by Anita Gibbings, Business Intelligence Product Marketing, SAP

42-50142979-Design StudioHow does a large, global financial services organization harness Big Data in order to allow its 130 autonomous, local Rabobank organizations the ability to personalize and even create new key performance indicators (KPIs) to drive better business results?

Not only do they have a business intelligence application with a lot of KPIs including alerts, trend, drivers, and drill down plus benchmarking data allowing individual branches to learn from each other’s success. Rabobank has found a way to ensure each branch has the insights they need to improve their specific business in an easy to find and interactive manner.

To deal with these challenges Rabobank reached out to Interdobs in cooperation with SAP Netherlands (NL) to complete a proof of concept using SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio on top of SAP HANA and SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse 7.3 on SAP HANA. The proof of concept was successful and the first implementations are in progress.

The Objective: Autonomy and Benchmarking

Rabobank is a global financial services organization with 13.4 billion in revenue, 2.1 billion net income and 826 branches and activities in the field of banking, asset management, leasing, insurance and real estate. What is quite unique is that Rabobank is structured as a cooperative which means that the local member branches own and co-decide the bank’s course. With this unique structure and level of autonomy, it was important that each local member branch could personalize their KPIs. But at the same time the central group wanted the branches to be able to benefit from being part of the group by learning from other branches through benchmarking to continuously improve their financial results.

The Challenge and Solution

Originally Rabobank built a dashboard using SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards, but in late 2013 they reached out to Interdobs in cooperation with SAP NL to complete a proof of concept using SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio on top of SAP HANA and SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse 7.3 on SAP HANA.  The challenge in the original design was around performance and the difficulty of maintaining KPIs where data was run through Excel instead of a direct connection to master data.

The Benefits of the Move to SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio

During the Proof of Concept the following benefits of moving to SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio were identified:

  • Increased Personalization:  Moving to Design Studio allows Rabobank even more options to give the local manager control to tailor his dashboard to his business’ and market needs. For example, local managers can login and select the KPIs they want to see or add their own data from Excel to create a specialized KPI for their branch. Everything is tied to their user name in a separate table in SAP HANA to protect the data integrity of the overall KPIs.
  • Performance improvement:  In SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards, Rabobank had to load all the KPIs into Excel, which made for a very large and slow dashboard.  The new design in SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio allows the dashboard to be small (under 100 KB) and fast because through the KPI selected and the filers, only the data needed to display that specific KPI is held in memory.
  • Trustworthy Data: SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio connects natively to SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (SAP NetWeaver BW) master data and through this direction connection the user is able to select the KPI in the BI application and the query connections to the right data and chart type, which is stored in SAP NetWeaver BW for fast response times. This creates an application that is highly interactive, fast, and with a lower risk of errors because you connect directly to SAP NetWeaver BW data rather than going through Excel.  Additional functionality could be added to the dashboard as well, because rather than having Excel handle the calculations for the benchmarking ranking, these are done directly in SAP NetWeaver BW. Now the benchmarking data can be more detailed, illustrating not just a pure ranking but showing in a bar chart the relative scores of each branch.
  • Fast Build and Implementation: Interdobs was able to build a proof of concept in SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio for Rabobank modelling all KPIs with the trends, alerts, drivers, and benchmarking in 50% of the time it took to build it in SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards.
  • Easier Maintenance: The maintenance of the dashboard is simplified with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio through the centralized Cascading Style Sheets, which eliminates the need to ensure that each change is made at multiple levels.

Rabobank will be able to utilize insights from Big Data through a business intelligence application built with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio that allows them to tailor to the needs of each individual branch.

Based on trusted data from SAP HANA, each branch will be able to see the personalized KPIs that they need to run their business better with real-time data. The end result will lead to continuous improvement of financial results within an organizational structure of autonomy for each of Rabobank’s member branches.


Interdobs is a professional and pragmatic SAP services firm with deep domain expertise on the business intelligence solutions of SAP. It provides customers with implementations, support, and strategic consulting around the SAP products for reporting, dash boards, data analysis, data modeling, SAP HANA, and the SAP NetWeaver infrastructure. Its consultants are recognized for their deep knowledge of the SAP BusinessObjects BI portfolio combined with strong communication skills and business knowledge. Interdobs’ mission is to deliver valuable SAP Business Intelligence solutions. Their consultants do this with great drive, a personal approach, and in close harmony with clients.