42-50142979-Design StudioStudies show that roughly 10-15% of people in an organization have access to business intelligence (BI) and analytics today. Gartner predicts that figure to rise to 75% by 2020. But what will they be doing? And what are we doing to make BI and analytics useful to all of them?

Of course, modern technologies applied to BI and analytics projects are part of the answers.That’s a given. There’s more to it, though. To be successful we also need organizations to have a culture that puts the right value on analytical information and drive change in people’s behavior.

Notation Standards in Business Communication

Notation standards in business communication can enable an information-driven culture. In the same way that musicians, geographers, and engineers use notation standards for their tools (like sheet music, geographical maps, and technical drawings) to make their communication pervasive, we can adopt a clear, commonly understood, and focused visual language in BI and analytics. This would deliver value:

  • Faster and more actionable decision making
  • Optimization and acceleration of the delivery of impactful BI and analytics
  • More engagement and alignment across the entire organization

Great content about the value of notation standards and visualization (and what SAP is doing in this area) has already been posted to this blog and in the SAP Community Network recently. They have proven to be very popular posts.

International Business Communication Standards Certification

Today, I’d like to highlight another great piece of news about notation standards and visualizations: SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio with graphomate charts was very recently awarded the HICHERT®IBCS CERTIFIED CHARTS seal of approval with the International Business Communication Standards (IBCS) association, which is led by industry thought leader Dr. Rolf Hichert. This certification recognizes that BI solutions from SAP and its partners adhere to the strict standards set by the IBCS association for information design and visualization.

Let me shed more light on the IBCS association. It aims to define practical standards for the design of visualization for business communication, and its purpose is to foster successful communication with clear messages, systematic standardization, and focus on the essential. So IBCS is based on the seven HICHERT®SUCCESS rules from Dr. Rolf Hichert centered on the following elements:

  • Notation of meaning: visual representation of scenarios, time periods, business measures, analyses, etc.
  • Design of components: standardization of objects such as charts, tables, and texts as well as pages such as dashboards and slides
  • Communication of messages: classification of messages and means of communication of these messages in charts, tables, and texts


Consuming graphomate charts in a SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio application for iPad users


Note that HICHERT®IBCS-certified consultants with the leading industry analyst firm BARC carried out the certification process with a focus on both compliance and ease-of-use. So a predefined set of HICHERT®IBCS-compliant charts had to be completed and a key criteria for success was to rely on standard functions without programming. It‘s fair to say that the team in charge was amazed by the speed and flexibility with which the solution produced the required visualizations. This was not a question of minutes but of seconds.

SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and Graphomate Charts

SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio version 1.2 with graphomate charts 2.1 was used to pass the certification. Subsequent minor releases will of course inherit the certification, such as SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio version 1.3 that’s planned for general availability later in Q3.


Designing a SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio application with embedded graphomate charts


graphomate charts are a software add-on to SAP BusinessObjects BI solutions from SAP application development partner graphomate GmbH. This add-on leverages the powerful SDK in SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio. It enables customers to design dashboards and BI applications with embedded HICHERT®IBCS-compliant charts so that they equip business users with immediate access to clear, commonly understood, and focused visualizations on their preferred devices.

Design and viewing license for the add-on are available from graphomate. Customers can access more details and even purchase directly online from the SAP Store.

Are you prepared to embark on such a project? I’d be very interested in your perspective. We can continue the discussion here, by email, or on Twitter @taudas.