The day started with a keynote from John Schweitzer, Sr VP and General Manager, SAP Analytics. He emphasized the value of big data and analytics in the present and even more in the future. According to Gartner, by 2020, 75% of the enterprises using analytics will realize the impact of the mobile, big data and cloud. As the speaker mentioned, the challenge right from the beginning has been the big gap between the data explosion and the end users who typically want everything with minimal turnaround time. The project lifecycle times for most of the organizations are shrinking and going AGILE in an attempt to address this challenge.
Yesterday's theme that organizations should embrace the entire SAP Analytics suite including the data warehouse, analytics and ETL with the ultimate goal of reducing the total cost of ownership was carried over to today. Sounds good. However, in my opinion, it is still challenging for organization to adopt SAP solutions from end to end keeping in my mind the investments already been made to their BI stack and the magnitude of investment required to accomplish this. Organizations starting fresh on this path may benefit more from this strategy rather than the organizations already ahead in the BI maturity curve and who have learned the art of utilizing their BI infrastructure.
One of the interesting tools mentioned was the visual intelligence, a 90 day trial for which is available to download. I would like to check out this product and compare it with other data visualization tools.
I wanted to focus on the mobility sessions today and therefore headed to a lecture on Building Reports and Dashboards for mobile devices using the SAP Business Objects tools. The mobile analytics from SAP are divided into Business Objects Mobile and Business Objects Explorer. Explorer in my mind is SAP's data exploration tool, sitting on HANA enabling users to quickly and effectively explore their data. Explorer appears to be more of a self-service BI tool and may be more of a desktop product though exploration views can be easily ported to iPAD and iPhones. I have yet to test these out myself, but plan to in CapTech's internal labs. SAP Business Objects Mobile BI can easily integrate the WebI and Crystal (PDF mode) reports on the mobile devices. The rest of this session and the others that I attended today were focused on comparison of the different mobile solutions in the market and the comparison included product like SAP Mobile BI, RoamBI, XWIS, Exxova and Infoburst.
As a consultant, the key learning for me was that the product companies have taken some great leaps from last year in imporving the mobile offerings. Xcelsius dashboards on iPAD are still a challenge with work arounds and interim solutions available. But more importantly I feel that not all organizations are ready to embark on the mobile wagon. There are many pieces that still need to fall in place before an effective mobile solution can be delivered to the front line employees. That includes analyzing the existing BI content to determine what is Mobile ready, the device support strategy, and security strategy within the Business Objects environment as well as over the network. Most of our customers have invested a great deal in their BI space and I would like to leverage the existing infrastructure and content as much as possible while enabling our customers for mobility and analytics. Therefore, I am leaning towards using SAP Mobile BI for WebI dashboards and may be using a short term work around for rendering the Xcelsius dashboards on the mobile device.
Over all, an enriching day with words like real estate, screen size, device agnostic solutions and native gestures of the device still buzzing in my mind! Planning to hear and share more about big data analytics tomorrow, stay tuned!