sap businessobject

SAP BusinessObjects: All About BI Tools

SAP BusinessObjects

By: Ashish Kumar, Director of Operations, Chetu, Inc.

In the world of modern business, data is a fundamental resource. For decades, enterprises have measured their progress and success by financial information. Today, there is a much broader array of data points from which to choose. Business Intelligence is a growing branch of technology that allows organizations to gather, analyze, and interpret data from diverse sources. The right BI tool will help a business make informed decisions in areas such as branch locations, product development, and marketing campaigns.

An Introduction to SAP BusinessObjects

The BusinessObjects framework has been around in some form since 1990. However, the German company SAP acquired it in 2007. Since then, it has become the SAP business intelligence solution for many organizations. While there are several different BusinessObjects modules, they all revolve around the same goal, providing businesses with a means to interpret and report data.

The need for detail in data reporting will vary from department to department. An accounting team will need access to fine details in financial reports. Board members may only want a broad view of the financial health of the organization.

BusinessObjects provides an organizational layer, or universe, between data sources and the end-user. These data silos can be structured or unstructured. Once the company sets up its BusinessObjects universe, SAP BI tools make it simple to create reports in both statistical and graphic formats. These reports present information in a way that makes sense to an intended audience.

SAP BusinessObjects Products

As new technologies have become part of the business world, SAP has found ways to integrate them into the BusinessObjects family of products. The current list of software includes tools for basic implementation, data exploration, and reporting on multiple platforms.

BusinessObjects Information Design Tool

The Information Design Tool is the SAP BI tool that allows a user to set up a BusinessObjects universe. Using this software, an organization can connect its data to other BusinessObjects tools for analysis and reporting.

Crystal Reports

A clear presentation of relevant information is critical for making informed decisions. The Crystal Reports module provides a powerful platform to create reports for presentations or publishing. Because the BusinessObjects universe can connect several datasets, users can generate reports that link data from multiple sources.

SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards

Sometimes, business leaders need a quick way to get a sense of the organization’s performance. The dashboard designer allows users to create dynamic visual representations of data. BusinessObjects provides real-time data access, so the dashboard can tell executives what is happening in the organization at the moment they are accessing the report.

SAP BusinessObjects Explorer

In the past, the idea of sifting through thousands of data points was overwhelming. BusinessObjects Explorer is an SAP BI tool that simplifies data exploration and analysis. It acts as a search engine for the datasets in a BusinessObjects universe. If a data analyst wants to know how many widgets the company sold in Memphis on Tuesdays, this tool can search the data and generate a visual report.

SAP BusinessObjects Intercompany

One of the challenges of business at an enterprise scale is following data across multiple company branches. SAP’s Intercompany software provides a means for web-based data reconciliation. When a company can reconcile the finances of its branches in real-time, leaders have a better sense of the overall financial health of the enterprise.

SAP Lumira

Lumira is one of the newest pieces of the BusinessObjects software collection. SAP designed many of its products for access by a large number of users across an organization. Lumira makes it simple for an individual user to enter data and generate visual reports. It is a fast, intuitive platform that is perfect for day-to-day use.

Benefits of Incorporating SAP BusinessObjects

As businesses grow in size, the amount of data they produce grows exponentially. If a company does not get a handle on its information, it will miss trends and opportunities. Also, consistent data reporting is part of creating a culture of clear communication. Working with SAP business intelligence tools will bring several benefits to an organization.

Unified Data Communication

The teams within a company use different metrics to measure their productivity. The logistics team may measure success by time and minimal delays. A manufacturing team may consider the number of products produced in a month as its primary concern. Meanwhile, the accounting team will think in terms of profit and loss. A common way to represent data will help different parts of the organization communicate clearly so that everyone is on the same page.


Every member of an organization does not need access to every piece of data. When the company sets up the BusinessObjects universe, it can create user-specific permissions. Employees can access the information they need to see, and they will not have the option to see data that is not relevant to their positions.


The BusinessObjects universe model provides a central access point for data analysis and reporting. The universe can connect several different data sources. At the same time, the universe links to the entire suite of SAP BI tools. The analyst using Explorer to dig deep into a dataset is connecting to the same universe as a team leader creating a report for his or her next presentation to the board.

Intuitive User Interface

Data analysis used to be reserved for professionals who knew database-related computer languages like SQL. BusinessObjects seeks to make data exploration available across an organization. While many businesses may need professional help in setting up the universe, the BusinessObjects tools make analysis and reporting accessible to employees with less IT knowledge.

An SAP BusinessObjects Partner

SAP BusinessObjects has the potential to change the way that organizations work with data. However, migrating to BusinessObjects may seem like a challenge. We have experience in helping companies develop their universe, incorporate their current databases, and integrate into SAP BusinessObjects system smoothly. Getting the right information in front of the right people will help any business thrive.

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