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Dr. Bjarne Berg on dashboards and the skills gap in BI self-services

by Kristine Erickson

June 19, 2013

 Dr. Bjarne Berg spoke recently in two interviews with SAPinsider’s Dave Hannon about dashboarding and the business’s lagging role in the BI self-services model.

Read the excerpt here of Dr. Berg’s conversation,  we he addresses the skills gap that is driving his new three-part BI Seminar and how rapid application development can be of special benefit to dashboard projects.

You can listen to the entire podcast -- including his take on the roadmap for Design Studio, and his takeaways from SAPPHIRE NOW -- available for download (registration required) at SAPinsider Resources page.

Dave Hannon, SAPinsider:  This is Dave Hannon from SAPinsider. Joining me today is Dr. Berg of Comerit, a well-known personality here on Insider Learning Network.

First off, Dr. Berg, welcome and congratulations on the release of the second edition of your SAP HANA book, co authored with IBM’s Penny Silvia. I know it was well received at this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW show, so congratulations on that.

Dr. Bjarne Berg, Comerit: Thank you.

Dave: In addition to the new book, Dr. Berg is presenting at  BI 2013, giving a two-part session on dashboard best practices. One of the topics Dr. Berg touches on is rapid application development.

Can you define rapid application development for folks who may not be familiar with that concept and specifically how it applies to dashboard creation?

Dr. Berg: Rapid application development is really the preferred method to do dashboard creation because, frankly, people don’t really know what they want until they see it.

A lot of people have a very strong belief that they kind of know what they want, they can write a functional spec in the traditional way. But in reality, when they see the dashboard for the first time, is when they reserve the right to change it.

We strongly prefer a rapid application development, where we basically build multiple prototypes, show it to them, get a feedback, and do multiple sessions of user acceptance testing – instead of having one at the end of the development. It’s a much better result by using that.

Dave:  I also want to ask you a about talent.

Do you think most IT organizations have the right talent in place to leverage dashboards? Or is this an area that companies need to focus on more as new solutions become available?

Dr. Berg: This is a huge gap.

Right now, I’m also teaching, so I teach the standard SAP classes in dashboarding, and what we have here is the gap between the IT department, the standard SAP processes  and the BI self-service model, where the organizations really need talents, like authoring roles -- people with the ability to build quick dashboards, put it together, and then share it across their business units. That is a huge gap.

So this fall, we’re getting together with SAPinsider to produce the upcoming BI Seminar . This is a three-day training class which is not focusing on the IT side, but the business user and the power user teams, and getting them up to speed — because there’s a skills gap right now where all these skills in Webi and Dashboarding and Analysis really reside in the IT organization. It hasn’t really permeated really deep into the BI self-service model of the business.

So there’s a gap here, and with SAPinsider, we’re putting together this BI Seminar. We have to plug that gap. It’s been IT that’s been laying back, saying “we have all these cool tools,” and then IT wants to develop this, while business is lagging behind the whole model of the BI self-service.

To listen to the full interview, visit SAPinsider Resources

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