In This Session … You will learn how SAP BusinessObjects Explorer adds very fast ad-hoc search capabilities to your warehouse and the infrastructure needed to deploy it You will also learn how to format the output, see a step-by-step demo on how the tool works, and explore how to plan for BW- Explorer in your organization. You will also see the milestone plan for installing BW-Explorer and technical considerations for a successful implementation 2
3 What We’ll Cover … SAP BusinessObjects Explorer overview Understanding ad hoc search A step-by-step demo of analysis and formatting Installing and managing SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Planning and budgeting for SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Wrap-up
4 Why SAP BusinessObjects Explorer? SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is a search and exploration tool for unstructured and semi-structured data. Unlike querying, “exploration” is unstructured analysis. A survey of 534 top BI professionals, reported that the top concern was the ability to deliver faster query and data exploration capabilities, SAP BusinessObjects Explorer addresses this need Source: Business Intelligence Survey, InformationWeek, 2009
5 Why In-Memory Processing for SAP BusinessObjects Explorer? Disk speed is growing slower than all other hardware components In-memory data stores Multi-channel UI, high event volume, cross industry value chains Application- aware and intelligent data management Disk-based data storage Simple consumption of apps (fat client UI, EDI) General- purpose, application- agnostic database Architectural Drivers Improvement Addressable Memory 2502x MB/$ 0.02 MB/$ Memory 5066 x MIPS/$ 0.05 MIPS/$ CPU Technology Drivers 600 MBPS 5 MBPS Disk Data Transfer 120x 1000 x 100 Gbps 100 Mbps Network Speed x Source: 1990 numbers SAP AG 2010 numbers, Dr. Berg Physical hard drive speeds only grew by 120 times since All other hardware components grew faster.
Why the Rapid Adaptation of BO Explorer? One of the driving forces for Explorer has been the rapid implementation of blade solutions running on- top of SAP BW. To date, according to SAP, over 1,000 of these systems has been implemented.
SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Overview You can connect in several ways to data sets: 7 Source: SAP SAP BusinessObjects Explorer does not require SAP NetWeaver ® BW. You can accelerate all data sources. SAP BusinessObjects Explorer does not require SAP NetWeaver ® BW. You can accelerate all data sources. 1. External data may be indexed by the SAP BusinessObjects Data Services and stored on dedicated SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator blades 2. SAP NetWeaver BW data may be indexed on SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator blades for fast in- memory processing 3. External data may also be accessed as “non-accelerated” via SQL universes and SAP BusinessObjects XI 4. Excel spreadsheets may also be accessed
SAP BusinessObjects Explorer – Big Picture Source: Dr. Berg, Comerit Inc.
9 In Memory Processing: Highlights —SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator
10 In Memory Processing — Creating Indexes from External Data Using the Accelerator Index Designer in SAP BusinessObjects Data Services, you can also index data from external data files and data bases It is important to note that the SAP BusinessObjects indexes are on dedicated blades For SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator you should always have one “spare” blade for failover If a blade fails, the system can reload the indexes from the SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator file system (i.e., GPFS). For the SAP BusinessObjects Explorer blade, you can use only one blade
SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Overview Accellerated or non-Accellerated solutions 11
The Many SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Access Methods SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is normally accessed through a Web browser However, you can always download the results from a search into Excel and perform analysis from there In addition, you can save the result set as an image and load it on portal sites, handhelds, or send as an Finally, you can access the SAP BusinessObjects Explorer directly from a handheld device that supports basic Web browser functions 12 Source: Dan Kearnan, SAP AG (2010)
13 What We’ll Cover … SAP BusinessObjects Explorer overview Understanding ad hoc search A step-by-step demo of analysis and formatting Installing and managing SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Planning and budgeting for SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Wrap-up
Ad-hoc Search The core idea of SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is that users can search the BI data like they would using Google, Yahoo, Bing, or other search engines Users should not have to know how the data is structured, what query to execute, or how to display the data SAP BusinessObjects Explorer takes a “first stab” at presenting the data in a usable format From there, users may navigate and change the display The users may save their settings and the display at any time 14
15 Ad hoc Search Example 1. First we searched on “sales” and found three possible choices 2. We selected “sales Information” and searched after the term "Texas” This shows the sales amount by state as a table, the gross margin as a graph and as a table. Any display can be exported to Excel, saved as an image, ed, or bookmarked
16 What We’ll Cover … SAP BusinessObjects Explorer overview Understanding ad hoc search A step-by-step demo of analysis and formatting Installing and managing SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Planning and budgeting for SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Wrap-up
A Step-By-Step Demo: Searching Step 1. We load the SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Web interface into a browser Step 2. We Search for “sales” Step 3. We get the search results and a list of “information spaces” The search result list is sorted based on an internal “relevancy” score.
