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Self-service BI part 6

This is the final part 6 of a 6-part series on self-service BI. The series addressed primary dimensions of self-service BI:

Winter is coming. The night is dark and full of terrors. You can get out in front of this, though. These are some best practices of how to start.

  1. Interview key business stakeholders.
    Tip: Leverage the Analytics Strategy Self-Assessment here:

  2. Interview the “data oracles”. They know which data is the most reliable, where it is, and how it has transformed over time.

  3. Document key use cases, owners, and availability of data for each business area.

  4. Assign back-of-napkin priority and impact to key use cases. This should not be a 6-month process—quick and dirty is what we want here. For example: How many users have this problem? How much time does it cost them? And what is the fully-loaded labor cost you are losing?

  5. Find use case overlap and critical outliers across multiple business areas.

  6. For those use cases with most overlap and greatest impact, chart functionalities against available technology to execute.

  7. Establish cost and priority roadmap.

After the quick 3-year roadmap picture is documented, communicated, and aligned, then (and only then) should you start slotting in available technology. Hey, notice that we haven’t started to talk about SAP offerings until the final blog entry. Too many times, we throw technology we know at a problem we haven’t yet defined.

Because we have many different use cases, there are a different tools to choose from:

Capability SAP Solution
Create easy dashboards with input controls SAP Lumira
Create enterprise-grade dashboards and BI applications SAP Design Studio
Embed analytics directly into Excel and PowerPoint SAP Analysis for Office
Create beautiful visualizations and infographics SAP Lumira
Create document-style output with input controls SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence
Sharing, governance, security, scheduling, and scalability SAP BusinessObjects BI platform
Analytics shared via mobile devices SAP Mobile BI, SAP RoamBI


We have a few tools to help you get started, too.

  • Run a holistic Analytics Strategy workshop:

  • Establish your data strategy with an Information Governance Assessment workshop.

  • Try the quick win of a cloud solution:

  • Get ready for the newest innovations by upgrading to BI 4.2. Schedule a BI Upgrade Technical workshop

  • Dive deeper with Lumira and Design Studio Technical 2-3 day workshop

  • Play with the sample datasets that ship with Lumira Desktop

  • Check out tutorial videos on YouTube and SCN

I hope you enjoyed the series. Please let me know how your self-service BI program has evolved. With these tips, you should emerge from the dark and full-of-terror night unburnt. 🙂