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SAP Lumira – An Introduction

by Dr. Berg

July 22, 2014

Last year SAP enhanced their tool called Visual Intelligence and made it much more user friendly. In general, the graphs became more advanced, while the self-service data visualization development effort was simplified. They also renamed the tool Lumira. In this blog I'll take a quick look at some of the features of this tool and provide a couple of demos.

 

Overview

Basically, SAP Lumira enables business users to access, transform, and visualize data of any size in a repeatable and self-service manner. The tool emphasizes a simple user-friendly interface and creates very captivating visualizations which allow users to swiftly analyze data without the need for scripting.

SAP Lumira’s drag-and-drop interface is easy to become familiar with, and with a few clicks data from multiple sources can be gathered, combined, and visualized. After the tool is installed and system access is setup, training is really not needed, but some basics by someone who knows the tool can be helpful.

SAP Lumira’s capabilities include:

  • Maximizing business knowledge by integrating wide-scale insights and drill-down to granular details
  • Accelerating decision-making with immediate fact-based solutions to intricate business questions by avoiding list tables and fixed format reports. Interaction is key.
  • Increasing self-service data usage without increasing the workload of the IT department
  • Visualizing any amount of data in real time using SAP HANA and simple deployment to mobile devices.  

The Different Versions and Capabilities

Currently there are two versions of SAP Lumira that are available; SAP Lumira Standard Edition which must be purchased and SAP Lumira Personal Edition which is free to download and explore:

 

Feature Comparison

SAP Lumira Standard Edition

SAP Lumira Personal Edition

Connect to database servers

X

X

Manipulate and transform data

X

X

Use Excel and CSV data sources

X

X

Share data sets using BO Explorer*

X

 

Use SAP HANA to analyze live data

X

 

Visually navigate data using interactive charts and maps

X

 

*Included in SAP Crystal Server named user license

SAP Lumira Cloud

SAP Lumira Cloud enables the use of self-service BI in a secure cloud environment, including the capability to access, visualize, and share data without IT assistance. This solution empowers users to explore information and expose insights with the ease of drag-and-drop. Flexible and ‘budget-conscious’ licensing options are available toward rapid cloud deployment.

The benefits of the cloud environment include reducing the amount of time that it takes to access and upload data from numerous resources, and the ability to expand self-service BI consumption with flexible accessibility at any time and on any device. Furthermore, no software or hardware is necessary to get up and running quickly.

Data Visualization

Naturally the visual options are the real reason why you might want to start using Lumira. This is where the tool excels. It has much more graphical features than most of its industry competitors, and complex graphing with 3-dimensions, heat, and bubble charts are standard. Also included is the capability to easily create map-based charts using geolocational data to view your information by country, state, county, city, etc. with the ability to drill down by merely clicking within the map. 

Lumira also provides the ability to add text, images, shapes, pictograms, and input controls via simple drag-and-drop functionality. The extremely clean and highly intuitive interface makes creating visually pleasing and informative charts easy for end-users, no matter their experience level.

A powerful element within Lumira is the Infographic. This can be utilized to create highly visual, non-interactive narratives, such as newsletters, which can be effortlessly absorbed by the viewer at a glance.

 

Data Preparation

The basic idea of the tool is that Lumira will lower IT time and costs by allowing end-users the ability to easily prepare data themselves. For example, users can add formulas, create time and geographical hierarchies, merge data sets, create measures, clean and format data, and more – all in simple steps, without the use of code or scripts.

Sharing Capabilities

To support BI self-service, accessibility, and collaboration, Lumira offers multiple, simple  to use options for sharing documents and datasets. Currently, both Lumira files and datasets can be published to Lumira Cloud, Lumira Server, or the SAP BI server.  In addition, you can also export datasets as a local file or publish them to SAP HANA, Explorer, or StreamWork. The following screen shots capture the options:

 

Example of a completed Lumira file, viewed within the Compose screen and on Lumira Cloud:

Summary

While the tool was initially based on ‘Visual Intelligence’, and is in its first release, it is really a solid tool that SAP has brought to market here. Best of all, it is truly a low-cost, yet powerful tool for end-users and it brings user-friendliness, a short learning curve, and highly flexible sharing capabilities, while decreasing dependency upon and freeing up resources within the IT organization.

So, go-ahead and unlock the power of your data by creating beautiful J visualizations. If you want to learn more take a look at a couple of more in-depth demo of the tool that we created:

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COMMENTS

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Ansari

11/4/2014 1:42:36 PM

How to get LUMIRA and use it

Dave Hannon

8/13/2014 12:26:03 PM

Ravin,
Thank you for your comment. Dr. Berg has provided his response to your question, which I've posted below. You will also have the opportunity to ask Dr. Berg questions directly in a live Q&A session here on the site Aug. 21. Details here http://bit.ly/1uP6q3b or in our Q&A section. -Dave Hannon


There is a fair amount of overlap in terms of the capabilities of both solutions. The biggest advantage which Lumira holds is that, while both solutions run on their respective company's Cloud Services, Lumira can also utilize the SAP Lumira Server, which runs as a native application on SAP HANA - On-Premise - to leverage the full power of the SAP HANA platform. This allows full control, enterprise integration, and the ability to explore any data in HANA – of any size. Although Lumira is very much a self-service solution, it also provides usage of the extremely flexible and powerful SAP HANA Studio software when greater manipulation of data is required. Tight integration with SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 Launchpad is another big advantage. The capability to share data sets using BO Explorer is also included, whether using the Cloud or Lumira Server. Besides running as SaaS with the Cloud, Lumira also has a desktop application which can work with both the Cloud and Lumira Server, and also provides the option to work on local datasets.

Both SAP Lumira Server and SAP Lumira Cloud can be accessed from any mobile device supporting HTML5. SAP Lumira Server and Cloud are also integrated with SAP BusinessObjects Mobile, which you can download from Apple’s App Store.

I hope this answers your questions. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

-Dr. Berg

Julius

8/13/2014 10:20:29 AM

The personal edition does not support database server connection.

Ravin Joshi

8/7/2014 3:02:07 AM

Hi, While analyzing above screens of SAP Lumira, many of the features looks like a Workday (i.e. another non SAP ERP system) as both are accessed via Cloud and runs on a model SAAS (Software as a Service), So, in which terms Lumira is different than Workday? What extra features Lumira is providing which Workday can not? Will Lumira runs on both smartphones and Tablets / Ipads? In short, What are the key unique features of Lumira, which other ERPs are not capable to provide? :Ravin


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