Describing Components of SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform

Objectives
After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Identify the features and benefits of Business Intelligence
  • Describe the features of SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform
  • Describe the features of SAP BI Reporting Tools

What is Business Intelligence?

The Benefits of Business Intelligence

SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform: General Recommendations

The SAP BusinessObjects BI solution consists of different client tools for specific use cases and the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform server that provides functionality including a central repository, user management, security, and reports scheduling.

The SAP BusinessObjects Suite includes a collection of reporting and analysis tools. Each tool has features that target different types of users or use cases, but there is overlap among the tools, and customers are not required to deploy all the tools to use the suite effectively. This figure shows what type of functionality is available and what SAP BusinessObjects tool provides this functionality.

Content Consumption

Analytical Content

Content Creation

Before it can be consumed, content must be created. To be beneficial, it must be both controlled (to provide a single version or definition of raw data) and flexible to encourage use of the tool.

A good model for meeting these requirements is to have some formality to the creation and initial presentation of the content, with the power to have end-user customization and personalization.

Discovery and Analysis

SAP Analytics Cloud Overview

Powered by sophisticated models and machine learning technology, SAP Analytics Cloud reveals insights that help you make data-driven decisions with confidence.

Data Discovery: SAP Analytics Cloud

Capabilities include:

  • Receive smart features that think for you: Automatically discover the main business drivers behind your core key performance indicators (KPIs). Reveal hidden insights and develop a clear understanding of your business data. Enhance your data quickly with intuitive suggestions during data preparation.
  • Plan for what’s next: Create and modify versions of cloud planning models for data-driven budgeting, forecasting, and analysis. Align plans using collaboration tools. Use machine learning to perform predictive forecasting using visual guidance and explore results through natural language.
  • Simplify the boardroom process: Align executive decisions on one source of truth across business areas. Get a 360-degree view across all lines of business and operations and visualize insights in context across large touchscreen displays to maximize impact.

Dashboards and Applications Development Tools - SAP Lumira

Note

For on-premise solutions, mainstream Priority 1 support will be available through 2027. We recommend transitioning analytic application and data discovery use cases to SAP Analytics Cloud for developing dashboards and application.

SAP Lumira Fact Sheet

Office Integration Tools

The tools in the BI Suite are web and mobile-enabled, some users require the power of Microsoft Excel or PowerPoint. For these users, the SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office tool set provides access to a range of OLAP data sources and allows users to combine information from different systems within a single workspace.

With SAP BusinessObjects Analysis for Microsoft Office Features you can:

  • Access, slide, and pivot cubes in SAP BW and SAP HANA.
  • Share analysis workspaces with SAP Crystal Reports and SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence.
  • Use the familiar interfaces of MS Excel and PowerPoint.

SAP Reporting Tools

SAP Crystal Reports is a Windows-based report design tool that builds reports that look exactly the way you want through pixel-perfect positioning, layout, and templates. You can include reports with charts, visual elements, and interactivity such as drill-down and filtering.

SAP Crystal Reports and SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence Features

SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform Features

SAP BusinessObjects has reporting and analytics tools, but behind the scenes, software running on servers perform supportive tasks to manage and generate the output used to analyze the data.

This collection of hardware and software components makes up what SAP collectively calls the SAP BusinessObjects Platform (BIP). The BI Platform sits on "top" of your data because it provides and secures connections to the underlying systems that hold your data.

You can integrate the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform with SAP Analytics Cloud in a hybrid approach such as using data discovery in SAP Analytics Cloud, and operational reporting with the SAP BusinessObjects platform. The SAP Identify Provisioning Service can provision and synchronize BI platform users to SAP Analytics Cloud, and enable SAP Analytics Cloud users to access on-premise data.

Primary Features of the BI Platform

Data Sources for SAP BusinessObjects 4.3.

Semantic Layer

The semantic layer enables business users to access data autonomously without being familiar with the structure and technical characteristics of the respective data source. For this study, BW queries, universes, and HANA views qualify as semantic layers.

The objective of a semantic layer is to provide a common adaption layer that allows business users to have a common experience across the different clients, sources, and types of information.

The Purpose of the Semantic Layer in SAP BusinessObjects BI

  • To make business users autonomous
  • To enable single user experience over all data
  • To provide trust and consistency
  • To enable consumption by all applications and BI tools
  • To allow IT to keep control and ensure security of information

Data Sources for SAP BusinessObjects – SAP BW, SAP HANA, and SAP BusinessObjects Universe

The SAP Business Warehouse (BW) is a system that uses a separate database to stage information from various data sources such as databases, online services, and the internet for the purpose of data reporting and analysis.

Data is staged in various forms, including personalized reports, freely definable queries, and predefined reports. Users can analyze data for key facts.

For example, a data warehouse in the retail sector can be used to do the following:

  • Identify slow moving goods and big sellers.
  • Investigate the profitability of branches in different locations.
  • Investigate the effectiveness of market analysis.
  • Evaluate customer surveys and complaints.
  • Analyze warehouse stock levels.
  • Analyze shopping carts, using cash register receipts.

SAP HANA combines database, data processing, and application platform capabilities in memory. The platform provides libraries for predictive, planning, text processing, spatial, and business analytics. This architecture enables converged Online Transactional Processing (OLTP) and Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) data processing within a single in-memory, column-based data store with ACID (atomicity, consistency, isolation, durability) compliance, while eliminating data redundancy and latency.

By providing advanced capabilities, such as predictive text analytics, spatial processing, and data virtualization, on the same architecture, it further simplifies application development and processing across big data sources and structures.

Some unique features of SAP HANA’s in-memory technology are to store massive amounts of information compressed in main memory, utilize parallel processing on multiple cores, and move data intensive calculations from the application layer into the database layer for even faster processing. Since all the detailed data is available in main memory and processed on the fly, there is no need for aggregated information and materialized views, fundamentally simplifying the architecture and hence reducing latency, complexity, and cost.

SAP BUSINESSOBJECTS UNIVERSE provides open and agnostic access to all corporate databases, data warehouses (including SAP BW), and applications. It also enables a consistent business user experience. A universe creates the code that accesses the data for the reporting tools.

A universe contains no data but rather points to a data source, such as a database, data warehouse, OLAP cube, and other sources. It is typically comprised of three components:

  • Connection - Identifies what data source the universe points to and contains all the information for accessing that data source.
  • Data Foundation - When the universe points to a relational data source, the Data Foundation identifies what tables contain the data required for business users' reports and analyses.
  • Business Layer - Identifies the specific columns within the tables that are needed for business users' reports and analyses. The Business Layer is the only component of the universe exposed to business users and provides a user-friendly, logical organization of the data they need for their reports and analyses.
Note
Although most analytic tools can utilize universes for accessing data, SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office can only access SAP HANA or SAP BW directly and does not utilize the universe as a source.

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