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SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform Room for Improvement

SumeetZalpuri - PeerSpot reviewer
Data & Business Architect at AME

I really want SAP to focus on the dashboarding side. Based on what I have seen in the past 10 years, dashboarding has captured a lot of markets. Executives at the top-level want data that is summarized, looks good, and tells you a story. That's where Tableau, Qlik, and Power BI have an upper edge. It doesn't mean SAP doesn't give you dashboarding. They do have a dashboarding solution, but Tableau, Qlik, and Power BI are more intuitive and more attractive. I would like SAP to capture the dashboarding market as well, wherein they give at least some competition to other competitors. Presently, Tableau, Qlik, and Power BI are leading the market. 

I have seen other organizations such as Need4Viz that are creating beautiful charts. They are a partner of SAP.  SAP needs to onboard companies that are developing open-source charts. They need to improve their user experience in terms of dashboarding.

Another thing that I would like SAP to improve is its licensing. Because of their licensing model, they are losing the market.

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TA
Technical Lead at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees

It's not like apps. Most of the Apps right now are into dashboarding. This tool, for the Crystal Reports in the phase I'm primarily working on, does not have those dashboarding capabilities, like in the other advanced tools like Power BI or ClickView, and compared to them the dashboard generation is not that great.

But there are other products, like SAP Analytics Cloud, all of which actually provide this information under the Business Intelligence platform. But I have not used it much because my customer has not moved onto those platforms yet. That may be one thing that may need improvement - the dashboarding side. Also sometimes the performance is not that great when getting millions of records out of it. It'll take its own sweet time to get that report refreshed.

Feature-wise, it's a slightly old technology, so I don't expect anything getting updated much in it, rather just continuing with their current thing.

I'm right now using other dashboarding tools for the dashboarding requirements. As I mentioned, it's not that capable of providing the current dashboarding requirements. I was introduced first to this tool then later to others.

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DENNISSUNNY - PeerSpot reviewer
Business Intelligence Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees

BusinessObjects reporting tools have not been perfected yet. However, there are two ETL tools inside the BusinessObjects. They are ETL tools in the schematic between the database and the reporting. 

But if we're talking negative aspects of BusinessObjects, it's like comparing a bus and a bike. If you want to reach somewhere nearby within five minutes, you can use a bike instead of the bus because there will be a lot of traffic and lots of people inside the bus. If you have large amounts of data, then go for BusinessObjects. If you have a light amount of data, it's better to use Tableau or Power BI tools.

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Buyer's Guide
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform
July 2022
Learn what your peers think about SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2022.
620,319 professionals have used our research since 2012.
JB
Manager Data Analytics and Interfaces at a healthcare company with 5,001-10,000 employees

We're an Epic shop, and Epic is moving away from Crystal. It would be nice if it had tighter integration with products like Epic. It would be awesome to have better integration with third-party products.

They could reduce the licensing expenses. There is nothing really wrong with the product in terms of what it does. It works well. If you are a part of BI Launch Pad, then you could run ad hoc reporting, but for the integration, you need access to BI Launch Pad, which is quite expensive. We're an organization with 18,000 employees. It is not really practical to give people access to BI Launch Pad. So, from a customer perspective, in terms of saturating our employee base, we don't really have great saturation because of the expense. 

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MM
Data Science Manager at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees

In terms of what could be improved, it would be good if they could integrate the possibility for end users to create end models for themselves that they can use, especially for site operators, and if they could provide the end user not only the self-service BI, but also the self-service analytics, based on a predefined model, the same way that Oracle did (I manage Oracle, as well), because I like that feature with Oracle.

I would like them to implement analytics the same as Oracle does and have the machine learning model within their Web Intelligence.

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Andy Pan - PeerSpot reviewer
BusinessObject Delivery Dev. at a government with 10,001+ employees

BusinessObjects originated in France, and then it was bought by SAP, a German company. Some things don't totally fit into the American culture of software development. For example, German software always uses detailed steps, whereas Oracle and Microsoft are very straightforward. Everything in this tool is stepwise. There are so many steps, but it is pretty good functionally. 

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DM
EAM Executive at a educational organization with 5,001-10,000 employees

As the technology stands, and from what I have researched at this particular point in time, companies that don't have much complex transaction data available on a day-to-day basis, don't need Business Warehouse or Data Warehouse on the cloud. We want to use SAP Analytics Cloud directly and do our data modeling on HANA Data Modular. This would really help because we wouldn't need separate licensing for Data Warehouse and for SAP, etc. We could remove all of this. We could do everything with HANA and SAP.

There should be more integration with other platforms. 

