SAP is making  a big thing about the interoperability of the new SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0 analytics product (expected to be available July 2017). SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0 is the new data discovery and dash boarding tool that converges the current SAP Lumira and SAP Design Studio. So,  you might ask, Interoperability? ….. interoperability between what? … and why do we need that? ..… let me explain.

Bringing easy-to-use, self-service data exploration and visualization to the end users has been key for SAP since launching SAP BusinessObjects Lumira a few years ago. It has been a success; SAP BusinessObjects Lumira lowered the adoption curve of end users to analytics enormously. The output of SAP BusinessObjects Lumira – so-called storyboards – can be published to the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform to be consumed by others.

However, when these same storyboards needed to be professionalized, they had to rebuilt using SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio. For this professionalization, you might think of bringing multiple storyboards together in one dashboard, or, for example, when cross-chart filtering, or complex filtering (to name a few). Also, in the case of required live connections to SAP Business Warehouse, SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio is needed.

SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0 will dramatically simplify these scenarios. End users who create storyboards and require these to be professionalized towards enterprise-wide dashboards, can now have this done very easily in the same Lumira 2.0 product. We call this interoperability—the seamless cooperation and interactivity of storyboards or mock ups, with enterprise wide authored dashboards. Interoperability thus means bi-directional communication between storyboards and dashboards. Pretty catchy stuff, if you ask me!

Use Cases for Interoperability

Let’s make things a bit more concrete and discuss several use cases for this interoperability. It will help us understand the value.

 1)Tuning a Storyboard

SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0 Discovery allows for data exploration, blending, and visualizations through storyboards. Its features are advanced yet focus on quick and easy creation of insights. Some more advanced features are missing. That is on purpose—it’s aimed at end users and provides an easy way to gather insights.

If however, an end user wants some additional, advanced , features applied to the storyboard, the Designer component of SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0 offers the solution.

  • Take the example in the video below where the creator of a simple storyboard on sales performance per region requires cross-chart filtering. It allows you to click on a section of a parent chart, where the selection drives the filtering of the other graphs.
  • This feature is not part of Discovery, but can be applied in Designer. The solution is to open the storyboard in the Designer module, apply some simple guided scrip.t and save the storyboard.
  • What I like about this approach is that SAP succeeded in keeping any complex stuff away from the real end-user. Discovery remains the easy-to-use data discovery tool it always has been.

 2)Combining Various Storyboards

You know this one—your management requires a dashboard that oversees a full LOB process. Spend, sales, finance, or manufacturing metrics, they all need to be in and provide a 360° overview.

  • The Discovery component might play a big role here, but probably will give you various storyboards that each cover the pieces (spend, sales etc) of the process.
  • Designer now comes in by creatingone (!) dashboard application where you pick up the various storyboards. The video below is an example of this use case.

 3)Professionalize to an Enterprise Dashboard

The most obvious use case for interoperability is definitely the professionalization of your storyboards using SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0 Designer. The Designer module has basically no limitations when it comes to transferring your storyboard(s) to enterprise-wide dashboard applications.

  • You can add radio button groups, sliders, interactive commenting, responsive color-coded progress indicators, input fields, tab-strips, chart-pickers, and so on.
  • You can also add more data-sources, create a scorecard or set-up adaptive layout (when enlarging the browser, graphs are automatically re-arranged.
  • Have a look atthis page to see just a little glimpse of what’s possible. All of the previous SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio 1.6 capabilities – and more – are part of SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0 Designer, and you know that one has always been my definite favorite just because of its tremendous capabilities.

 4)Win Your End User

There might be situations where you would want to avoid the “openness” of Discovery to end users. Discovery’s openness allows people to change graphs, filters, or even add formulas.

  • When you’re looking for a dashboard that can only be consumed (typically with a huge public audience that you don’t want to change anything), you can use Designer to create an application from the initial authored dashboard storyboard.
  • These applications have stunning visualizations and allow for very precise tuning on how your end user can interact with it. For example, they can run on the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform but also directly on SAP HANA.
  • As I explained previously, (see myblog on winning your end users), authored dashboard applications are the ultimate way to offer insights to a really huge amounts of users.
  • Now you can start your process with a storyboard in Discovery and professionalize it in Designer

 5)Take the Governance Hurdle

Ah, governance again. Have you already come across end user requests to have a single – multi page dashboard application, where users (depending on their role and authorizations) only see the sections and data they are entitled too? You must have, since each of my customers ask for it.

It’s about the classical example of a management cockpit dashboard covering sales, HR, finance, spend and marketing data, where depending on the user(groups) some people should not see the HR section or just a piece of the Spend section. Well, setting this up in one application is called the governance hurdle and definitely an “SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0 Designer job.”

 6)The Advanced Dashboard

Close to the use case for professionalization is the use case for an advanced dashboard. Imagine you want the end user to be able to click though a detailed SAP BusinessObjects WebIntelligence report when clicking/filtering a chart in your storyboard.

  • SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0 allows forquery-parsing, which means that a filter that the user applies to a dashboard (using combo-, dropdown-, or checkboxes for example) is communicated/parsed onto the SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence report that can be linked to a dashboard.(Here is an example.)
  • Of course, there are many other examples in this use case—think of embedded video in dashboards, an enterprise dashboard that combines self-service SAP Business Warehouse discovery (template) with an upfront prepared storyboard with reference data. Well, you can let your imagination do the rest.

 7)The Data Connection and Blending Challenge

One of the strong points of SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0 Discovery is its data mashup—enrichment and especially blending capabilities. It’s so easy to join data sets from various source types (CSV, Xlsx, SQL, BW, HANA, Universes, Hadoop, SalesForce, JDBC, Cloudera, Vora, and so on) and quickly discover the data.

There is also blending where the same can be done on data sources with different grain. Well, all this enrichment and blending can be easily set-up in a Discovery storyboard and re-used in SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0 Designer. For those of you familiar with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio, you’ll recognize the huge amount of time to be gained. I touch on an example of this in the video below.

8)Apply Templates

When your user community for SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0 Discovery starts growing, the number of storyboards will quickly expand.

  • To manage some consistency in the lay-out and apply enterprise branding, you can consider using Designer templates.
  • These templates are made and can be applied to any enterprise dashboard based upon storyboards.
  • In addition ,Designer allows you to apply CSS Style sheets where every single lay-out property can be defined upfront.

See How Interoperability Works

In the following video I show you some of the use cases mentioned above. I hope it gives you some more insights on my case for interoperability. Next to the online SAP Business Warehouse connectivity, the interoperability is key and essential, and will allow SAP Lumira 2.0 to stand out in the analytics market. 


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This blog was originally published on the Iver van de Zand blog and has been republished with permission. Connect with him here, on his blog, or on Twitter at @IvervandeZand