1. What is your overall take on the pace of innovation in the BI space and its impact on business?
Companies need to ensure their business users have access to the latest, most accurate data to make timely, actionable decisions. The fundamental shift requiring faster, more insightful decisions and driving rapid innovation in the business intelligence (BI) space is democratizing data so everyone in the organization can consume and share powerful insights. However, IT organizations face challenges such as smaller budgets and overwhelming business requests for reports and data to support their users.
By providing access to the right data and utilizing existing technology investments, business users can make informed decisions without overtaxing IT and requiring complex new tools. Business users can then leverage their knowledge of the business to analyze data and ask new questions in familiar tools. They can get answers and uncover new insights to better deal with the challenges facing their business.
2. With the variety of data companies possess, how can they make analytics consumable throughout the enterprise?
In any organization, users need easy access to data from a variety of sources such as structured applications like SAP systems or unstructured data storage systems like Hadoop. To accomplish this, they need to be able to seamlessly access and analyze data across the enterprise in a familiar environment to meet the varying needs of business and IT users. That is why Microsoft and SAP are excited to be jointly shipping BI interoperability in their Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Power BI for Office 365, and SAP BusinessObjects products. Customers who have made significant investments with both companies benefit from a combination of trusted data and familiar tools from Microsoft and SAP.
Power Query for Microsoft Excel seamlessly connects to SAP BusinessObjects Universes, enabling users to access and analyze data from the enterprise directly in Excel. They can discover and combine SAP data with data from other sources, both within and outside an organization. Users can browse SAP BusinessObjects Universes, which provide an enhanced semantic layer hiding the complexity of data and exposing common business terms in their familiar Excel environment, to make it easier to work with the data. Their data and insights can then be shared through Power BI (http://powerbi.com) to optimize business performance throughout the organization instead of keeping insights locked on the desktop.
3. What business or IT pain points should drive an SAP and Microsoft customer to consider this solution?
The combination of Microsoft Excel and SAP BusinessObjects addresses common pain points by delivering insights across an organization to drive broader BI adoption. Users no longer have to wrestle with constantly copying and pasting or manually importing data, resulting in decreased productivity and costly decisions based on inaccurate information. Data in complex representations and locked in silos can be unleashed using business-friendly semantics, allowing for deeper business analysis. This enables business users to seamlessly access and analyze data across the enterprise, driving a single version of truth, instant productivity, and optimized business performance.
Learn more about connecting SAP BusinessObjects Universes to Microsoft Excel at www.sap.com/biconnector. Learn more about analyzing your SAP data in Microsoft Excel and Power BI at http://powerbi.com.