A Step-by-Step Demo: The Initial View Step 4. The system looks at the data and formats it based on implied hierarchies (i.e., time, geography, customer) as well as measures Users may navigate and change measures, graphs, and tables.
A Step-by-Step Demo: Searching in a result set & measures Step 5. Again, we are interested in sales around Texas, and can search the initial result set Step 6. By changing the Measure from “margin” to “sales revenue” all graphs and tables change
A Step-By-Step Demo: Changing Charts and Drill Down Step 7. We can change the chart by selecting from the left menu options Step 8. While the first display was based on the “best guess,” we can now drill-down to the different product lines The best graphing options, based on our data, is highlighted by a star:
A Step-By-Step Demo: More Graphing Options Step 9. There are many graphing options and some are more useful than others “Proportional” view is best when you are looking for size relations, i.e., what are the largest contributors to sales? Try several graphing options before deciding on “your” view. Most of the time, the reccomended graphs works best for the data set, but not always
A Step-By-Step Demo: Explore More — Filtering Step 10. By clicking on “Explore more” you are promted to filter on the characteristic you selected Filtering data makes the images more meaningful. It is harder to analyze 50 states and scroll through the data. Since we clicked “Explore more” in the state box, we can now select only the states we are interested in
A Step-By-Step Demo: Filter Results We now see only the (product) lines sold 3 states Always see if any items have been removed in a filter before you look at the data, i.e., 15,061,789 is not the sales revenue for the firm, only the revenue for three states. Filter values are displayed here:
A Step-By-Step Demo: The Visualization Panel Step 11. You can also zoom in on the data by only showing the visualization panel In the Visualization Panel, you can view all the fields and measures as a complete table. Notice: The table only contains data from the three states we filtered on.
A Step-By-Step Demo: Top-10 Analysis Step 12. In the visualization panel, we can perform top-10 analysis by a single click. All other values are summarized in an “other” category and graphed The ability to quickly group and summarize data is a great feature. This is normally done in the BI analytical engine of SAP NetWeaver ® BW, and can be very slow.
A Step-By-Step Demo: Other Display Options Step 13. You can view the data in relative size by using a comparison graph Line graphs are usually preferred if you have 3-20 data points Areas on the graphs can be highlighted by clicking on one or more data points
A Step-By-Step Demo: Sorting and New Calculations Step 13. Any data panel can be sorted in many ways Measures used on any graph can be calculated “on-the-fly.” Step 14. We can also add our own measures In our example we are adding the measure “Margin Per Unit” as total margin divided by “quantity sold”
A Step-By-Step Demo: Mini-OLAP Example Step 16. In this mini-OLAP example we are: Looking at some key cities in a few states (filter) Only looking at data for 2003 and only for “Sweats and T-Shirts” (filters) Examining the profit margin per unit sold (customized calculation) SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is not an OLAP tool, but can support basic drill-down features, and thereby complex unstructured analysis.
A Step-By-Step Demo: Downloading a Data Set Step 17. Any result set displayed in SAP BusinessObjects Explorer may be saved to a PC as a comma-delimited file You can select to save the data set filtered by the navigations or only the data from the visualization panel Data saved this way can be opened in Excel or imported directly into Access and other databases.
A Step-By-Step Demo: Configuring Measures Step 18. Measures in the data set can also be configured to be “filter columns” for user navigation Other options include Max Min Sum Average This is how you determine how data will be accessed and how measures will be displayed.
HINT : Connectivity, Network, and Non-Logical Calculations You sometimes can get the following message from the system: This normally means that the connectively to the system is either too slow, or broken. This is an issue that is more common for very slow connections such as older Wi-Fi networks You can also get this error message if the result set you requested is not available (i.e., non logical calculations)
32 What We’ll Cover … SAP BusinessObjects Explorer overview Understanding ad hoc search A step-by-step demo of analysis and formatting Installing and managing SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Planning and budgeting for SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Wrap-up
33 SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Required and Optional Components Installing SAP BusinessObjects Explorer can be confusing. Some components are required, while others are optional. Optional components SAP BusinessObjects Data Services XI 3.2 SP1 if you use external data Index designer plug-in if you use external accelerated data SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator 7.20 if you use accelerated data Required components SAP NetWeaver 7.01 SP05 EhP1 (minimum) SAP BusinessObjects Explorer XI 3.2 SAP BusinessObjects Explorer (blade) 2.0 Client Tools XI 3.1 SP2 Enterprise XI 3.1 SP2 (consider SP3) Integration XI 3.1 SP2 for SAP SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator, SAP BusinessObjects Data Services, and SAP BusinessObjects Explorer 3.2 can run only on SUSE Linux 64-bit OS for blade servers. SAP BusinessObjects XI and Integration can be on all SAP supported HW & OS. Source: SAP AG, Sept SAP Certified blade vendors: IBM, SUN, Dell, Cisco, Teradata, Fujitsu, HP SAP Certified blade vendors: IBM, SUN, Dell, Cisco, Teradata, Fujitsu, HP
Registrar and Take a free test drive You can registrar for a free 21 days test drive at: 34 You can also upload your own data and try SAP BusinessObjects Explorer to see if it is something for your organization.
