Choosing Right Business Intelligence Solution – SAP BusinessObjects BI Suite

In the previous article, I mentioned about the importance of choosing the right business intelligence solution for your requirement. However it is to be noted that there cannot be a defined set of rules for selecting BI solution primarily because each requirement is unique. Hence selection of BI solution is more about knowing the capabilities, strengths and weakness of the key software solutions and picking the one supporting the requirements most.

In the subsequent articles in this series I will post my evaluation findings and compare some common BI tools. It is impractical to list all the solutions at once and hence I will pick one tool at a time.

The first one in the list is one of the key BI solutions provider – SAP BusinessObjects

Note: The recommendations in this series are based on my experience with these tools over the years.  If you have comments, questions or looking for advice on your specific business requirements, feel free to post here or write to my email.

SAP Crystal Reports – One of the most popular and traditional BI solution. Starting from its origin in the early nineties, the software evolved amid acquisitions by different companies.

Capabilities

  • Traditional tabular data reports, cross tab reports
  • Charts, line graphs
  • Export capabilities – csv, excel, pdf, and many more
  • Programming interface
  • Client side reports and server based web reports
  • Rich design environment and control over the formatting and layout

Strengths:

  • It provides flexibility to connect to a wide variety of data sources.
  • Rich configuration and formatting options.
  • Well established scripting syntax and SDK for programmers; large developer base with the crystal syntax skills.
  • Low cost licensing. Remember it finally comes to what you need and how much you need to spend.

Cons:

  • Traditional BI interface and report layout.
  • Visualizations are good; it does not feature much support for interactivity and dynamic charts like new generation BI solutions such as Tableau which are way ahead in this area.
  • Developer dependency for customizations
  • No support for BI dashboards (Note : SAP Dashboard in the complete BI suite support this capability)
  • Larger developer dependency for most of your data handling and summarizations in the background.
  • I have noticed performance issues when there are sub reports which contain large volume of data.

SAP BusinessObjects BI Suite: If the specific requirement that you have is of clean formatted reporting capability, you can go for SAP Crystal Report. However if the requirements are of diverse nature including mobile app support, dashboard etc, you may want to look other solutions which comes as part of SAP BusinessObjects BI suite which includes SAP Lumira (interactive visualizations and storytelling), SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (dynamic reporting), Web Intelligence, BusinessObjects Mobile in addition to Crystal reports.

Note: The recommendations in this series are based on my experience with these tools over the years.  If you have comments, questions or looking for advice on your specific business requirements, feel free to post here or write to my email.

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3 thoughts on “Choosing Right Business Intelligence Solution – SAP BusinessObjects BI Suite

  1. Pingback: Choosing Right Business Intelligence Solution – SAP Crystal Reports vs SSRS | MSBLOGS | Biju Paulose

  2. Pingback: SAP BusinessObjects – Evolution of BI Solutions | MSBLOGS | Biju Paulose

  3. Pingback: SAP BusinessObjects – Evolution of BI Solutions | MSBLOGS | Biju Paulose

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