Did you miss our February 15th webinar Tips for Transitioning to the New Webi 4.3? We have a quick summary of the webinar with the webinar presenters’ key takeaways from their session. This session had a lot of audience interaction with the presenter and we highly recommend checking it out if you use Web Intelligence!
Here is the webinar overview:
WebI 4.3 comes with a FIORI-based, modern, and simplified user interface for designing and developing ad-hoc reports, operational reports, highly analytical reports, visually rich dashboards, and more powerful BI content. While this is a great foundational step towards future analytics and end-user experience it is also quite a transition from the classic launchpad that many are used to.
To assuage the fear and panic generated from this huge transformation, this session will share a few tips that we have found quite useful to adapt to the new features faster and make the transition from WebI 4.2 to 4.3 more enjoyable.
Key takeaways from this session:
SAP BI 4.3 SP0 was released last year, and the BI Launchpad comes with the new FIORI-based interface with a modern and sleek UX
You will experience a great new deal of how you will perform all your WebI tasks
While the new UI is great and in alignment with most popular BI tools, and SAC, it is also quite a transition from the classic WebI UI
There are two new panels and the 4.2 functionalities are not re-organized and regrouped into the new panels and a lean simplified toolbar
There are some cool new features like WebI as a Data source, hiding of report tabs, unified query panel, enhanced formula editor, and some more.
Don’t forget you can stream this webinar in its entirety as well as ever other Let’s Speak BO webinar we’ve hosted when you are logged in on the site. It is completely free to join!
John SKey Takeaways from Tips for Transitioning to the New Webi 4.3
Did you miss our February 1st webinar Dynamic Dates in WebI? We have a quick summary of the webinar with the webinar presenters’ key takeaways from their session. This session had a lot of audience interaction with the presenter and we highly recommend checking it out if you use Web Intelligence!
Here is the webinar overview:
A common use case is to run a Web Intelligence report for a date range. That can be easily done with hard-coded date values, but that is not a very user-friendly approach always having to edit the query. Certainly prompts are more user-friendly. However, if you want to schedule a report for a dynamic, named date range such as yesterday, last month, last quarter, etc. you are at a dead-end.
This session will show how I built what I call a “Calendar Universe” a number of years ago that has stood the test of time. We will cover various ways to use dynamic dates talking about the pros and cons of each including the “Calendar Universe”.
Key takeaways from this session:
Set the prompt order in the Query Properties.
Use the format suggestion in the date prompt to convert the prompt value (always a string) to a date.
You cannot compare objects in a filter. Instead create a variable that does the comparison and filter on that.
Using Business Objects for finance reporting has been around for decades, but have you considered using it for data analytics to look for fraud?
This session we’ll cover common data analytics scripts and how BusinessObjects could be utilized to help mitigate fraud. We will discuss ways to solve seemingly complex business issues with the tools we have while demonstrating technical solutions using Web Intelligence and IDT for being able to show data analytic to resolve specific business. So put on your Fraudster cap and hold on for the ride.
Key takeaways from this session:
You don’t always have to buy new software to meet your company’s needs.
Think outside of the box with Business Objects – it is more than just a reporting tool.
Business Objects can be used for Data Analytics, Robotics and so much more.
Searching with wildcards is easy once you learn the subtle differences between query vs report search
Don’t forget you can stream this webinar in its entirety as well as ever other webinar we’ve hosted on our Speak BO website when logged in.
If you have any questions about the session feel free to comment below and we will get back to you!
John SKey Takeaways from Solving Business Problems with BusinessObjects
The Let’s Speak BO Webinar series that began in the winter of 2015 just recently concluded its third straight year of bi-weekly Business Intelligence Webinars with a fantastic close. Adam Lange, with A. Lange Consulting, lead a jam packed session dedicated to all of the new things our BusinessObjects community can expect when upgrading to BI 4.2 SP6. From Administrative enhancements to reporting feature releases, our SpeakBO listeners received a wealth of information to consider with their BusinessObjects investment moving forward into the New Year.
For me, it has been a privilege not only hosting the Let’s Speak BO webinar series for three years, but also forming relationships with the vast BusinessObjects community worldwide. Some of my favorite emails and calls have been with devoted listeners expressing gratitude and excitement for the free educational offering, which seems to be quite unique these days in the space of SAP BusinessObjects information sharing when it comes to the original core BusinessObjects toolset.
Here’s a look at some of the topics hosted in 2018 that viewers found very helpful to not only improve their personal work with the tools, but also inspire decision making when it comes to upgrades, looking into third party solutions, leveraging the existing platform and all of its features, assisting group training within organizations, and more.
This year we hosted a variety of topics for BusinessObjects Administrators. The topics include:
...and of course the latest and greatest with the recent release of BI 4.2 SP6.
Inspired by our listeners, the Let’s Speak BO webinar series has put together a new lineup of Administrative topics for 2019.
Customizing your BI Launchpad for Global Branding and Organization Synchronization
Discovering the Administrative Management Tool in Web Intelligence
A Migration look at Converting Desktop Intelligence Reports to Web Intelligence
…and much more!
