies by learning to use the solutions that are best suited to the task at hand.
Ty Miller was clear in his differentiation of the two solutions:
Design Studio is the ultimate trusted data visualization and dashboard creation tool, in that with Design Studio you are restricted to trusted data sources such as universes, BEx queries and HANA views, data sources which are inherently trusted because they are managed and governed by IT. Lumira on the other hand allows you to go as “Wild West” as you need to for purposes of data discovery. While Design Studio is focused on professionally authored dashboards and applications, it is focused specifically on the trusted data sources. The second regards a specific use case in which the specific data source is BW. In the case where a customer wants to visualize data specifically from this trusted data source, Design Studio provides “template” applications which will make this work. In the case where the customer wants to combine data from BW with data from other sources, Lumira is the way to go, because it provides this flexibility and is more self-service oriented.
Ty also recommended a YouTube video on this question:
SAP Lumira and SAP Design Studio: When to Use Which One
Posts in This Series