When Business Objects got acquired by SAP earlier this year, it made a statement that it plans to continue to remain an open, heterogeneous BI vendor, treating all partners equally. Apparently, all partners are not created equal – and, as we suspected and long predicted, this Business Objects strategy does not extend to its own parent.
Well, the cat's finally out of the bag. Efforts are already underway at SAP to improve the existing connectivity between Business Objects products and SAP applications. The improved connectivity that may result from these efforts will be very much optimized for Business Objects products only. SAP states that "SAP customers who instead decide to move forward with non-SAP third party BI tools will not benefit from these types of improvements and enhancements."
BI is essentially a set of best practices for building models to answer business questions. However, today's BI best practices may be suboptimal for many enterprises' decision-support requirements.
For most users, BI is a journey that's been modeled and mapped out in advance by others, following a well-marked path through vast data sets. Data models, which must often be pre-built by specialists, generate or shape the design of such key BI artifacts as queries, reports, and dashboards. Essentially, every BI application is some data modeler's prediction of the types of questions that users will want to ask of the underlying data marts. Sometimes, those predictions are little more than an educated guess -- and are not always on the mark.