Category Archives: Future of SAP Dashboards

Some SAP BI and Analytics Trends

SAP-BI-TrendsAs we come towards the tail end of 2017, we thought it would be fun to trawl through our Google Analytics data to identify the most popular articles on this blog aimed at SAP customers.

We picked out our top 3 most searched for articles. And, for each of these articles, we looked at the most common keywords people used in their search to reach this page. What we discovered, provides a glimpse into some of the BI and analytics related topics that continue to resonate with the SAP community.

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3 reasons why SAP Lumira is not a replacement for SAP Dashboards

lumira-xcelsiusTwo years ago we published a post which explained “Five reasons why SAP Lumira is not the natural successor to SAP Dashboards (aka Xcelsius)”, and further why we believe that our DecisionPoint™ product is a better way forward.

The advice in this post still holds true, and indeed the events of the last year have reinforced our viewpoint.

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[Guest Post] 4 Reasons Why DecisionPoint Offers a Better Way Forward from SAP Dashboards

Ryan GoodmanThis is a guest blog post by Ryan Goodman, CEO and founder of CMaps Analytics and author of probably more SAP Dashboards (aka Xcelsius) than anyone else on the planet.

Last week on Twitter, I noticed some slides from an ASUG webinar offering the community an updated vision and way forward from SAP Dashboards to SAP DesignStudio.

While the SAP Dashboards product has a few more years of official support, most folks know that SAP is putting its weight behind the recently announced Lumira and Design Studio convergence.

Yet, I believe Antivia DecisionPoint offers a better path forward today to leverage your SAP BusinessObjects investments as your organization considers new dashboard solutions. Continue reading

Why it’s time to say goodbye to Flash-based dashboards

Broken Flash2015 has been a bad year for Adobe’s Flash technology. It started in January, when YouTube dropped Flash in favor of HTML5 for its default video player.

In July, Mozilla Firefox announced it would be blocking Flash due to bugs in the technology that was being targeted by hackers and in September, the UK national broadcaster, BBC, started migrating all of its on-demand content from Flash. In October, Apple actively started blocking older versions of Flash on its MacOS and several other high-profile companies, including Facebook, joined the joined the call to kill Flash.

As we’ve said before, this is bad news for Xcelsius users.

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[Guest post] Self-service BI and the successor to Xcelsius

Cliff AlperClifford Alper is a founding partner of Analysis Factory, based in Boston, Massachusetts. As the business analytics wizard of the company, he’s responsible for the Analysis Factory signature look-and-feel. Under his direction, Analysis Factory has been a leader in the information design field for over 15 years, delivering industrial strength analytics solutions for everyday users.

According to Gartner’s hype cycle for 2015, self-service BI is on the rise.

It’s worth taking a moment to consider the implications for business users. What happens when non-specialist business users are given access to raw, unstructured data to gather their own business insights? Will the process make them more effective at doing their jobs?

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How to better serve your front-line workers with SAP BusinessObjects data

Connect your dataToday’s business landscape is rough. Organizations are facing new pressures to improve cash flow, increase productivity and reduce inventory carrying costs, as well as cutting lead times, adapting to omnichannel, growing market share in spite of increased competition and sustaining profit margins in the face of volatile global raw material and energy prices.

To compete effectively you need to ensure front-line workers in your organizations have access to timely, consistent information in an easy-to-use format – so they can make effective decisions and perform to the best of their ability.

When it comes to supporting these front-line workers, the last thing you need is to be reliant on a solution that has reached the end of the road. Sadly, that’s the case for SAP Dashboards (aka Xcelsius).

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A bleak future for Flash and Xcelsius/SAP Dashboards

Broken FlashSAP have said that although there is going to be no further development of Xcelsius/SAP Dashboards, they are committed to supporting its output for the foreseeable future. However given what is happening to Adobe Flash, the end may be very much nearer than we have previously thought.

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Storyboards v dashboards – why SAP Lumira falls short for end-user BI

DecisionPoint dashboardData Discovery tools are perfect for analysts who spend their whole day looking at, visualizing and interpreting data. Then once these analysts find something noteworthy that they wish to share, they typically create a storyboard.

Storyboards are ideal for sharing the output of a Data Discovery exercise. But for the regular day-to-day information non-analyst business users need they are too inflexible, too one-dimensional and they don’t answer the second or third level questions that users typically have. In short, they are a pale shadow of a good interactive dashboard.

Yet, particularly in the SAP world, we are starting to see evidence of organizations being encouraged to use storyboards to deliver their day-to-day dashboards.

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DesignStudio as a replacement for SAP Dashboards/Xcelsius?

xcelsius grim reaperAs you plan your move away from Xcelsius/SAP Dashboards (which, if you are not already doing, you really ought to get started) then I would recommend listening to a recent episode of the Diversified Semantic Layer Podcast* entitled “Is DesignStudio the Dashboard Slayer?”.

The question up for discussion was whether DesignStudio is a suitable replacement for Xcelsius / SAP Dashboards. Key quotes were:

  • “If [in DesignStudio] you want more than a single chart pointing at a single data source that doesn’t need to refresh or have any interaction … you need to write some sort of code”
  • “If you are a traditional Xcelsius developer I don’t know how you would get started with that”
  • “If you are a BX or BEx shop it makes a lot of sense to use DS, if you are not, good ******* luck for the time being”
  • “Turning all your Xcelsius developers into Design Studio developers; that is not going to happen for most customers”

So for non-BW users, that sounds like a resounding “no”! Continue reading