Archive for the ‘Business Intelligence’ Category

Jan
8

Free Webinar: Learn 5 BI Dashboarding Strategies that say ‘NO’ to failure in 2013

Join us on Thursday, January 17th at 11am EST/ 8am PST, as Mico Yuk delivers her 1st webinar of 2013 focused on strategies to successfully implement your BI Dashboards. This webinar is promised to be jam packed with great info that you won’t hear anywhere else. Mico will literally teach you how to implement the same BI Dashboard Strategies that has helped so many Fortune 500 companies to overcome BI Dashboard failure!

In 60 minutes learn 5 key strategies, including:

  • Planning – How to tackle the planning process before you start building
  • Scoping – The key reason why our Scoping does not ‘Creep’ like most
  • User Interface – Discover how to take a note out of the Steve Jobs UI book for BI visualizations
  • BI Storyboard – Why BI Storyboards have to be more than just dashboards…
  • Prototyping – First ever Sneak Peek at my ‘non technical’ BI dictionary (a must when talking to biz users)
  • and much more…

Learn Mico Easy to Implement 2013 Dashboarding Strategies

 Spaces are limited… so don’t wait to sign up:

  • Where: Click the link:  http://bit.ly/XhqiuS to register
  • When: Thursday,  January 17th at 11am EST/ 8 am PST

(Space is limited to first 500 registrants, on average we get about 1K. Recording available for those who register, but can’t attend.)

This fun ‘eye opening’ webinar is guaranteed to give you a different perspective and ‘jump start’ on how to successfully approach your BI projects in 2013, so don’t miss out!

Soo Tang Yuk (@sootangyuk) is the ‘Xcelsius Gurus Network” community manager and evangelist. To find out more, please visit her aboutme page.

Dec
31

Recording: #AllAccessSAP Xcelsius SOD Update & 2013 SAP BI Roadmap & Stats!

Happy New Years!

We first want to say thanks for attending our final #AllAccessSAP webinar of 2012. Unlike our past webinars, we did something a bit different this time.  We issued a survey to our audience asking them ‘What’ they wanted to hear about and from ‘Who’.  We were astonished to receive over 2,200+ votes (see details below).

SURVEY: Pre-Webinar Results (2,200+ Votes) revealed…

  1. WHAT – 49% of you wanted to hear about the Xcelsius SOD Future,  SAP Tool Choices and Dashboard Mobility
  2. WHO – 78% of you wanted to hear it from Mico Yuk (myself), Ryan Goomdan, SAP Analytics Product Team


STATS: 4 Amazing Webinar Facts

  1. Registration soared to almost 500+ registrants! (20+ countries)
  2. 3 Superstar SAP Analytics Product Managers as panelist, namely Mani Srinivasan, Charles Gadalla and Ian Mayor who all did an AMAZING job answering questions!  Big thanks to them for participating and making this a success. :-) (special thanks to Mani and James Fisher for organizing)
  3. Great Blog ResponseRead an exciting recap from SAP Mentor Zimkitha Buwa
  4. In less than 2 hours  - 529 tweets on our twitter hashtag #AllAccessSAP  from over 71 contributors (special thanks to everyone that participated in making this webinar go viral!)


RECORDING: Xcelsius SOD Update + Clarity on Visual Intelligence & Predictive Analysis (60 mins of No BS)

NOTE: This webinar was 120 minutes long but due to issues with gotowebinar we only were able to post the first 60 minutes. This unfortunately chopped off the ending where we had BI Community members check in from over 5 different countries including the Middle East, South America, USA, Canada, and Australia.  What a great way to end the year! Sit back, relax and listen….

If you are having trouble viewing the video, please click the direct link: http://bit.ly/Uhalm2

What’s Next?

As we enter 2013 we are planning to do these webinars on a quarterly basis, and also rebrand it to be part of our new BI Community by Jan 31st 2013.  So stay tuned! We look forward to bringing you more good info!

Mico Yuk is a SAP Mentor Alumni and SAP BI Influencer, co-founder of Benchmarkers Business Intelligence and founder of the Xcelsius Gurus Network, the Everything Xcelsius blog. To learn more about her, please visit her about page.

