QlikView Next front-end vs SAP BusinessObjects Mobile

Posted by Xavier Hacking

I just took the time to watch this video previewing QlikView Next. In the video a good preview is giving of what this new QlikView tool looks like and works, and it seems pretty cool. It also worries me when I look at the mobile BI solutions SAP is currently providing in the SAP BusinessObjects Mobile app.

If I understand it correctly Next is some kind of BI vision for the future, where they want users to move from passively receiving reports to more actively participating in analysis. They made a beautiful website for this, but I can’t really find out what the really big deal is here. Things like the Discover, Decide, Do cycle are not really groundbreaking or unique.

But, I can see from the video demo that the tool itself is purely developed from a user experience perspective and fully compatible for mobile usage. It runs in Safari on an iPad without having to install something. You can easily select data and use ‘natural’ gestures as pinching to zoom in on charts. I really like the way you can circle around a group of data points to select them.

The user can create new analyses himself by drag-and-dropping components (charts, filter boxes etc.). From these analyses a story can be composed, including written text. This storyboard can be distributed to others and from a datapoint in this storyboard a user can go back to the original (more detailed) analysis.

So let’s compare this to what SAP is offering in their SAP BusinessObjects Mobile app. The Mobile app can show predefined Webi, Crystal, Dashboards and Design Studio application. Except from some basic annotations and mailing screenshots there are no options to add information or adjust what you are seeing. The interactivity/usability options within the reports (making selections for example) are miles behind what QlikView Next is showing in the video demo.

I also tried SAP Lumira Cloud on the Mobile app. It let’s you create a single chart, add and move some dimensions and measures. You can even click one or more datapoints on the chart to filter, but this doesn’t work really smooth. Also pinching and swiping seems to have no effect. And I just can’t figure out how to add more charts and/or a storyboard. Frustrating.

Conclusion is that the SAP BusinessObjects Mobile app still sucks and there is a lot of work to do to close this gap. The problem is that the approach for the Mobile app always has been to make (existing) BI4 reports available on mobile devices, which led to crappy solutions. It is just like publishers trying to port their newspapers and magazines to the iPad, in the exact same format as the printed paper (see my Blendle post).

Instead, SAP should start all over again and recreate their Mobile app from a pure mobile usage perspective (and not just continue to port Lumira to the iPad!). Also for Design Studio we need upgraded components that include these cool mobile gesture features like smart data selections.

By the way thanks to @pieter_hendrikx for the tip on this QlikView Next video.

HackingSAP.com - May 4, 2014 | New technology, SAP BusinessObjects
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1 comment

  1. Fabian Runge
    May 5, 2014

    Hi Xavier!

    Some very good ideas in the demonstration but my big gripe with HTML based interfaces is always the horrendous performance. On mobile devices you have to go native otherwise the above demonstrated stuttering will be the result.


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