Wolfe's Den Vlog: SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Brings BI To Masses - InformationWeek

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9/5/2009
11:02 AM
Alexander Wolfe
Alexander Wolfe
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Wolfe's Den Vlog: SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Brings BI To Masses

I caught up with SAP recently during their customer tour to roll out their hot new, intuitive Business Intelligence product, and shot a short video demo. SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is billed as a venture into real-time BI. What that means is it enables non-power-users -- as in, sales and marketing folks looking for quick data runs -- to extract useful information via simple, Google-like queries.

I caught up with SAP recently during their customer tour to roll out their hot new, intuitive Business Intelligence product, and shot a short video demo. SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is billed as a venture into real-time BI. What that means is it enables non-power-users -- as in, sales and marketing folks looking for quick data runs -- to extract useful information via simple, Google-like queries.As Rajiv Shah, the SAP platform solutions specials who does the demo in our video, framed it, SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is a product which broadens access to BI. "It's a solution designed for the casual information user," he said. "Typically, BI solutions are geared toward the power user."

BusinessObjects Explorer presents those relatively newbie users with an intuitive interface, enabling them to pull up data, charts, and trend information using simple keyword queries. The objective is to "explore the information to derive insights so they can make quick decisions," Shah says. "It's combining the speed and simplicity of search, along with the analytic power of business intelligence."

To place this product in a broader BI context, let's turn to Doug Henschen's InformationWeek cover story, "4 Technologies That Are Reshaping Business Intelligence."

Doug identifies tools such as BusinessObjects Explorer as one of the elements on his hit parade of trends poised to change BI. Namely, it's the faster analysis of data, made possible via the use of in-memory calculations. Here's how he explains it (please also go see the full article):

"The power and appeal of in-memory products have grown in recent years as multicore, multithreaded, and 64-bit server technologies have become more commonplace and affordable. These hardware advances enable in-memory products to analyze the equivalent of multiple data marts or even small data warehouses in RAM. The technology also eliminates, or at least minimizes, the need for extensive data prep and performance tuning by IT. For end users, that means faster self-service BI without waiting in the IT queue.

SAP gave a jolt to in-memory approaches this spring with SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, which blends the Internet-search-style querying of its Polestar interface with the in-memory analysis of SAP's Business Warehouse Accelerator appliance. The product is available with or without the super-charging of in-memory 64-bit technology, but without it, it's an Internet-search-style querying tool."

OK, enough nattering from me. Let's go to the video, and see Rajiv's demo of SAP BusinessObjects Explorer:



In conclusion, I don't want to provide free advertising, but I think it's useful to point out to you, dear readers, that a free 21-day trial is available from SAP if you go to https://goexplore.ondemand.com.

For Additional Reading:
Wolfe's Den Vlog: SAP BI Goes Social With Clearspace;
Podcast: Sybase, SAP Talk Smartphone Apps.

Follow me on Twitter: (@awolfe58)

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Alex Wolfe is editor-in-chief of InformationWeek.com.

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