Posts Tagged ‘SAP’

Aug
26

Join Mico Yuk at the #MasteringSAP Business Analytics conference in Johannesburg, ZA

 

MasteringSAP Johannesburg4

 

Join Mico Yuk at the MasteringSAP Reporting & Analytics conference, September 9-11th, in Johannesburg, South Africa. This unique conference is aimed at business leaders who drive the need for reporting, along with IT executives and their BI teams.

The agenda is perfectly balanced to speak to business users as well as BI teams and is made up of local & international case studies – customers and users sharing stories that will help their peers to fast track initiatives and improve business processes. These are real business examples of people using their data assets to drive good analytics!

Mico MasteringSAP Johannesburg

Mico will share her incredible knowledge through keynote presentations and full-day deep-dive workshops, rated #1 and #2 by attendees:

  • Monday (9th) – Conference Day One
    • (09:00am) Opening Keynote: Top 5 BI Guerrilla Tactics to Overcome User Resistance!
    • (14:15pm) Learn Three Keys to Unlock Your Executive BI Chequebook
  • Wednesday (11th) – Workshops
    • (08:30am) BI Dashboard Formula
  • Registration:MagsteringSAP.co.za/bi

There is only 13 days left to register and places are limited so register online ASAP to reserve your seat, or contact The Eventful Group at +27 21 460 0434 to get registered!

If you can’t attend, Mico will also be tweeting & taking many pics, on twitter and instagram using #MasteringSAP hashtag!

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

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.

Aug
15

Live Broadcast: #AllAccessSAP HANA with Steve Lucas, EVP at SAP

Join us tomorrow at 3pm EST for a AllAccessSAP live broadcast on the current state of HANA with Mico Yuk, Steve Lucas, EVP Business Analytics, Database, & Technology SAP America Inc. and Richard McCormack, SVP for Enterprise Systems, Fujitsu America Inc.

Questions will be taken via twitter using hashtag #AllAccessSAP and the live audience, which consists of representatives from top corporations like Coca Cola, The Home Depot, Newell Rubbermaid, Georgia Pacific, McKesson, Landis + Gyr and more…

Here is how to signup:

  • Click here: AllAccessSAP.com to receive the link to the live broadcast
  • When: Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 3pm EST

We hope you will join us tomorrow as Mico and guests will discuss the current state of HANA and address some of the myths, issues and top questions head on!!

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

Jun
6

Dynamic status update of Check Box components in Xcelsius: Part 1/4

Part 1: To Check or not to Check

One of the most common requests when using SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (Xcelsius) is the ability to selectively reset Selector components back to their original state. Unlike many other selectors, the task isn’t as easy to achieve with the Check Box component. We can’t dynamically update its Checked/Unchecked status because the changes of the value in the cell that the component is bound to don’t affect the component itself. Lack of this functionality also makes it difficult to support updating the statuses of multiple check boxes at once. This post is the first of a series in which I’m going to share my solution to that challenge and examine some of its practical applications.

Xcelsius Check Box component looks similar to its Excel counterpart, but acts differently. In Excel, the connection between a Check Box control and its linked cell works both ways, as implied by the control’s property: Cell Link. Updating the Check Box status changes the value in the linked cell and vice versa. So in Excel, we can dynamically change a linked cell value and see immediate change in the control’s status. That’s not the case with the Xcelsius Check Box component. The hint is in the component’s corresponding property name: Destination. It only assigns the value to the target cell. If that cell is updated by other components, the Check Box component is not notified about the change, and its status stays the same.

Conduct a simple test and compare the results using the same scenario in Excel and Xcelsius:

1. Add a Check Box and a Spin Button control from the Excel’s Form Controls section to a worksheet and link both of them to the cell C2.

2. Set the spin button values range from 0 to 1.

3. When the check box is checked / unchecked the cell gets TRUE / FALSE values.

When the spin button is clicked Up or Down it changes values in the linked cell to 1 or 0 and at the same time the check box’s status gets toggled as well.

4. Now, let’s see what happens in Xcelsius.

Add Check Box, Spinner and Single Value components to a canvas.

