Understand Data Visualization with SAP Business Design Studio 1.4

Jim Sun

For those of you who are still unsure about the importance of Business Intelligence (BI), or not sure what amazing things that Business Intelligence can help you achieve, you need to check out this blog. Business Intelligence contains a variety of software applications that can be used to analyze a companys raw data and thereby support decision-making processes. One important function of BI is to aggregate and visualize organizational data and give end-users or members of the management team direct views of how each department/person is performing.

There are plenty of BI solutions available in the market; let us get our hands dirty first from the easiest and most popular one: Microsoft Excel. Excel could be used as a BI tool if you would like to create some simple charts with "not that complex", data set. Actually, the chart types in Excel are enough for most data visualization uses, for example, users can use line charts to display sales performance trends in every month; pie charts can be used to show occupation data among different categories and so on. Currently, a lot of advanced BI tools support Excel worksheets or CSV files as their data source. It is also possible to set up ODBC connections through Excel. However, it is tough to display relationships among all the tables (sheets), and Excel is not able to handle complex data sets---in Excel 2010 Microsoft announced that the row limitation has been removed (dynamic uses), also security could be a key issue for commercial data management, because Excel can hardly solve the security concerns.

Pic 1: The raw data from the main system

Pic 2: We can transfer it to be a line chart in Excel, it looks better, right?

The above chart is just an example showing how data visualization can provide more information to end-users and management teams. The line chart can show the sales data trend for each salesperson in every quarter, and for example, from here we found that sales for Bog and Charlie have decreased from the 3rd quarter to 4th quarter, but Amy achieved a strong increase during the same period of time. From here we can do more analysis on other sales people to see if it is a pervasive phenomenon that the sales performance decreases from Q3 to Q4; if so, we could perhaps invite Amy to share her experience of reaching more deals during this period.

As a professional BI consulting firm, we are focus on providing BI implementation services and helping clients better visualize their raw data and reach higher management efficiency. Below are a small sample of the dashboards/visualization demos we designed using Data visualization Tools: SAP Xcelcius/Design Studio for our clients:

Pic 3: Custom dashboard for Service Department

Pic 4: Another dashboard for Gross Margin Summary

---Trey, Victoria and Selwyn, thanks for attending this live show guys!

Also, I wrote another blog to introduce our ATCG self-made AEES BI Platform, AEES is an affordable BI solution and data visualization tool for small to mid-sized corporation. For more, please click here.