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Business Intelligence (BI)

In today’s fast paced corporate environment, employees need to receive the right information at the right time, thus enabling them to make informed and timely decisions.
However, many organisations face significant challenges in managing their data and aligning their business needs. Common problems include:-

  • Reporting is based upon several sources of information that don’t integrate easily
  • There is an overreliance on spreadsheets which are error prone, difficult to maintain, and lead to issues around version control
  • This process of downloading data from various sources and manipulating it using pivot tables and VLOOKUP functions in order to turn it into useful information requires a huge effort and is extremely time consuming

An effective BI strategy can help reduce or remove these challenges and provide significant benefit to both IT and the business. It can happily sit alongside an Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) strategy too.
pdficon_smallClick here to find out more about the relative merits of EPM and BI for reporting.

Business Objects BI Suite 4.x

SAP Business Objects BI (also known as BO or BOBJ) is a suite of front-end applications that allow business users to view, sort and analyse business intelligence data.
Since it was acquired by SAP in 2008, SAP Business Objects has undergone many changes. New products have been developed to enhance the offering and SAP have made great strides in terms of better integration with other SAP technologies, such as SAP Business Warehouse (BW) and SAP Enterprise Core Component (ECC). Read on to find out more about the latest version of the SAP Business Objects BI Suite and the various products included.

The BI Suite has been broken down into 3 areas, which group together products serving a common user group.

bi suite

Enterprise Self Service – self-service visualisation and analytics around trends, outliers and future outcomes.
Dashboards & Apps – interactive visual analytics with multiple controls.
Reporting – enabling formatted reports to be quickly built and securely distributed.

Enterprise Self Service

A range of tools empowering business users with easy, self-service access to data discovery functionality – for instant answers to pressing business questions. Providing intuitive, interactive user experiences with immediate response time, and eliminating the need for training and IT assistance.


  • Desktop installation
  • LumiraCan connect to multiple data sources
  • Combine, enrich and manipulate data then apply to business scenarios
  • Self-service visualisation to tell the story
  • Optimised for HANA – enables graphic representation of “big data”




  • Quickly and easily explore data
  • Easy visualisation
  • Geographic and time awareness
  • Simple interactive exploration views
  • Mobile ready


Analysis for OLAP/OfficeAnalysis for OLAP

  • Recommended for OLAP scenarios
  • Web and Excel based interfaces designed for analysts
  • Premium alternative to BEx Analyser



Predictive AnalysisPredictive Analysis

  • Statistical analysis to understand trends and outliers
  • Build models on business scenarios to predict future outcomes
  • Optimised for HANA for analysing “big data”


Dashboards & Apps

Drive BI adoption across the organisation with compelling, insightful dashboards and BI apps. Create mobile, interactive, role-based dashboards that deliver trusted, aggregated numbers to decision makers.

pdficon_large Click here for our handy guide to Dashboard design

Design StudioDesign Studio

  • Modern development environment and HTML5 runtime
  • BW and HANA support
  • Growing library of controls (dropdowns, buttons)
  • For SAP HANA or BW customers Design Studio should be the primary application for building dashboards (web or mobile)



  • Formerly Xcelsius
  • Interactive dashboards and visualisations
  • Supports data from any source – recommended for use of 3rd party data sources
  • SAP HANA or BW customers using Dashboards should consider building new dashboards with Design Studio


The foundation for daily actions and the overall BI strategy, enabling quick and informed short- and long-term decision making. Helps deliver insights that are meaningful, actionable, and of real value to employees, customers, and partners.

Web IntelligenceWeb Intelligence

  • Self service solution for rapid report creation
  • Brings together data from different sources without having to understand the database structure
  • Deployed to desktop, web or mobile


Crystal ReportsCrystal Reports

  • Can access any data source
  • Build highly formatted reports to look exactly as required
  • Can be embedded in other applications
  • Designed for high volume reporting and publishing