Nov
14

Survey Results are in! Final 2012 #AllAccessSAP Xcelsius Webinar is a GO!

We just wanted to say a big ‘THANK YOU’ to everyone who completed the survey! The results are in, with over 2K votes and even more shocking than we expected.

View the complete report now!

Also, by popular demand, the discounted registration pricing for the BI Dashboard Formula 2.0 has been extended to November 23rd! Join us on this journey to getting your BI Dashboards on track for 2013!

Cheers!

Soo Tang Yuk (@sootangyuk) is the ‘Xcelsius Gurus Network” community manager and evangelist. To find out more, please visit her about me page.

Sep
19

Free XWIS test-drive coming to a city near You!

During my keynote at the recent “Mastering SAP BusinessObjects” conference in Melbourne, Australia I said “in order to make Xcelsius or SAP Dashboards enterprise ready you need XWIS from Antivia.” I said this because Antivia’s XWIS closes five key gaps in Xcelsius / SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards functionality which are fundamental to enterprise dashboard success:

  1. Reduced complexity
  2. Design productivity
  3. Dashboard performance
  4. End-user functionality
  5. Mobile delivery

Just as WebIntelligence makes it easy to manage multi-dimensional data with its micro-cube, so XWIS brings similar in-dashboard OLAP capabilities to Xcelsius development. This reduces dashboard complexity by avoiding the need to create multiple connections to the server for different slices of data and by eliminating the formulas required to knit these slices of data together in the spreadsheet. Less complexity means you’ll achieve a significant increase in design productivity (meaning more dashboards, developed more quickly) and at the same time you’ll see a dramatic improvement in dashboard performance (both initial load and click-to-click). XWIS also enables the out-of-the-box addition of key end-user functionality such as drill-down, drill-across and “slice and dice”. And to top it off, all this is available both off-line and on tablet devices. But, I want you to see this for yourself … so, I’d encourage you to get along to one of the hands-on XWIS test-drives that Antivia is planning, this fall. By taking a test-drive, you will see all of these capabilities in action as you build your own interactive, connected dashboard, from scratch, against a significant dataset, within minutes, using XWIS.

Antivia is running test-drives in Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia and New York during the first week of October.  My good friend Donald MacCormick (a key-player in the acquisition of Xcelsius by Business Objects and one of the guest speakers I hand-picked for my BI Dashboard Formula) is hosting each test-drive. Given the interactive nature of these events, space is limited, so I would urge you to register for an XWIS test-drive today.

Mico Yuk is a SAP Mentor and BI Influencer, co-founder of Benchmarkers Business Intelligence and founder of the Xcelsius Gurus Network, the Everything Xcelsius blog. To learn more about her, please visit her about page.

Aug
20

Webinar in 24 hrs: Xcelsius Dashboard Scoping

Join Mico tomorrow for yet another FREE webinar that relates to her new BI Dashboard Formula training series.

Due to a number of requests to have “a little more time to gain approval”, we have re-opened the registration page until Friday, August 31st, 2012.  As the class is scheduled to start on September 6th, this will be your absolute LAST OPPORTUNITY to REGISTER for the BI Dashboard Formula.

While presented at a few conferences, Mico has never focused on this topic  in such detail before as it’s an excerpt from the BIDF teachings.  Expect to leave this webinar seeing BI Dashboard Scoping in a new light.  In order to successfully complete your dashboard scoping you must…

Gather three types of requirements:

1. DATA requirements – Capture all the details about the KPI’s and metrics such as the definition, how to calculate, the data sourc(s), any business rules and much more
2. FUNCTIONAL requirements – Learn how your business user expects to ‘use’ the dashboard
3. DESIGN requirements – Define the look and feel of the dashboard

Here are the details to register:

  1. WHERE – Click here to Register (or copy and paste into browser: http://bit.ly/Olqki0)
  2. WHEN – Tomorrow (08/21/2012) at 1pm EST / 10am PST sharp
  3. NOTE – If you cannot attend the live webinar be sure to register to receive the link to the webinar recording
  4. WHAT - Mico will cover about 40% of  Module 3 of the BI Dashboard Formula Training Series, the most popular teaching of the series and will describe how to use the BI Dashboard Formula Blueprint (template)

Hope you can join us!

