When implementing business analytics technologies, many organizations face the challenge of selecting a proper BI tool for analysis, dashboards, decision making, and reporting. Here I review a few modern BI front-end tools from the BusinessObjects 4.x portfolio. Specifically, I discuss SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office, BusinessObjects Design Studio, and SAP Lumira. The remaining tools from the BusinessObjects portfolio (e.g., Web Intelligence, Crystal Reports, Dashboard Design, OLAP Analysis Edition, BusinessObjects Explorer, and BusinessObjects Predictive Analytics) are not in the scope of this article. In addition, it is my belief that 80 percent of the modern business analytics front-end needs can be addressed with the three tools covered here.
I am reviewing only the most recent product versions available on the market, and do not compare them to previous versions or BusinessObjects 3.x. The same applies to the BusinessObjects universes; I only take into consideration the latest capabilities of the BusinessObjects 4.x Information Design Tool (IDT).