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Not Sure Which Front End Reporting Software to Use? These Two Charts Might Help

by The Tip Doctor

June 29, 2011

Tip Doctor, Insider Learning Network.

The following tip is taken from the BusinessObjects Expert article “Business Objects Web Intelligence and Voyager: When Should You Use Each?” by Praveen Misra, published in May 2011.

Most companies that use SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (BW) have multiple data warehouse tools for staging data. They can find it hard to deploy common front-end solutions to end users. However, if you have BusinessObjects, you can consolidate your front-end software.

Two of the most common options for this purpose are BusinessObjects Web Intelligence and BusinessObjects Voyager. Table 1 shows how their applications compare.





BusinessObjects Web Intelligence

Ad hoc reporting

  • Best for operational reporting where granularity is high (more details).
  • Save reports as BusinessObjects Web Intelligence documents in private and public folders.
  • Data is read from a universe. Tools such as drag and drop are available, but you need to save the report, add these tools, and then execute the report.


Analytical reporting

  • Best for financial reports and real-time reporting where data granularity is low (few details). It’s more suited for summarized data.
  • You can easily display data in graph and charts.
  • The source is an OLAP InfoCube, which is usually based on a multi-dimensional model that helps you analyze data quickly.
  • Uses drag-and-drop method to create reports and allows you to see the results as you add these options.

Table 1 BusinessObjects Web Intelligence and SAP BusinessObjects Voyager compared

Who Should Use Each Application

I find that Web Intelligence is more suited to computer-savvy users. You first have to create a universe based on either an SAP query or InfoCube. (The general recommendation is to use a BEx query for the universe.) Web Intelligence works fine when you have to read granular data or operational reporting, but adjusting the look of the report requires significant product training.

Alternatively, Voyager is more suited to business users. Most users find it easy to learn and use, even more so than existing SAP NetWeaver BW reporting solutions. Voyager works well for users who would like to create formatted reports, but lack reporting design experience. Table 2 summarizes who should use each application.


Type of reporting

Typical user

Web Intelligence


  • Trained BusinessObjects users and power users



  • Executives, managers, less computer savvy users (those who don’t have much time to learn the reporting skills)

Table 2 Typical users for each type of reporting

For more on the differences between these two applications, check out Praveen’s full article on BusinessObjects Expert.


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