The World of Web Intelligence in 2018:
One of the most requested, well attended, and popular topics among the BusinessObjects community seems to remain that of the well-regarded reporting tool- Web Intelligence. This year on Let’s Speak BO, we put together more topics on Web Intelligence for our listeners than ever before. And still, they cannot seem to get enough.
In a single hour, our viewers received fantastic deep-dives into topics like:
As a listener myself to these amazing sessions, I have learned a lot about where the community of BusinessObjects is in regards to educating themselves and wanting to improve upon their usage of these fantastic tools. It inspires me to further my relationships with individuals and organizations, large or small, out there who are inspired to grow within their investment by continuing to learn about these tools, and more importantly, help others within their organization expand their reaches by learning and educating themselves as well.
To conclude the year, I would like to thank a special few of our listeners who shared countless calls and emails with me chatting about their experiences with BusinessObjects and sharing their story on how they lead educational sessions and webinars of their own, inspired by our bi-weekly webinar series. Or how a professor of a prestigious university has his students not only listen live to our webinars, but then write papers or conduct group projects on what they learned, to better prepare them for the real world.
These stories, I personally get to leave the year with, have truly inspired what’s to come:
2019’s Line up of Webinar Topics
Open Format Discussions
…and brand new customer case studies that I hope you all continue to enjoy and benefit from.
Bree-Anna MustadLet’s Speak BO Together– Highlights of 2018
This webinar explores some of the key best practices in utilizing the Promotion Manager tool within the LCM options inside of SAP BusinessObjects. Promotion Manager, an Administrators side-kick, contains a wide range of features and actions that allow administrators of BusinessObjects to save on time as well as space when running reports or day to day jobs.
This is an important tool to be aware of when considering major upgrades or large migrations in BusinessObjects. By understanding much of the tools capabilities, Administrators can save time and interruptions by working through some of these key best practices.
Bree-Anna MustadKey Features in SAP BusinessObjects Promotion Manager for Administrators
An hour didn’t seem long enough in the Let’s Speak BO webinar hosted on July 10th 2018 as Minith Patel, Senior Consultant and SAP BO Administrative expert, took our listeners through a case by case adventure of how to become a fully sufficient, self-service BO Administration organization.
This was a fascinating and creative look at what it means to think through the array of situations that might arise with employee requests when it comes to making necessary adjustments to their environment while maintaining the integrity of an organization’s administrative security.
Here are just a hand-full of the topics explored:
CMC restricted features
User Group Assignments
Customizing your CMC Tab Configuration
Why team delegation to a helpdesk alleviates the administrators
Creating certain windows AD self-service groups based upon departments
The LCM toolset and how they can best be used
Setting up tasks, events and assignments
A sneak peek at the automation framework tool
Far too often the SAP BO Administration for an organization neglects to evolve itself in terms of alleviating workload by consolidating the common requests into a new map on how to expand towards self-service concepts. This webinar allows administrators to imagine creative ways on how others can assist themselves within the CMC and BI Launchpad while maintaining user restrictions in order to improve work productivity and reduce redundancy of day to day tasks for the BI Administrator.
For those looking to learn more about the LCM tool, Promotion Manager, check out our webinar on The 12 Best Practices for using Promotion Manager happening July 24th at 10am PST. You can find it on our upcoming webinars page.
Bree-Anna MustadSAP BusinessObjects Administration Can Be Self-Serving?
This case study is a fascinating one for any organization, supermarket or not, that is looking for a holistic Business Intelligence approach to multiple platform synchronization in order to improve upon data governance and the consolidation of reports. Albertsons/ Safeway, a recently merged Nation-wide supermarket chain has for many years heavily relied upon SAP BusinessObjects Crystal Reports and Crystal Enterprise as their primary reporting software. Coupled with SAP BI4 and InfoSol’s InfoBurst Enterprise Platform, this webinar takes an in-depth approach to looking at how a Business Intelligence team created an effective management strategy in order to join data generated from SAP BI4 and the InfoBurst Platform into a single analysis and reporting platform.
Case Studies hosted on our Let’s Speak BO webinar series seem to gather the most attendance, primarily because all of us within the BusinessObjects community are continuing to look for way to leverage our existing environments in better, more efficient ways. Rather than the unfortunate approach these days, to moving off of our investments into something new.
Crystal Reports and Crystal for Enterprise have both been around since the beginning of SAP’s BusinessObjects adoption. Over 37,000 Companies in the United States today still rely upon Crystal as their primary reporting tool. These records, considering the advancements in tools like SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence, are still quite high considering the majority of our high-tech age in the business world seem to still prefer viewing their reports in PDF or Excel outputs, regardless of the reporting tool used. Crystal is fantastic for this. From generating invoices, creating neat and customizable reports, to pushing data out on a scheduled bases with InfoBurst to large subsets of customers, emails, FTP sites, in formats like PDF, Excel and more… Albertsons/ Safeway succeeded in a fascinating Business Intelligence use case of what it means to consolidate, leverage, automate, and ultimately “optimize” their multi-platform investment.