Soo Tang Yuk (@sootangyuk) is the ‘Xcelsius Gurus Network” community manager and evangelist. To find out more, please visit her about me page.

Jul
26

Dynamic status update of Check Box components in Xcelsius: Part 2/4

Select All or Select None

The ability to update the status of multiple logically related Check Box components with one click is a common request when using SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (Xcelsius).

Another frequently requested feature is the “Invert Selection” functionality, when on “one click” a user can deselect (uncheck) all of the currently selected items and select (check) those, which were not in the original selection.

The benefits of having these features might not be obvious while dealing with just 3-4 check boxes. However, when we have more of them and try to check only the few that we are interested in, such functionality becomes highly desirable.

The challenge here is making the Check Box component be checked or unchecked dynamically. In Part 1 of this series I demonstrated how to accomplish a dynamic status update (e.g. Reset) of a single Check Box component. This post is about applying that approach to multiple Check Box components.

Let’s build a model with multiple check boxes that represent geographical regions.

We want to support a selective update of individual check boxes and also a simultaneous update of all of them or just those that belong to a predefined group.

1. Set up a spreadsheet as shown in the figure below. For this example, the region “East” is associated with the group 2 and the other ones with the group 1 (see column H). These group names have no special meaning and could be replaced with other identifiers, if it’s also reflected in the dependent formulae.

2. Add to a canvas four sets of components, each of which represents the region to be selected at run time and consists of two check boxes (checked and unchecked), a label and a push button, as shown in a figure above.

3. Link Label components to the cells with the region names in the range I2:I5.

4. Bind the push buttons’ Source Data properties to the cells in column A and the Destination properties to the cells in the column G in the same row.

5. Make the push buttons transparent as explained in my Custom Push Buttons post.

6. Set the Item property of one of the check boxes in each set as a Checked and the other one as Unchecked. The Item property is located on the Common tab of the Behavior section.

7. Configure Dynamic Visibility for each check box in a set by linking their Status properties to the cells in the Status range G2:G5 (shaded in yellow). Set the Key property for the checked check boxes to 1 and to 0 for the unchecked ones.

8. Stack check boxes in each set and place the corresponding transparent push buttons on top.

9. Resize and align Label components with the check boxes.

10. Add to the model five new push buttons and label them as All, None, Invert, Group1 and Group2.

11. All push buttons will use the cells in the Status range (G2:G5) as a Destination property.

The Push Button component fires only on a click and stays neutral upon dashboard load. It allows us to use multiple push buttons pointing to the same destination. The ordinal positions of the components in the Object Browser do not impact the result.

12. Button All uses as a Data Source the range B2:B5 with values 1 in all cells.

Data Source property of the button None is bound to the range C2:C5 with values 0 in all cells.

Invert button points Data Source property to the range A2: A5 with the formula =1-G2 in the cell A2 copied down in other cells in the range.

Buttons Group1 and Group2 illustrate the selection that is based on a custom logic. They use as the Data Sources the ranges D2:D5 and E2:E5 correspondingly. The formula in D2 is =SIGN(H2=1) and the formula in E2 is =SIGN(H2=2). They are copied down the ranges and flagging regions in the Group1 and Group2.

13. For the visualization of underlying run time changes, add a Spreadsheet Table component and bind its Display Data property to the spreadsheet range shown in the figure above.

14. Open a Preview. As depicted in the following figures, we can flip the values in the cells in the Status range by selectively checking/unchecking check boxes and also can simultaneously check/uncheck check boxes in the various logical groups using the push buttons.

One of the practical applications of this functionality is a toggling of the display of a chart series based on the statuses of the corresponding check boxes. I will show how it can be implemented in one of the next posts.

Leonid Koyfman is a BI professional with over 10 years of experience in a database design and development and in delivering reporting solutions using enterprise reporting technologies. He is a big Xcelsius enthusiast passionate about dashboard design and other kinds of data visualization. In his leisure time Leonid enjoys solving mental puzzles and hiking in the Bay Area with his family.

