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How to Transition SAP BusinessObjects BI Explorer Use Case to SAP Analytics Cloud

This blog post follows a webinar presented by Katryn Cheng and Fabien Aubert – “Search and Data Exploration with SAP Analytics Cloud”.

This blog will provide a brief overview of how Search and Data Exploration differs between SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP BusinessObjects BI Suite. For a comprehensive overview and live demonstration, please visit this webinar.

Within our SAP BI portfolio is SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP BusinessObjects BI Suite. To learn about the differences in capabilities and functionalities, please read this blog post and this webinar presented on September 22, 2020.

SAP BusinessObjects BI Suite Explorer:

SAP BusinessObjects Explorer was released in 2010 and was the first SAP BusinessObjects BI tool designed for a self-service use case. It allows users to search large datasets quickly, provides an intuitive user experience to explore data, and has the option of saving your views as Exploration View, or to download data to a desktop. In terms of architecture, administrators would first have to define an Information Space, which would then have to be indexed via scheduling. Users could then use SAP BusinessObjects Explorer to search and explore data that was contained in these indexed Information Spaces.

 

Why is SAP Analytics Cloud relevant?

Adobe Flash will no longer by supported by the end of 2020. SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is based on Flash, meaning that Explorer will also be ending in December 2020. Therefore, Explorer will not be provided in the latest release of the SAP BI platform – SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.3 and SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2 SP9+.

Our recommendation is to move your Search and Data Exploration use cases to SAP Analytics Cloud. SAP Analytics Cloud offers more insights by search using Artificial Intelligence across your data sources and provides the option to explore your data freely at its source.

To learn more about the SAP Analytics Cloud architecture and capabilities, read this blog post and visit 9:15 of the webinar.

 

Search to Insight in SAP Analytics Cloud:

Our search capability is a part of Conversational Analytics and is called Search to Insight. Search to Insight combines search with Natural Language Processing (NLP), meaning that you can ask questions related to querying, filtering, ranking, and visualizing your data instead of just searching for keywords. For example, you can use this feature by asking “show me revenue for 2019”, SAP Analytics Cloud will search across the different data models that are available to the user and provide an answer. Search to Insight is also available on our iOS Mobile app, which is soon to be enhanced with voice command in the future. Go to 12:00 of the webinar to learn more about Search to Insight.

 

Explorer mode in SAP Analytics Cloud:

Explorer mode provides a streamlined approach. You can explore and analyse your data, visualize it, then add it to your stories. As well, everything in Explorer is enabled automatically – meaning no additional management is needed as in SAP BusinessObjects Explorer. Explorer in SAP Analytics Cloud is also supported with Live and Imported Universe data. Refer to 14:00 of the webinar to learn more.

 

Live Demonstrations:

During the webinar, Product Manager Fabien Aubert provided three demonstrations in SAP Analytics Cloud:

  • For a demo on how to search and ask questions with Search to Insight, please visit 17:40 of the webinar.
  • To learn how you can use Explorer mode and create a story from a business analyst’s perspective, refer to 26:00 of the webinar.
  • To discover how you can use Explorer mode to view a story as an end user, visit 35:45 of the webinar.

Why is SAP Analytics Cloud the perfect tool to replace SAP BusinessObjects BI Explorer?

In terms of workflow, the process to explore data in both platforms is similar. In SAP BusinessObjects BI, you must first create an Information Space, define dimensions and measure facets within the Information Space, index for Information Space, and finally open your Information Space and explore. On the other hand, in SAP Analytics Cloud, you first create a Live model on a Universe, then switch on your toggle to include your model (see live demonstration), and lastly, create a story and use SAP Analytics Cloud Explorer mode.

Overall, SAP BusinessObjects Explorer has limited functionality, is a standalone product, and supports limited data sources while requiring the management of the Information Space. SAP Analytics Cloud proves to be a more powerful and integrated platform with the ability to utilize advanced technologies such as Augmented Analytics, all while supporting many data sources and live connectivity options.

For a detailed presentation of the points discussed above, please visit this webinar.

To learn more about how you can extend your analytics with SAP Analytics Cloud, register for our upcoming webinars.

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