Business Intelligence (BI) Tools Forum

CSRA at General Dynamics
Feb 04 2021

Currently, I am using SAP BO Enterprise and running on Oracle.

I'm looking for a much less expensive solution. It's not enough to use MS SQL instead of Oracle. 

I'm still profiling the SAP BOE implementation, but would like to head towards a DWH implementation that users can report off. Various users have mentioned in passing: PowerBI, Qlik, Tableau. 

At this point, the only solid knowledge I have is that management want to get rid of SAP and Oracle.

Any recommendations?

RaviLaguHi, You cannot build a DWH by using PowerBI, Qlik or Tableau as they are mainly data visualization platforms. Qlik does have its own tool but it creates proprietary datasets that cannot be accessed from outside Qlik. It seems you want a data mart tool instead of a DWH as you want users to be able to create reports. Please look into my review of SAS Data Integration studio for a better idea.
Gene Hammons, MBASo, operating with a segment of our client base, mostly commercial stage startups where the staff comes from larger, national firms, we often get a directive: We want new infrastructure software and it can be anything as long as it's not Tier One (SAP/Oracle and similar). I guess the $5m upgrades were getting old at their previous companies.  Also, with the Covid issue last year, many companies had to pivot very quickly to stay alive. Looking at a SAP 18-24 month rollout was looking company death in the eye, so again, please perform the impossible with the unlikely were the marching orders.  Fortunately, around 2014 we'd started what we called 'component software' which relied on made for cloud backends (NetSuite/Acumatica/Intaact). Mostly because these were recent (in relative terms) developments but more because of being built to integrate with other external systems, along with an open development toolsets  - what we couldn't find to integrate, we could develop ('we'- being the developers we could find to handle the job).  That approach has helped a lot of the early stage startups through the IPO process and launched into initial 5 year growth stages. We've also implemented NetSuite sub systems so we could launch eCommerce or other pivot options quickly and they're feeding financials to backend SAP/Oracle.  In any case, we have some relatively large clients who've had substantial success with this approach, and if your management is serious about parachuting out of Tier One, perhaps you could set up your backend data in a more easily reportable structure (just a wild stab - not knowing the real issues).  I'd also point you toward the FP&A side instead of BI if it's truly reporting that's needed. Anaplan/Host/Hyperion - (I think Hyperion has undergone rewrites, the verision we mostly use is the NetSuite Planning Budgeting and Analytics - which the users say, "Oh look, it's Hyperion"). Hope some of that is relevant to what you're looking for. 
Paul GrillThere is no easy way to convert or replace BusinessObjects which is why most BusinessObjects customers today are in a state of co-existence (BO-Tableau being the most popular followed by BO-PowerBI). Since neither Tableau nor PowerBI are great at BI reporting, customers keep BO for the reporting and use Tableau/PowerBI for data discovery and visualization. You should look at right-sizing your BO deployment to save on costs. For the DWH, if you are looking at Cloud then Snowflake or Azure are the most popular with BO customers
Senior HR Analyst at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Feb 02 2021

Our HR workforce analytics and process management team have been using Tableau desktop for over a year and found a great deal of benefit from its various features. Our teams deal with a lot of MS Excel and Access files but also have to push data out of key HRIS systems like Workday into Tableau since there is no existing driver connection currently. Now that we are pursuing Tableau server so managers can utilize the dynamic reporting our IT department is concerned since they've invested heavily into Business Objects (with limited use in the company) and we now have to justify going with Tableau Server vs. using Business Objects. Our HR team requires very quick turn around on reports and metrics with strong reporting visualization. Our workforce analytics handles a lot of predictive analytics/forecasting. Ideally we hoped using Tableau would actually free up IT resources to other larger priorities instead of managing change requests on reports consistently. In our opinion based on all of this, including low cost for implementation (under $60k incl. hardware) and low annual maintenance (under $10k) for 30 licenses that Tableau seems to be the clear route to go but I'd like to get some input from others.

So I'd like to ask users out there who are familiar with both systems to provide feedback on what they think a better option might be and any pros/cons when matching up the two systems.  Thanks!