Apr
23

Recording and Book Giveaway: Most Important Xcelsius Webinar of 2012

Hi Everyone,

We first want to say thanks for attending the Most Important Xcelsius Webinar of 2012! Consider  this to be one of three upcoming blog posts discussing the details of the webinar. Please be sure to read it all the way through before previewing the video to view some great outcomes from the webinar.  Enjoy!

10 Amazing Webinar Facts

  1. Registration soared to a record 1086! (30+ countries)
  2. 64% show up rate with over 700+ attendees
  3. 400+ Questions received
  4. 96% Attendee approval rate from feedback survey!
  5. 500+ tweets on our twitter hashtags #AllAccessSAP and #XcelsiusSOD reflected the traffic of a mini conference (and still going BTW)!
  6. 48% of the customers on the call had both SAP BW and Business Objects when polled
  7. 82% of the attendees had no idea what SAP Zen was (though Zen reflected 30% of the questions asked and is the next most requested AllAccessSAP Webinar)
  8. #SAPZen twitter hashtag has been bred into life!
  9. SAP BI Commnity Response was historical and overwhelming! To date we have 7 blog posts, 1 podcast and 1 semantic analysis and counting…
  10. 6 Amazing SAP BI panelist, namely Mani Gill, Ty Miller, Jason Rose, Ian Mayor, Scott Leaver and Mani Srinivasan did an AMAZING job answering questions!  Big thanks to them for participating and making this a success. :-)

Anticipated Xcelsius Book Giveaways!

You couldn’t possibly think that we forgot the BOOK GIVEAWAY from our friends at SAP Press?!  CONGRATS to our winners (check your emails for more details).

  • Winner #1 – Marc Teixido Ibarz (SP)
  • Winner #2 – Ruby Norley (US)
  • Winner #3 – Bala Seetharaman (IN)

I wrote the foreword for this book and can personally recommend that you buy it now, especially if BI4 is on your plate.  Electronic versions available for non US folks too!

AllAccess SAP Xcelsius Webinar Recording (60 mins of No BS)

Sit back and turn up the volume…

If you are having trouble viewing the video, please click the direct link: http://youtu.be/vMVnBnr0PHY

Useful Links & SAP BI Community Webinar Responses

Additional Responses from the Community post this blog:

Our Fav Tweets – Share the Community Passion!

What’s Next?

I will follow up with 2 more blog posts in the next week. One that seeks to get even deeper answers from SAP on the most pressing questions not covered in the webinar. My 2nd blog post will focus on my thoughts on the Xcelsius SOD and what it means for SAP customers and their existing and future dashboards.

Your Feedback is Required

We want to hear from you! Do post your comments below or on twitter using our hashtags #AllAccessSAP and #XcelsiusSOD to keep the conversation going. Remember big brother is reading. :)

Mico Yuk is a SAP Mentor and SAP BI Influencer, co-founder of Benchmarkers Business Intelligence and founder of the Xcelsius Gurus Network, the Everything Xcelsius blog. To learn more about her, please visit her about page.

Apr
17

Alert: Most Important Xcelsius Webinar of 2012

Hi Our Loyal Followers,

If you have used, invested or are curious about the Xcelsius software, this may the be most important email you will read in 2012!  It’s been a LOOONGG, SLOW year in the Xcelsius world, but I’m sure most of you have seen or heard the buzz about the upcoming “All Access Xcelsius” Webinar tomorrow (4/18/12) at 10am PST/ 1p EST that I will be hosting along with the SAP BI Team.

If you recall, SAP promised to give us the long awaited ‘Xcelsius Statement of Direction’ back in Jan of 2012. To date we have seen NULL.  This call is to follow up on that request and get your future of Xcelsius questions answered.

