Geographic Maps are an exciting opportunity to shed new light on existing business data. From basic geomap charts that ship with BusinessObjects, to ESRI GIS integrations, open source tools, and premium extensions provided by third parties, there is no shortage of options.
Before you chose a tool, here are 3 steps to drive your first successful maps integration into BusinessObjects.
STEP 1: Start Speaking the Lingo
Educate your self with Location Intelligence terms. If you are a Business Intelligence professional you know the difference between a report and a dashboard. How about GIS and base maps? Here is a great resource to brush up on your terms quickly:
STEP 2: Engage your existing GIS experts
Many organizations already have investments in GIS technology like ESRI ArcGIS, Pittney Bowes MapInfo, or Open-Source solutions. Nestled somewhere in your organization is a team or individual who is already creating maps with GIS technology. In essence your GIS team members are analysts who can help you navigate through the process to create Location Intelligence. If you don’t have such experts, go outside of the BusinessObjects echo chamber and learn from amazing experts readily available..
DON’T HAVE A GIS PRO IN HOUSE?
Engage community members who understand Location Intelligence, and you can look outside of BusinessObjects for inspiration. Matt Sheehan, is one of the best ambassadors of GIS for commercial apps that I know, and his blog provides the best collection of resources I have seen. If you connect with Matt, let him know I sent you.
STEP 3: Approach you Maps with a Plan
Location Intelligence should compliment your dashboard, report, or data exploration initiative in a way that adds incremental value. If you need help planning your Location Intelligence initiative, I have pulled together industry experts, customer stories, and a process to organize your KPIs for creating maps.
STEP 4: Explore SAP BusinessObjects GeoMaps
You have made an investment in BusinessObjects which as of BI4.2 ships “geomaps” chart types in Webi, Lumira, and Design Studio. Additional interactive maps from ESRI are also available in Lumira and Design Studio. With a proper plan in place, you can assess the fitness of BusinessObjects geomaps to meet your needs.
STEP 5: Create Advanced Location Intelligence with Partner Extensions
There are a variety of mapping extensions and integrations ranging from GIS integrations, to OpenSource powered solution, and Google Maps. With the right understanding of your existing skills, investments, data, and KPIs, you can find the right solution to fit your needs using SAP’s partner extension library.