Everybody wants to use SAP Business Intelligence. Because we need a Business Warehouse or a Data Warehouse, we have to create a universe consisting of everything that we'll use as an input in BI. For this reason, we have a lot of dependencies. We require connection with the two different platforms. If we were to use HANA, then we wouldn't need Business Warehouse or Data Warehouse — we could just use SAP Analytics Cloud. We could use SAP Analytics Cloud as a standalone solution for reporting purposes and we could also use Business Intelligence as a standalone solution for reporting. 

This should be fixed so that companies don't require three separate licenses for three separate applications. Not everyone has that kind of a budget. It should be an all-in-one solution — this only turns away potential customers. If SAP provided a feature like standalone BI, we could use it directly, access ERP, get the data we need and start building reports. Single application licensed universities are ready to pay for that. But when it's three to four different applications, it's beyond their budget. 

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BA
Associate Consultant at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees

The performance could be improved, like when we extract a large amount of data. Especially in the last project, what I've seen is multi-source. If we are developing a universe, based on Db2, SQL, Oracle and SAP BW, and developing a report on top of the multi-source universe, then there are some performance-related issues and data federation service instability.

There is a data federation administration tool, but that configuration is not very easy to use. That needs to be improved.

The solution could be more user-friendly. Right now, there is self-service functionality like how we have in Tableau, and a split view. Whatever the self-service functionalities, that needs to be improved. SAP has apparently improved it in version 4.3, but I haven't tested it.

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Popoola Adams - PeerSpot reviewer
Director at a tech services company with 11-50 employees

I don't like the fact that I have to use two tools. Web Intelligence is good for reporting and all kinds of stuff, but I would rather have one product. All the reporting features of Web Intelligence should be developed within Lumira.

A lot of predictive abilities have been brought into the cloud version of SAP Analytics. It would be nice to see a lot of newer technologies and AI. Predictive capabilities are becoming a little more standard. Instead of having to get another model, we are just looking for one solution to deal with analytics including predictive.

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MC
Business Intelligence Functional Manager BU SAP at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees

The self-service area, or dashboard, needs some improvement. While the reporting itself is great, the dashboard and Analytics Cloud are not so user friendly.

SAP's current strategy consists in keeping the reporting part On premise and delegating the Analytics part to the Cloud. You are therefore involved in a hybrid scenario.

The complete environment setup is pretty complex.

To carry out a real project that presents erp / business data on "Cloud Story Telling" you need more specialist actors who manage issues such as: Analytics and Data architecture, Data source identification, System Compatibility, Connectivity and Security.

These aspects are certainly also required on other vendor BI solutions.

On the SAP front, we are certainly trying to improve and complete the On Premise / Cloud integration, with the latest version SAP BO 4.3.

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LH
Global Product Manager at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees

According to our experience, SAP BO is too heavy and very difficult for customers with medium, or smaller-sized businesses to install and maintain. It is such a heavy reporting tool.

Even though they provide the business layer, it's difficult for the programmer to create their own business layer. It's too complex for them. They need to simplify this.

The user interface should be easier to use and navigate.

The initial setup is difficult. 

Technical support could be more responsive. 

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YS
Head-IT/SAP at Barista Coffee Company Ltd.

We'd like to have SAP notes better incorporated.

There is a lot of patching.

It could be a lighter solution.

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KS
Director of Underwriting & Product Development at a non-profit with 51-200 employees

Tableau was easier for me to use because the interface is more similar to Excel which I was used to using.

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Paul Grill - PeerSpot reviewer
President & CEO at Infosol Inc

We would like to see the semantic layer opened up to other popular BI tools like Tableau and PowerBI. This integration makes a lot of sense for most organizations.

We would also like to see a native version of BusinessObjects and Web Intelligence created for the cloud.

It would be nice to see some native integration with Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools and capabilities to really take Web Intelligence to the next level of Business Intelligence. This could be integrated with existing popular AI tools instead of new development.

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AY
BI/BO Hana Application Consultant at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform has to be improved performance-wise. The look and feel of this application also needs improvement.

The scalability of this application has to be improved, and its setup should also be more simplified.

Technical support for SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform also needs to be improved.

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Shylaraj AK - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Architect at a construction company with 10,001+ employees

The initial setup could be simplified.

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Vedat Gunes - PeerSpot reviewer
BI & Analytics Manager at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform should be made easier for the end-users and the performance could be improved.

In a feature release, SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform the visual should improve, such as dashboards. They need to improve the visualization issues. The analytics are a bit behind the sector because alternative tools have integration between other platforms, such as Microsoft Office or Cloud. SAP BusinessObjects is trying to move all the platforms to the cloud, but we couldn't use the cloud and we are in the middle of a division. They don't offer an on-premise solution for the platform.

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Vishal Khare - PeerSpot reviewer
IT manager at a wholesaler/distributor with 10,001+ employees

SAP does force users to manage it a certain way. specifically around queries, and does not integrate well with other platforms, or lacks a certain level of flexibility. It needs to be more flexible for the end-user.