Besides the NO BS or Marketing theme (had to make SAP promise), there are a number of reasons why you need to attend:

  1. UPDATE: The Xcelsius Statement of Direction (SOD) has been delivered! Read it here: http://bit.ly/HUkPqW / or if behind a firewall, try here: http://bit.ly/HUmfli
  2. NEW Call Format - Unlike traditional webinars, where SAP typically whips out a PPT for 45 mins, tells you all the good things they hope to come and then leave 10 mins for questions, we will have 15 mins of PPT and 40 mins of questions. Expect most of the questions entered in the registration form to be answered at this time. We will also be taking questions via Twitter and monitoring the Hashtags #AllAccessSAP or #XcelsiusSOD.
  3. Panel.. the whole  SAP BI team! - This usually exists at conferences, and to be honest as the registration numbers started increasing to alarming heights SAP just kept adding team members. GO COMMUNITY. Let’s keep them on their toes!  Guess no one wants to be the naked emperor.
  4. Live Polls – During the call we want to give SAP as much feedback as possible, so we will be hosting a few live polls on the call and showing the results in real time.
  5. Post Surveys – It is also critical that you fill out the post webinar survey that will feature some questions that SAP needs to gain feedback on to ensure that we continue to gain updates. Snuck into there, we will also ask what you would like to see happen with EverythingXcelsius.com in 2012. :-)
  6. Continuity.. Lets do it again! - Now note, because of the overwhelming response SAP is already considering doing this same kind of No BS webinar for other areas and tools such as WebI etc. Please be sure again to fill out the post survey if you want this repeated.
  7. Three Xcelsius Book Giveaways – As a thank you for your support our friends at SAP Press provided 3 of the NEW Creating Dashboards with SAP BusinessObjects (2nd ed.) books to raffle on the call.  You Must be present to WIN. I personally wrote the foreword for this book and it is the only book that will give you clear guidance on how to use Xcelsius in an Enterprise environment. Don’t miss out!

Registration Link: You can register using this link: http://bit.ly/XcelsiusSOD. Even if you can’t make the actual webinar, we encourage you to sign up to receive the recording afterwards.

Now to the NO BS Clang… Joining us from SAP will be:

  • Mani Gill – VP, Business Intelligence Solution Management, SAP
  • Ty Miller – Senior Director, Solution Management, SAP
  • Jason Rose – VP, BI Solution Marketing (but he is hanging up his marketing hat for this webinar)
  • Ian Mayor – Director, BI Solution Management, SAP
  • Scott Leaver – Director, BI Solution Management, SAP
  • Mani Srinivasan – Solution Manager, BI Solution Management, SAP (Explorer)

We asked the community to come out and support us, and the response is overwhelming! At 100 registrants per day globally, we have over 750+ registrants and counting.  As the global evangelist for this product, I  just want to say your response makes my 2nd (unpaid) job worth the while. THANK YOU! Don’t forget, even if you can’t make the webinar, still sign up to receive the recording afterwards: http://bit.ly/XcelsiusSOD.

PS – Sorry that I have not been blogging as much. It’s very challenging working a day job, dealing with SAP on the back end to keep things moving, being on twitter trying to gain real time responses, and blogging.  I do have lots to say and will work on getting this going soon.  Meanwhile I would appreciate if you could let me know what you want to see on EverythingXcelsius.com in 2012. Thanks!

Mico Yuk is a SAP Mentor and Influencer, founder of the Xcelsius Gurus Network, the Everything Xcelsius blog, and co-founder of Benchmarkers Business Intelligence. To learn more about her, please visit her about page.

Jan
10

Intro to Guest Blogger, Leonid Koyfman & what he has planned for Us!

Welcome to my first post on Everything Xcelsius. I’m Leonid Koyfman, a Database Architect at AKQA in San Francisco. Although my primary responsibilities are in a database domain, data visualization and dashboard design in particular have always been in the area of my interests. In my career I completed many reporting projects using Crystal Reports, Actuate and various Microsoft products.

Creating reports and dashboards in Excel prepared me well for transition to Xcelsius. Its mashup of art and technology impressed me from the moment I opened a trial version and I enthusiastically promoted Xcelsius in the company I worked for then.

Starting with Xcelsius 4.0 we developed a line of web analytics dashboards for financial institutions. Our clients loved them. Instead of hundreds static slides in PowerPoint decks, they received interactive dashboards with intuitive navigation and the level of detail not supported in the legacy reports.  While the data preparation on the database side and in Excel was the bulk of the work, using Xcelsius for the presentation delivered the knockout punch. The resounding success of the project made me even stronger proponent of Xcelsius. It also inspired me to be creative and look for workarounds when Xcelsius doesn’t support needed functionality out of the box.