Paul GrillSince at least 45% of BusinessObjects customers in North America also use Tableau, you would be a good company using both tools. BusinessObjects is used primarily for BI reporting and Tableau for power users wanting to do data discovery and visualization. Tableau is superior for visualization but really has no built-in BI reporting capability. You should always choose the best tool for the job which is why so many BusinessObjects customers exist in a state of happy co-existence. There are also third party tools that allow you to integrate BusinessObjects and Tableau so you can leverage your BO investment in Tableau. I would not advise even looking at Lumira since SAP announced its end of life a while back in preference to their new cloud based analytics platform SAC. Full disclosure : I work for a BI solutions company that has partnered with BusinessObjects and SAP for 23 years and is also been a Tableau partner for 3 years.
reviewer1449702Both tools have their positives and negatives. First, I should mention that I am relatively new to Tableau. I have been working on and off Tableau for about a year, but getting to work on it constantly very recently. Tableau is the best tool available in the market for data discovery and analysis. Creation of dashboards, and stories is as sample as it gets with Tableau. SAP has SAP Lumira that tries to rival Tableau but, in my opinion, its not there yet, assuming it will be at that level at some point in the future. SAP BI has a number of tools that do very specific tasks and sometimes people new to SAP BI feel overwhelmed by them. A tool commonly used in SAP BI suite is Web Intelligence which is very powerful, sometimes for its own disadvantage. Also, if you have SAP BW, SAP HANA, or SAP ERP in your organization, the go to BI tool will be SAP BI. SAP BI doesn't have any dashboarding tools that are easy to use as Tableau. I worked with Xcelsius for 6 years and I can do a lot of things with it but never created a dashboard I like with in 20 minutes like I can with Tableau. Now SAP brought in something called Design Studio to replace Xcelsius and I think it is a new bad idea from SAP. Rather than trying to replace BO with Tableau, I would suggest using Tableau in conjunction with BO and select a tool based on the usecase (structured reports vs dashboards) Regards : Tableau training in pune
Stephan Schaumburg-LippeIn my opinion, Tableau is "best of bread" answering "one type of question" perfectly, while BO is a suite of tools answering "many types of questions" well. If you're looking for SQL based pixel perfect reports go for BO. If you're look for reports, dashboards, analysis in one suite go for BO. If you have a lot of analytic questions and like to visualize them, go for Tableau. If you want to compare them directly, then compare Tableau with Web Intelligence (Component of BO) or compare Tableau to SAC (SAP Analytics Cloud). 
Zhan Geng
Chief Technology Officer at ECMS
Dec 11 2020

I'm looking for a Business Intelligence solution that's not so heavy - mostly reporting with drill up/down/across functions, dashboard, chat... can anyone suggest a good option?

reviewer1091745I've worked on Power BI and OBIEE. I mostly prefer OBIEE, as it has an overall solution to most of the problems addressed or seen in developing reports.
Subrata MaityThere are many...It would rather depend what System BI architecture or Enterprise legacy you have at your end...I would recommend as follows:  1) If you have legacies of SAP, Oracle  - look for SAP BI (including Excelcius) and OBIEE respectively. Both of them have their own flavour of Dashboard, Information Semantics, Macro Intelligence Universes - with all the features of data drill, user created function developments built. Pros - Robust, Cons - You need a good practice team to configure your requirements. 2) If you are on MS platform, you can try Power BI. The desktop version is good, rich in features and much at ease with native SQL Server ecosystem  3) If you have licenses for Tableau, Qlik or Pentaho BI, all of them are equally competitive for the requirements that you have mentioned. Your decision would depend on the licensing investment that you would consider. 4) Self Sustained BI tool - MicroStrategy comes with great features and I have used MicroStrategy for some time. There are multiple options in Cloud as AWS , I have used Quicksight and been able to drive few reporting requirements that you have mentioned.
Susheel AIt depends on the Data architecture and the complexity of your requirement. Some great tools in the market are Qlik sense, Power BI, OBIEE, Tableau etc. I have recently started using Cognos Enterprise and some of the features that come with this version and the ease to create Dashboards/Explorations/Story Boards are really great. One thing to watch out for is the Cost for Cognos Enterprise and if cost is not an issue, I feel Cognos Enterprise is worth trying.
IT Central Station
Dec 10 2020

What types of insights do businesses gain from BAM as opposed to BI?

reviewer1208820BAM is a great way to look at daily production of your business in real time, using solutions such as DMI (direct machine interface). BI is taking all of the data that you have accumulated and using that data to lead your business into the future with help of tools such as Microsoft BI, Minitab, Microstrategy and so on.
David PiechBusiness Application Monitoring usually involves measurement and monitoring of up time of key systems, whether that be ERP, CRM, HR, etc. System uptime, downtime and performance response time are some of metrics usually associated with BAM. BI analytics are much more granular and business specific such as gross profit, inventory costs, AR days outstanding and are accessed via dashboards and reports.
Jorge BarrosoThe difference between BAM and BI mainly recides in the way that the information is use, for example in many cases the information collected for BI is historical to the bussiness and for support to set goals in short, médium and logn term could be use to establish the estrategic decition most convenient. On other hand BAM, mainly use the information on a day to day basis about the results of bussiness processes and to act proactively to reach the operational bussiness goals of the processes with the information that could be part of the dashboard.
Solution Architect at a tech vendor with 10,001+ employees

Hello Experts,

I am working as a Solution Architect at a global enterprise tech vendor.

I have 2 RPD files, a.rpd and b.rpd. I need to switch between these 2 RPDs on the same server and through the same OBIEE tool.

Do I need to deploy both RPD files on the server to switch between these two through the same OBIEE tool?

As per my own attempt, I can open both RPD files through Administration (obiee tool) : File --> Open-->Offline and without any deployment.

Is it mandatory to deploy both RPD at server to open it online?

I guess I need to define 2 different ODBC system data sources for my repositories after deployment.


Menachem D Pritzker
Director of Growth
IT Central Station

Which BI tools are the best out of the box for basic calculations that all SaaS businesses need to track to survive?

Are some tools better for startups vs enterprise?

MahalingamShanmugamLooker, Domo, Sisense, Tableau, and Power BI are tools are good for enterprise. If you are looking for SMB (Small Medium Business), where you have 5-10 users who use BI for portfolio, then you should look at small Startup (, ToughtSpot etc.) for a per-user license, which is comparatively low in the market.
ChunqiangGongI think Qlik is strong at data processing and has a high performance within a large scale of data with its unique in-memory database.
Patrick MyreholtTIBCO Jaspersoft