5. Link all of the components to the cell C2 and open a Preview.

6. When the check box is checked or unchecked the destination cell gets values of 1 or 0.

But when the spinner updates the value in that cell the check box’s status doesn’t change.

This means that in the current version of Xcelsius there is no built-in functionality to dynamically toggle the Checked/Unchecked status of the Check Box component.

Luckily, there is a work around. Unlike Excel Form Controls, Xcelsius components have a Dynamic Visibility property. Using its magic in a conjunction with a Push Button component, we can simulate Excel’s check box functionality in Xcelsius.

Let’s create a model that demonstrates this technique:

1. Add two Push Button and two Check Box components to a canvas. We are going to extend the methods described in another post, Customizing a Push Button and combine check boxes and a push button into one custom push button. We also can use the Image Components instead, if we have a pair of good images of a checked and unchecked check box. It makes sense especially if we want to display the check boxes that look fancier than Xcelsius ones.

2. Set Item property of one of the check boxes as a Checked and the other one as Unchecked. Item property is located on the Common tab of the Behavior section. Bind Source Data for the push buttons to cell A3 and Destination to H3. The Excel formula in A3 is =1-H3 and the initial value in the H3 is 1.

3. Cell H3 will define the Dynamic Visibility Status property for both check boxes. Set the Key property for the checked check box to 1 and 0 for the unchecked one.

At this point the model set up should be similar to the following figure:

1. One of the push buttons will be displayed as is and the other one will be transparent. Its Label property should be blank and the Show Button Background property unchecked.

2. Stack check boxes and place the transparent push button on top of them.

3. Add Spreadsheet Table component to see what happens behind the preview.

Now we are ready to test.

When a preview starts we can see that the check box is checked and the values in A3 (shade in green) is 0 and in H3 (shaded in yellow) is 1.

When a user clicks on a check box, the unchecked one is displayed instead, and the values in H3 and A3 get changed to 0 and 1, respectively.

Clicking on the unchecked check box brings the model to the initial state. And, as we remember, the real click happens on the push button, not on a check box. But it’s transparent to a user.

Clicking on the shown push button updates the value in a status cell H3. But this time, unlike out-of-the-box Xcelsius behavior, the status of the displayed check box, from the user experience perspective, is also changed. In reality, we just alternated the display of the check boxes, but a user doesn’t know it (and doesn’t care).

This approach allows mimicking the Excel check box functionality in resetting the Checked/Unchecked status of the Xcelsius Check Box component. It also gives us a working model that we can extend to more complex designs that provide rules based dynamic selection of logically grouped multiple check box components. I’m going to show such an example in the Part 2 of this series: Select all or Select none.

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+

Aug
24

The value of the SAP BusinessObjects Ecosystem

Ryan Goodman’s last post, Understanding BI4 Dashboards and XWIS, drew a couple of comments (here and there) expressing frustration that capabilities of third party extensions ought to be delivered as a native part of the SAP Business Objects product.

To my mind this is a glass-half-empty view of things. Although the BI4/XI3 platforms come with numerous connectivity options for Xcelsius, no software is ever 100% feature complete (that is what upgrades are all about), so inevitably there is room for people to dream up ways in which features could be better. The great thing about SAP BusinessObjects is that (through both their Crystal and BusinessObjects histories) they have had the foresight to make sure their products are open to third-party developers to extend and enhance their BI platform through an ecosystem of innovation. So the glass-is-half-full view is that rather than having to wait for SAP BusinessObjects to provide a particular feature in a future release there is a product which fills them today.

(As a side note, the nature of third-party extension means that this also follows Vishal Sikka’s vision of “innovation without disruption”, with extension products integrating seamlessly with existing versions of the platform.) As I mentioned in a recent post on BI standardization, this partner ecosystem is one of the key advantages of choosing a large BI platform vendor.

In one of the comments the concern was that customers have to spend more money on such partner extensions. Again this is a glass-half-empty view because, whilst extensions will usually come at a cost (third-parties have to make a living too) they will also usually be designed to provide a return on investment. Anything else is just too hard to sell, so using the right extensions should be a financial saving rather than a financial drain.

