What is most valuable?
The ability to render and visualize data across time or organizational hierarchies. It provides better, more robust ability to visualize data than in Excel or some of the other desktop tools that are out there, providing users the ability to identify actionable trends in their data sets that they normally wouldn't see, like in a spreadsheet or tabular data, a report.
It's a little bit less of a dashboard, and more of a discovery tool within the data, being able to slice and dice your data in various ways and then render that visually, rather than within a strict spreadsheet.
We can visualize the data across different timelines, across different organizations. Whatever way you're trying to look at it, you can see the trends a little bit easier than you can in its specific data points in a spreadsheet.
How has it helped my organization?
We use it for things like planning major holidays, looking at resources required by hour based on things like traffic or sales or other important events that we may need to take into consideration. We can also provide some executive guidance on sales trends and forecasted results for the end of the day, the end of the week. We use it for a little bit of short term forecasting from time to time.
What needs improvement?
I would say a better integration with the Business Objects platform. To develop the views, it's not user friendly. It's a great tool for developers to create the information model for Lumira. Once that has been developed then it's easier for the users to then go in and manipulate the data that's within that view, but it's not a great tool for the end user to poll data, to cleanse data, to merge data. All that, it's much better for a developer tool, but for the end users to then dynamically interact with it once the developer had built the framework for it.
I don't see that this would add a lot of value to our buyers. But for store operations, looking at how things have been running in the stores, it could be a good tool. People that are interested and have a passion for analyzing data, this is a great tool for them. Again it's not a tool for everybody, and not a tool for probably most senior executives. It is a pretty analytical tool and it requires that kind of mind set, either on the business side or on the IT side.
For how long have I used the solution?
I've used it for three years.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
The updates are easy, they get pulled down directly from SAP. I haven't personally encountered any bugs or defects within it.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We haven't had any issues.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It's not a tool for the entire enterprise. It's a tool for people that are used to doing data analysis, so financial planners, inventory or merchandise planners.
How are customer service and technical support?
6/10 - I haven't really had to reach out to SAP much for any support on it.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We use Webi but people wanted to see was really columnar data. I started using Lumira to try and demonstrate different methods to render some of the same data in ways that would expose trends that weren't obvious within a spreadsheet or within Webi. Once I started doing that I got some other departments interested in viewing data the same way.
How was the initial setup?
The installation initially of the client was very straight forward. I did it myself. As far as if you have HANA you can't install it on HANA, but the integration with Business Objects directly is still not great. It's better as a client on people's desktops than on a server based component. For me that's a little bit of a limitation that's been challenging. It does make it a little less appealing to roll out for the entire enterprise.
What other advice do I have?
I would say expect to do a number of proof of concepts for various departments before finding a successful partner to implement with. As a client it's great, as an application, I would expect as an application with Business Objects, that integration is still not great. From an enterprise supported tool, I find that a little wanting. But as a client it's awesome.