While getting better with every new release, Xcelsius still needs more popularization. Everything Xcelsius is one of the major players in that field. I’ve been a big fan of the website for many years, regularly visiting the site, learning new techniques and developing new skills. I’m glad to have a chance to share some of my ideas, tips and tricks here.

In the next several posts I’m going to examine various applications of customized Push Button controls in Xcelsius. Stay tuned!!

Leonid Koyfman is a BI professional with over 10 years of experience in a database design and development and in delivering reporting solutions using enterprise reporting technologies. He is a big Xcelsius enthusiast passionate about dashboard design and other kinds of data visualization. In his leisure time Leonid enjoys solving mental puzzles and hiking in the Bay Area with his family.

Oct
25

Operational Reporting: Leveraging Crystal Reports as a Model for Embedded BI

As I attempt to describe in the below figure, there are a few types of BI that are currently available from BI vendors. Historically, most BI deployments began with pure reporting that delivered information to those who needed it for making decisions. Those reports were either printed or delivered electronically via email or a portal. From that basic reporting arose a requirement to either see more high-level, graphical information (e.g., dashboards) or a requirement to have more interactive reporting. Over time, the deployment eventually builds up to where the implementation and the users are mature enough to need analysis capabilities. Of course, today, users are more mature with regards to locating information, manipulating that information, and telling a story with it. As such, more and more BI deployments are starting with analysis.

All of these different types of BI can either be accessed in a standalone mode or embedded. With SAP BusinessObjects, standalone can mean either via a desktop application, BI LaunchPad, or one of the various mobile applications that exist. From an embedded standpoint, you could imagine information being delivered via an internal portal (e.g., SharePoint) or within another vendor’s application (e.g., Sage CRM). For SAP Crystal Reports, and other reporting tools, this has been a cornerstone for engaging partners and proliferating BI content.

Operational Reports

When you think of reporting, you would typically envision something like operational reports. These are reports that contain specific details about an entity and are directly responsible for supporting business processes. For example, if you were a support representative and were helping a customer on the phone, you might want to see a list of all orders that the customer has placed over the past 12 months. An operational report, such as the one below, would be one way to display this information.

In addition, operational reports are usually embedded directly within other applications. In the above example, the reports for support representatives could be embedded directly within a CRM application. This would allow the individual on the phone with the customer to click a button or a link and quickly bring up the information that they need to reference. In this scenario, the data is either contained within a database behind the CRM application or is generated by the application. In either case, the data is then pushed into the embedded report while the application is running so that the support representative can get what they need in real time.

The figure below shows an example of an application, Sage SalesLogix, which currently embeds Crystal Reports content.

In this workflow, a user has searched or browsed a list of available reports in order to find the one that is relevant for them.

In any case, the important bit is that Sage did not need to develop a report component on their own. They were able to take something, Crystal Reports, which was already built and embed it. The benefit to their customers is that they have a well known reporting solution built in, they can create their own reports using Crystal Reports, and can more easily upgrade their reporting solution by leveraging the SAP BusinessObjects suite to deliver other types of BI content.

Leveraging Embedded Reporting as a Model for Embedded BI

The widespread embedding of Crystal Reports, and other reporting solutions, into other software begs the question of how we (as a general BI ecosystem) can leverage all of this experience of embedding reporting so that we can make it easier to embed BI as a whole. There are examples out there today where interactive BI content and analytics are being embedded; however, this is an area of growth for BI.

What examples do you know of where this is being done today? How can BI software vendors make this easier?

Coy Yonce is a Principal Technical Architect at EV Technologies and has worked in Business Intelligence for over 10 years. Before joining EV Technologies, Coy was a Crystal Reports Product Owner at SAP for many years. His main focus is leading conversations and being active in the BI community. Connect with him directly via:

Twitter – SDN – Zerply – Scribd – Slideshare – LinkedIn – Google+