The other comment seemed a bit confusing, it started by asking “why are we looking for different products to try and integrate with one another” and ended up suggesting a jump to a completely different dashboarding environment, which would require much more integration effort with the core BI platform, than any well designed platform extension would need. This comment is doubly ironic as many platform extension products are specifically designed to add features which avoid the need to jump to new non-integrated environments.

Overall I would recommend you resist the urge to be indignant and reject third party tools because they “should have come in the box”, this is a classic instance of being “right rather than effective”, make full use of the power of the ecosystem around your BI platform, assess extensions on the ROI they generate for your current situation and only when you run out of options inside your ecosystem consider non-integrated tools outside it.

Donald MacCormick is the Chief Product and Marketing Officer at Antivia, an SAP® software solution partner, and creator of XWIS the Xcelsius-to-SAP BusinessObjects connectivity solution. In past years, he was a long term member of BusinessObjects and Crystal, and part of the team that brought Xcelsius into the BusinessObjects portfolio.

May
12

Mico’s #SAPPHIRENOW / #ASUG2011 Schedule

Hi Everyone,

With less than 3 days left for the SAPPHIRENOW / ASUG2011 Conference in Orlando, FL,  I just wanted to do a quick check-in. Before I get to my schedule, I wanted to share my interview from 2 weeks ago with Liz Brenner: “Follow the Leader: Living Her Dream- the Brave Mico Yuk“, for those of who that want to find out more about me. I also want to thank Liz for such an awesome job!

Now to the matter at hand! Below is a list of events where you can find me, along with my role in CAPS (this reflects about 1/4 of my schedule, so I really hope to meet with as many of you as I can).

Monday, May 16th

  • SPEAKER: SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (formerly Xcelsius) Gurus- FAQ session | Time: 3:00 to 4:00 pm | Location: Broadcast Center 2 (ASUG booth on the show floor)
    • How to leverage SAP BusinesObjects dashboards in your organization
    • Why SAP BusinessObjects dashboard is the best tool for your organization
    • How and when to integrate it with the other tools in the SAP BusinessObjects Suite of software
    • How and when to use the most popular connectivity options
  • JUDGE/JUROR: SAP HANA InnoJam Final | Time: 6:00 to 11:00pm |  Location:  Hilton Hotel (next to convention center)

Tuesday, May 17th

  • MODERATOR: ASUG’s 1st Women’s Leadership Breakfast Panel | Time: 7:00 to 9:00 am | Location: Dux Room at the Peabody Hotel
  • SPEAKER: Xcelsius Gurus Dashboard Methodology 101- 7 Proven Steps to successfully developing your SAP BusinessObjects Dashboard (Xcelsius) with Ryan Goodman | Time: 3:00 to 4:00 pm | Location: S322- Benchmarking Sessions
    • Step 1: Scoping- Gathering Requirements
    • Step 2: Mock up Design (Excel Data Policy)
    • Step 3: Universe Creation (Data Validation)
    • Step 4: Data Connectivity (Ex: QaaWS, Live Office, Cross Domain Policy)
    • Step 5: User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
    • Step 6: Production (Dashboard Launch)
    • Step 7: Change Management (Training & Knowledge Transfer)

Wednesday, May18th

  • INTERVIEWER: Live Interview with Bridgette Chambers (CEO, America’s SAP User’ Group) | Time: 4:30 to 5:00 pm | Location: ASUG Studio

I also want to thank all the folks at SAP and ASUG that have been working with me over the last couple of weeks to make this all possible! Look forward to seeing everyone there!

Mico Yuk is a 2010 SAP Mentor and the founder of the Xcelsius Guru Network, the Everything Xcelsius blog, and co-founder of Benchmarkers Business Intelligence. To learn more about her, please visit our About Us page.

Apr
26

Casting Call- Xcelsius Usability Testing at SAPPHIRE ASUG Annual Conference

Calling all Xcelsius fans! It’s that time again!!

The SAP Dashboards (Xcelsius) product team will be conducting usability tests on-site again at SAP ASUG Annual Conference in Orlando (May 16-18, 2011). Don’t miss out on this great chance for you to test out and provide feedback on the latest enhancements and features under development for a future Dashboard Design (Xcelsius) release.  Below is the official blurb that will appear in conference materials, but you can sign up before you even get to Florida to ensure a time slot convenient for you. The instructions are at the bottom of this post.

