This comment in our bug tracking system reminded me to write a new post on the testing process that I recently applied at NewFrontiers. In the previous post I talked about the book “Agile Analytics: A Value-Driven Approach to Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing” by Ken Collier. In this post I will show what I’ve done to make our development process more agile.
Since BI4 has been released a new tool for the semantic layer has been introduced; the Information Design Tool (IDT). This tool is likely to replace the Universe Design Tool (UDT) in the future. In version 4 Explorer (Polestar) will only work on Universes created with the IDT and the Query Browser of Dashboard Design (Xcelsius) will also only work on Universes created with the IDT.
I’ve spent a few days on the tutorials and the tool itself, in this post my findings.
The BusinessObjects universe is a business representation of organization’s data that helps end users access data autonomously using common business terms and it isolates business users from the technical details of the databases where source data is stored. Universes are made up of objects and classes that are mapped to the source data in the database and accessed through queries and reports.
Users retrieve data using descriptive terms used in the business environment with the company’s business terminology.
Universe is a semantic layer that maps complex data into descriptive business terms used across the organization, such as product, customer, region, revenue, margin or costs.
During the previous year, and last months in particular, I have been working on NemisFs. Hereby a piece of text in dutch which I wrote for our corporate website.
Heeft u ook behoefte aan een flexibele oplossing, die binnen één week de voornaamste bedrijfsperspectieven op een standaard wijze verwerkt en presenteert? Het is mogelijk met NemisFs: Het eerste volledige dataplatform voor SAP ERP. De informatie kan worden geanalyseerd en verspreid met generieke Business Intelligence tools van software leveranciers zoals SAP BusinessObjects, Microsoft, Oracle en Microstrategy.
NemisFs is de afkorting voor: NewFrontiers Management Information Solution For SAP.
At my previous employer (AME) we were interviewed by the Association for Dutch SAP users (VNSG). The interview was about the BI implementation we did at AME in 2010. The article in dutch can be found here. The rationale behind implementing BI was in my opinion very powerful, and the implementation was very efficient. Here are a few quotes from the article:
We want to use Business Intelligence as tool to ensure that all of our people work at their optimum productivity. By opening up the BI portal each individual employee should see their relevant personalized information. By instantly sharing (real time) information we’re creating high involvement of employees.
Because the organization goes through a learning curve in the new way of working the need for dynamic information arises. To bring more insight we wanted a solution that we can maintain and extend ourselves. In our technological roadmap SAP BusinessObjects was the right choice. Because of the tight timetable and the pursuit of standardization, we searched for a suitable partner, who could provide a solution for translating the SAP tables to a good data warehouse model. We came in contact with NewFrontiers, they had a ready-made solution for the extraction of data from SAP ERP.
Everyone at AME is now able, depending on his personalized portal, to see exactly how the business progresses and how the state of affairs as development, quality, logistics and costs are doing. The hardest part however is yet to come, technically it is now completely done, but organizationally is only starting now. The project must not get stuck at the IT department. It should be “self-evident” for everyone to take action based on BI.
The original article can be found here: http://www.vnsg.nl/userfiles/File/Pdf_mei%202011.pdf#page=10
The solution from NewFrontiers is called NemisFs. At my new employer I continue to work with this product, so there will be more posts from me on this in the future.
“Microsoft BI: de gebruiker centraal” was het thema van de events die QNH op 19 Mei in Zeist en 26 Mei in Maastricht organiseerde. Een van de belangrijkste succesfactoren van BI projecten is het centraal stellen van de toekomstige gebruikers. Maar hoe doe je dat en wat zijn de implicaties voor de manier waarop je BI organiseert en het BI project aanpakt? En op welke wijze ondersteunt Microsoft deze manier van werken? Op deze vragen werd tijdens de events ingegaan door medewerkers van QNH en Marcel Westra van Microsoft.