Bree-Anna MustadPlatform Optimization: Harmonizing Processes at a Nationwide Supermarket Chain
One would imagine in our ever advancing world of data access in BusinessObjects that no longer would companies so heavily rely upon one of the oldest reporting tools and data sources out there; Microsoft Excel. However, time and time again through webinar presentations or our annual BusinessObjects User Groups, conversations still manage to come down to talking about this one, irreplaceable (it seems) and not going anywhere- data storage/ reporting solution.
In a recent study to global business software systems, about 81% of business and organizations today still heavily rely upon Excel. This percentage is quite high considering each year more and more database management tools are being introduced, or version enhancements to existing systems like SAP BusinessObjects Universe Design Tool, or Information Design Tool, are advancing to heightened levels of usability.
Still Excel remains a large demographic in business data storage. Not only as an easy to use, not quite so pretty, reporting solution; but also as a method of hard-copy databases floating amidst endless company folders and portals for storing historical, valuable information.
Due to such a large toolset as the SAP BusinessObjects suite, users of reporting solutions like Web Intelligence, also find limitations in accessing the Universe or IDT, in order to extract the data they need in a timely manner. These limitations, although common, due to the construct of a Universe and Administrative permissions, cause an inevitable need to work around the Universe data and simply load straight from Microsoft Excel.
Michael Ward from Creative Technologies Training & Solutions (CTTS), a fantastic expert, instructor and advocate of the beloved reporting tool within BusinessObjects, Web Intelligence, put together a fantastic webinar loaded with tips and tricks on how to best leverage your Excel data into SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence. This webinar is well worth attending and having a notepad. For such a straight forward topic on Excel into Web Intelligence, our viewers we surprised with the variety of methods one can not only import their Excel Spreadsheets, but also refresh, reload, and reconstruct the data within Web Intelligence.
Bree-Anna MustadSmoothing Out the Inevitable: Excelling Data into Web Intelligence
Let’s Speak BO’s fantastic BusinessObjects Administrative expert, Amy O’Neel, joined the community again in an in-depth and information session focused on User Specific Options in BusinessObjects.
Diving into user roles, group roles and maintenance, Amy took the audience through live demonstrations enhanced with step by step ‘how to’s’ while discussing the comparative features native to BusinessObjects Administration. This webinar highlighted the differences between Native and Business filter options as well as personalizing variables with BOUSER and other system variables.
For administrators, this was a fantastic webinar to take notes on; our SpeakBO listeners were able to learn about how to structure and maintain customized user and group options in BusinessObjects to best cater to their security rights and data access within their organization.
User Specific Options in BusinessObjects is a region in BusinessObjects Administration that can also rely upon task-assisting third party solutions. Some of the solutions mentioned in this webinar were InfoBurst Publish; a report distribution and delivery platform that can automate and refresh the reporting content in a manner that exceeds the native BusinessObjects publisher, as well as 360Suite.
For more information on the third party solutions that can assist with BusinessObjects Administration visit us here.
Bree-Anna MustadUser Specific Options in BusinessObjects and more
If I were to ask an SAP BusinessObjects Dashboard developer what the most time consuming aspect of a dashboard project is, I would most likely get one of three answers: organizing the data for it, the design and aesthetics of it, or the time spent building it due to the difficulty in having multiple developers on a single project.
More often than not, a dashboard project tends to be a group effort; those who have a say in the look and feel of it, those who want to be hands-on in the development process and those who dictate the changes and enhancements for end user consumption. However, anyone who has worked within SAP BO Dashboards may attest to the fact that sharing an .xlf (dashboard file format) is not easy. In most cases, when we attempt to share dashboards with one another, in order to have multiple developers on the project, we risk original file corruption, component failure, and performance issues.
Why does this happen? SAP Dashboards just does not like to be opened on many different machines, within different versions, or many times throughout the day. It was not until recently a solution well worth looking into appeared in the components gallery as a third party add-on to our favorite data visualization tool. This component, appearing similar to a multi-tab selector, is Advanced iFrame.
Runali Ghosh, a long time InfoSol Dashboard developer, consultant, and expert on data visualization projects, hosted a fantastic webinar on February 20th 2018 on this exact solution: How to develop a dashboard in half the amount of time by allowing multiple developers to work on it while improving the performance of the dashboard immensely.
Advanced iFrameis a third party solution which allows multiple developers to integrate a dashboard designed from their individual desktops and bring it together into a single Dashboard model. The concept of how this works stems from a Parent > Child relationship between models so each model can communicate as well as pass parameters to and from one another, regardless if the pieces are developed separately. Because of this, a developer is able to split the development of a complex dashboard project into individual models and then use Advanced iFrame to essentially “stich” them back together into a cohesive, seamless dashboard.
I believe, the best third party solutions out there which integrate with SAP BusinessObjects are the solutions that enable developers to use the fantastic SAP toolset productively and efficiently. These time-saving solutions not only help us develop reports and dashboards in these tools to the maximum of their capabilities but also inspire us to develop creatively. I look forward to seeing more dashboard use cases leveraging Advanced iFrame.