Highway2In this five-part series, I’m walking you through some of the details around trusted data discovery, or governed data discovery. The goal is to get you past the mom-and-apple-pie idea of trusted data discovery, and into some specific areas you can address at your company.

This Part 3 blog discusses the requirement of business analysts to get business intelligence (BI) wherever they are. “Wherever” means whether they’re in a meeting, working in a portal, wrestling with Excel, or viewing analytics within an enterprise application.

Staying in flow – the concept of working in a state of increased focus – is key to keeping people productive and happy. You can hear acclaimed research Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi talk about flow in this TED talk. Applied to BI, our goal must be to provide the right BI within the user’s preferred environment. No logging out and going to another program. No repeated entering of the same user names and passwords. No re-doing visualizations from one environment to the next. Lofty goals. Let’s look a bit at how we accomplish this.

Environment 1: In a Meetingmobile

On those occasions when you’re not at your desk, you’ll still need to present information. Maybe even share that information with a stakeholder at the meeting. Most of the time, this sharing is done via mobile devices like tablets or smart phones. We do this by sharing the same visualizations you create on your desktop through the SAP BusinessObjects Mobile app.

Let’s take it a step beyond sharing, though. Many times, new questions are posed in these meetings like “I wonder how much the inventory levels in Minnesota fluctuate depending on weather, or if they’re more dependent on store managers?” Instead of scheduling another meeting, answer this question on the fly with SAP Lumira Cloud.

Environment 2: Working in a Portal

With so many different applications and entry points, companies are increasingly using portals to present information and as access points to applications. These portals must have a unifying user experience strategy, or you may as well have a list of URLs. SAP does this by integrating directly into SAP Fiori. For example, you can follow these steps:

  • Jump from SAP Fiori to SAP Lumira
  • Create new analysis in SAP Lumira
  • Save analysis as a new tile back to SAP Fiori

lumira_fiori

 

Environment 3: Wrestling with Microsoft Excel

We all know how much time business analysts spend in Microsoft Excel. There are blogs and studies on “Are we spending too much time in Excel?” Instead of trying to change the business’s behavior overnight, why not give them compelling, live visualizations IN Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint? Wouldn’t you love to be able to do these things?

  • Create live PowerPoint presentations
  • Build powerful Excel workbook BI applications
  • Support business warehouse-integrated planning and business planning and consolidation-embedded models

We do this with a solution on the BI platform called SAP BusinessObjects Analysis edition for Microsoft Office.

AOffice

Environment 4: Within an Enterprise Application

So, great. You’re now accessing your enterprise visualizations from mobile devices, from the cloud, within next-generation portals, and within Excel. But sometimes you’ll also be in enterprise applications. In fact, if those enterprise applications are built on SAP HANA, you can use SAP HANA Live and SAP BusinessObjects BI solutions together –seamlessly.

SmartBusinessApps

Conclusion

What do all of these different forms of ubiquitous BI have to do with Trusted Data Discovery? Everything!

  • You need to manage the users and access rights for all of these preferred entry points via one platform. No re-creating groups, replicating user security, and so on. All of that redundant work would be highly error prone, and not very productive.
  • You need to manage performance and scalability rigorously, especially when serving many different use cases. One BI platform should provide these capabilities, which will increase your ability to deliver results quickly to the BI consumers.

All blogs in this series: