SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform Review

We had to deal with data quality problems on deployment, but we can now develop time-based, visualized analyses.


What is most valuable?

The ad-hoc reporting in a web environment is great.

How has it helped my organization?

We have integration with 30 different systems now. Business users manual data-entry load has decreased, and data between different systems are consistent in almost-real time.

We can develop time-based, visualized analyses with our BI platform, and four years ago, business users had to prepare their complex records in Excel every time they needed data reports. Now they only need to refresh reports. On the other hand, business users were only able to query data four years ago, but now their visions are changing and they are now performing data mining and forecast analyses.

What needs improvement?

Data mining and more visualized reports are the next steps.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for four years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We had to deal with data quality problems.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has inadequate data analysis and data profiling, which has increased testing and user acceptance duration.

BO Web Intelligence, v4.0 is more unstable than XI v3.x. We’ll upgrade to v4.1 in Q3.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were issues in v4.0 SP1 but we are now using SP5 and it has improved.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

No, we did not.

How was the initial setup?

Setup was straightforward, but the customization and implementation process was complex.

What about the implementation team?

We started with a vendor-partner, but now we have in-house team and still get consultancy advice from the partner.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

  • Cognos
  • Microsoft SSIS 
  • SSRS

What other advice do I have?

First, perform an analysis of your business users' requirements.

The data quality and your data warehouse models are the most important parts of a BI project. Design the model from both business requirements and source data. Make sure you involve business users from the beginning and explain the advantages of business intelligence to the data life-cycle well. Assign a short and attractive name to the web site and/or tool that users can remember easily and will like.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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