SAP BusinessObjects Explorer XI 3.2 and SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Blade 2.0 New Features Many customers looked at earlier releases of SAP BusinessObjects Explorer and the previous release called “Polestar” and noted several limitations Many of these limitations are now remedied. These include: The possibility to import your own Excel files Create your own calculations at the user level You can group related dimensions for simplicity of analysis Security in improved and row-level data security can be implemented You can personalize the view by filtering information Users may navigate hierarchies instead of “flat” data 35 PS! SAP BusinessObjects Explorer solution is licensed based on number of blades and the number of named users.
SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator 7.2 New Features In earlier released of SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator you could not index DSOs, with version 7.2 this is now available Also, prior to SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator 7.2, the solution was only used for rapid in-memory data fetches BI analytical engine processes such as data sorts, calculated key figures (CKF), restrictive key figures (RKF), top-5 conditioning. etc., were still costly overheads to the query execution We now have a new “calculation engine” and a new “aggregation engine” inside This means that the benefits of in-memory processing is no longer confined to data fetches and queries can be made to run even faster 36 You can now performance tune most BI Analytical Engine functions with SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator, not only data reads.
SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator 7.2 Features — MultiProviders & Queries MultiProviders are “views” that link data stores, InfoCubes, and/or InfoSets together for simplified user access and querying. In the past, indexing these was a challenge. Today we can index MultiProviders “natively” This means that we can create an Index of MultiProviders that have multiple InfoCubes once, and have automatic delta- loading capabilities (only changed records get updated in the index) For MultiProviders that also have DSOs and InfoObjects, we can create periodic “snapshots” Indexes can also be built based on queries This allows you to take advantage of query calculations as part of the index creation 37
38 What We’ll Cover … SAP BusinessObjects Explorer overview Understanding ad hoc search A step-by-step demo of analysis and formatting Installing and managing SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Planning and budgeting for SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Wrap-up
39 SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Milestone Plan Since most vendors build the HW as Made-to-Order, it is important to get the purchase order placed as soon as possible.
Budgeting for SAP BusinessObjects Explorer You have to plan for: SAP BusinessObjects Explorer licenses (per blade as well as per number of users) Hardware costs (approx. $14K-$20K per chassis + $6-8K per blade and a rack, if you do not have a spare place for the chassis. Add in two network cards and a file system.) Good planning numbers for production environment (only): Small HW costs ~ $40K to $60K Medium HW costs ~ $60K to $250K Large HW costs ~ $250K to $500K Add consulting fees for 2-3 people for 8-12 weeks. The actual time needed depends on how much of the infrastructure you already have in-place and how you plan on rolling out the solution) 40 Remember to plan for 3 years of vendor service costs.
41 What We’ll Cover … SAP BusinessObjects Explorer overview Understanding ad hoc search A step-by-step demo of analysis and formatting Installing and managing SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Planning and budgeting for SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Wrap-up
Resources SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Implementation Checklist by SAP SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Product Website ss-intelligence/search-navigation/explorer/index.epx SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Collaboration Workspace https://cw.sdn.sap.com/cw/community/sap/sapbusinessobjects explorer Ingo Hilgefort, Inside SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, SAP PRESS, ISBN:
7 Key Points to Take Home SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is a great tool for unstructured, ad hoc analysis SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is a specialized tool, it does not replace the other SAP BusinessObjects tools There is a place for OLAP, ad hoc, and formatted reports The accelerated version adds real value via in-memory speed You need to have formal training for end users (consider online training) Lead times for hardware orders can be long, purchase early 43
7 Key Points to Take Home (cont.) Make sure that the SAP BusinessObjects Explorer project also addresses process chains, performance tuning, and connectivity to other components In-memory processing of queries are the future, plan to “get with the program” in 2011 The days of the hard drives for end users in BI is numbered 44
45 Your Turn! How to contact me: Dr. Berg
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