For example, we have been using Cognos also for years now, however, if a user has to do a query on their own then it doesn't work. That's why we are now gradually trying to migrate to Power BI. And, while it's easy to integrate on the SAP landscape, when it comes to the flexibility for the user to create a report on their own, there isn't really an option to do that. 

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GL
Enterprise Architect at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees

Their WebGUI presentation layer could be improved. They are still a little bit behind, for example, Tableau and QlikView.

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TS
Business Intelligence & Data Management Director at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is lacking dashboards and this would be the only reason we are looking for another solution.

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KB
Managing Partner at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

The integration could be improved. The SAP suite has some integration problems and it has some huge development needs. For example, when you use Power BI, if you publish a dataset to the web, there is no issue in seeing the data with the report. The data and report are integrated automatically. Or when you use QlikView, when you publish the QVD file, the report is integrated with QVD. Also, with Tableau, when you publish the data, it's in the hyper database, in the memory, and the dashboard with data is integrated seamlessly. In the SAP side, it's not easy. There are lots of business layers. 

There are also some performance issues in the SAP BusinessObjects suite. They should focus on the technologies. 

As far as additional features, SAP needs a BI analytics solution. I mean, a fully integrated BI analytics suite. 

We are partners and every step of the way, SAP asks us for money. If you want to see the products, the PDFs, if you want to learn the product, online training, etc., everything has a cost on the SAP site. Because of this, partners try to get to know the products on their own. SAP only focuses on the sales side—only money is important for SAP, not the quality. In that way, the operation is not easy on the SAP side. As a suggestion, they should focus on customers first instead of money. 

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NB
Manager IT (SAP) at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees

We are not on the latest patch, the latest version. There are different pain points, such as data loading or inventory issues. It can take a lot of time to load.

The solution could be less expensive. It's a bit pricey now.

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VivekGupta3 - PeerSpot reviewer
Analytics Manager at a manufacturing company with 51-200 employees

The solution is not good for self-services, they can improve in this area.

We are in the beginning stages of the implementation and once we roll it out to end-users then we will see further improvement areas.

In SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform we use Lumira Designer, or the earlier version is Design Studio, where we create management dashboards. We feel that the tool is very complex in terms of implementing the dashboard. Lots of coding and performance issues. We require particular skillsets and resources, regular users cannot understand it. The management dashboards should be easy to configure. The only option right now is Lumira Designer, but it is complex to implement. Maintaining and supporting it takes time, and something should be done to improve the experience.

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Thales Azevedo - PeerSpot reviewer
Gerente de BI at a government with 201-500 employees

The basic components of the solution could be improved.

The UI could be updated a bit.

I can't think of any features that are currently missing from the product at this time.

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DD
Senior Consultant at a tech services company with 11-50 employees

Recently, it's become less stable if I am working on Citrix. 

If you want to make a change in one part of it, you cannot track the change. They need something to help track changes. That would make it better. 

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RanvijayKumar - PeerSpot reviewer
Application Development Assoc Manager at Eccenture

I want BusinessObjects to have more flexibility like Tableau or Power BI. The interface could be slicker and more user-friendly. SAP could add more ability to design and customize the dashboards.

BusinessObjects is not that user-friendly. They have different tools for designing dashboards like Discovery— previously called Lumira. That isn't as user-friendly as Tableau. 

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HS
Head of BI and Analytics at a manufacturing company with 501-1,000 employees

The dashboard tool is called Lumira and it is very uncomfortable for developers to use. They should improve this in the future.

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KarimSamy - PeerSpot reviewer
BMC Remedy Senior ITSM Engineer at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees

In terms of improvement, some reports need more customizations. Customers request reports that need more customization.

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TT
Associate Manager at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees

Its data visualization tool is not as good as Power BI and Tableau. Currently, for data visualization, you need to spend more money to buy another solution such as Power BI or Tableau. 

It is also very hard to integrate it with other third-party solutions. Its integration with other solutions should be improved.

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DB
Entrepreneur at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

Its price should be better. It is expensive and not cost-effective. It should also be improved in terms of end-user experience. It requires further improvements for usability and ease of use. 

It should have more dashboarding metrics and much faster integration with ERP so that when you double click, you can instantly see the scenario-based result.

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SK
System Engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees

It is limited for us because SAP is shifting toward the cloud, and we can't use a cloud solution for SAP BusinessObjects. SAP introduced a product called PlusTimes one or two years ago and another one that I believe was called Automatic BI. This tool is more powerful than BusinessObjects and other tools because it's provided in the cloud.

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RM
Strategic Account Manager at a comms service provider with 5,001-10,000 employees

The solution can improve by having more analytical features.

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Buyer's Guide
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform
July 2022
Learn what your peers think about SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2022.
620,319 professionals have used our research since 2012.