Great capabilities but complex and the future will soon make it obselete
Josh Anderson | TrustRadius Reviewer
March 26, 2018

Great capabilities but complex and the future will soon make it obselete

Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform

SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform is being used to host reports created in Lumira and Analysis for Office, to enable the creation, storage, and sharing of data and reports. Our most comfortable state is having someone centrally refreshing reports, saving them to a share point and then sending the link to their organization, so the BI Platform has a big opportunity for productivity savings and a better UX! It's being used globally across all areas of Business Planning and some accounting.
  • The fact that you are able to work offline on creating reports and then, within the local client, be able to upload it to the BI Platform and continue editing from the local client, while connected to the BI Platform
  • Separation of end user (BI Launchpad) and management/administration (Central Management Console) access points
  • Interoperability with other SAP products (e.g. Lumira, FIORI, AA)
  • The "FIORI-fied" BI Launchpad still has limited functionality which causes us not to leverage it. It is important to have a consistent UI look and feel for our users but we cannot sacrifice functionality. Therefore we don't have users access the BI Launchpad, we just link them from FIORI, directly to the reports.
  • We've found it very hard to find answers to very simple questions (e.g. what is the best approach for security model, bearing in mind the size of our organization). Both directly with SAP and via third-party contractors, we have struggled to find answers quickly, and sometimes at all...
  • As with all SAP products, they constantly change their recommendation. One minute, the BI Platform is the way forward and we should invest everything into this, and then the next it is SAP Analytics Cloud, and BI Platform will become obsolete.
Some organizations use Spotfire which is far more advanced in terms of its analytical capabilities vs. Lumira/PA etc. but the sharing/storage side of the BI Platform is far superior and much better managed. The ability to create user groups, access levels etc. on BI Platform helps to keep the platform secure.
A range of data sources can be used (SAP, Business Warehouse, SQL etc.) and these can be done via import or live connection. We have found the data connection to be very slow and a limited capacity of data can be selected at any one time, limiting the benefit of using this vs. download/upload like we do with Spotfire.
Access control is relatively easy but gets more complex with the size of an organization. Sharing data across teams is easy once you set up security and database connection/SSO. There are also multiple options for distributing reports! However, we found the security setup to be relatively difficult, with no one in SAP or third party's really having the best approach to follow. Additionally, formatting of reports is somewhat limited...even down to, for example, changing the colors on a graph to show green for positive and red for negative - in Spotfire, this is super easy but not in BI.
It's well suited if you have a smaller team who are looking to develop more collaboratively and enable easy sharing, scheduling etc. of reports and documentation. It can also be expanded to a wider organization but there are complexities (such as security - where we decided to just leverage the database security and open everything up at BI file/folder level). For a larger organization, it certainly isn't quick to implement and with SAP changing their strategy so much, you will soon be out of date. Analytics cloud is certainly something you should look at first.

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform Feature Ratings

Pixel Perfect reports
6
Customizable dashboards
7
Report Formatting Templates
5
Drill-down analysis
5
Formatting capabilities
2
Integration with R or other statistical packages
3
Report sharing and collaboration
8
Publish to Web
7
Publish to PDF
7
Report Versioning
6
Report Delivery Scheduling
6
Delivery to Remote Servers
Not Rated
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
4
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
2
Predictive Analytics
4
Multi-User Support (named login)
7
Role-Based Security Model
7
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
8
Single Sign-On (SSO)
7
Responsive Design for Web Access
6
Dedicated iOS Application
Not Rated
Dedicated Android Application
Not Rated
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
2
REST API
Not Rated
Javascript API
Not Rated
iFrames
Not Rated
Java API
2
Themeable User Interface (UI)
Not Rated
Customizable Platform (Open Source)
Not Rated