Details

Description Great chance to test out and provide feedback on the lastest enhancements and new features under development for a future Dashboard Design release, including hierarchical data consumption and new data binding workflows.
Role/s BI users who have experience building/consuming dashboards in Dashboard Design (Xcelsius), preferably working in a BusinessObjects Enterprise environment.

Role A: Dashboard Creator: with IT background

Role B: Dashboard Consumer: with business background

Previous Experientce Some experience with Dashboard Design (Xcelsius) is a must. BusinessObjects Enterprise experience is optional, but preferred.

Role A: Dashboard Creator:

  • IT or power users working for enterprise wide, LoB wide or departments; build content for decision maker/stakeholders.
  • Professional IT experience >5y (programming languages, database )
  • BI Tool experience (data modeling tool/ analytic tool/excel )

Role B: Dashboard Consumer:

  • Casual users who view/present the created dash boards and make decision upon (can be Executives, team managers or operational staff)
  • E-commerce knowledge background.
Preview You will work with our researchers to test on the prototypes for a future release of Dashboard Design relating to hierarchical data consumption, direct data binding and other enhancements, which are amongst most important features for 4.1. During the session you will be guided to go through a series of tasks under several senarios where you may have a taste of what they would actually function. What you really experienced in the process and comments/advices will be critical to base the design desicion.
How to sign-up on-line 1. Go to http://usability.sap.com.
2. Click on “ASUG Annual Conference 2011″.
3. Click the “Register here” link on the left-hand side (in the Login section) and create an account.
4. Log in to your account.
5. Click on “Topic Catalog” on the left-hand side.
6. Under “Topics”, select “
SAP BusinessObjects Dashboard Design (Xcelsius)
7. Find a convenient time slot and click “Sign Up”.

Please feel free to contact Clare Xie (clare.xie@sap.com) if there is any questions or thoughts. We looking forward to seeing you in Orlando next month!

Soo Tang Yuk is the ‘Xcelsius Gurus Network” community manager and evangelist. To find out more about her, please visit the About Us page.

Want to keep up with all the latest Xcelsius News? Follow us on:

Apr
4

Webinar Alert: Improving Xcelsius Dashboard Performance

Join Mike Alexander (Author, Crystal Xcelsius for Dummies & Microsoft Excel MVP) and Mico Yuk (SAP Mentor & Co-Founder, Benchmarkers Business Intelligence) on Friday, April 8, 2011, at 1pm EST, for a one hour webinar, titled: “Improving Xcelsius Dashboard Performance“.

In this session, Mike and Mico will share some techniques you can use to speed up your sluggish dashboard solutions.

Learn “How To”:

  • Use Performance Enhancing Excel Functions and Modeling Tips
  • Avoid Dashboard Habits That Slow Down Your Solutions
  • Lighten Dashboard Models with Server-Side Solutions
  • Leverage Performance Enhancing Tips for Qaaws And Live Office
  • Find out which Add-ons really help performance

We also have a surprise giveaway! So this is definitely a MUST Attend!

Webinar Details:

Also, don’t forget our Xcelsius Advanced Developer Workshop in Miami, FL is less than 3 weeks away. Seats are filling up fast and last year we had a waiting, so register before its too late!

Soo Tang Yuk is the ‘Xcelsius Gurus Network” community manager and evangelist. To find out more about her, please visit the About Us page.

Mar
22

Webinar Alert: Introducing SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 2011 (Xcelsius)

This week I am extremely excited to help introduce through SCN, the latest version of SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 2011, on Wednesday, March 30, 2011, at 10:00 am PST, 1:00 pm EST.

For our Xcelsius Gurus network members who have stayed on top of the BI4.0 launch, you may have already seen some of the features in previous webinars. With this webinar, I am going to take a slightly different approach to introduce Xcelsius based on my previous experiences using the tool and highlight its newest strengths. Following the webinar, I would love to congregate to gain your feedback.

SIGN UP NOW!

See below for the for the official SCN Announcement:

Ryan Goodman is the Founder of Centigon Solutions, an SAP® software solution partner, that is strategically focused on developing add-on products for use with Xcelsius®. To learn more about him, please visit our Gurus page