SAP Visual Intelligence (on HANA)

Last week SAP launched Visual Intelligence (aka Visi), this is basically a desktop version of BO Explorer, it can currently only connect to SAP HANA .

The installation can now be downloaded from the market place, it is about 150MB in size and will install in about a minute or so.

The main features of Visi are not too dissimilar to BO Explorer FP3, however Visi does provide advanced analysis features by allowing multiple measures, attributes in addition to treillis (Multiple charts spilt by given attribute values).

The steps for creating a Visi document are as follows:
• Create ‘New Document’
• Create  ‘New Data Source’ –> Enter SAP HANA Details
• Select Analytic or Calculation view, optionally preview and select data
• Drag and Drop Measures and Attributes (Dimensions) into the Visi into the chart Feeder
• Select Chart type
• Save or share your Visualisation (s)

After launching Visi, you are displayed with a rather nice splash screen, after few seconds and you are ready to begin. As this is a desktop tool load time is much faster than BO explorer or Webi:


Begin by selecting the ‘New Document’ button:


You are then prompted to connect to a HANA system; currently Visi only supports HANA DB connections. It is a shame it cannot read the connected systems from HANA studio, however once the connections are setup Visi does remember them:


Once you have successfully connected to the HANA DB, you will be prompted to select an analytic or calculation view, unfortunately it is not possible to select a HANA DB table. This would have been quite useful if for example you were also using Predictive Analytics which can write back to a HANA DB table:


If you select ‘Preview and Select Data’ then you will have the option to select specific measure and attributes to use in your analysis, if not all Measures and Attributes will be available:


The next steps are to drag and drop the required measures and attributes either on to the chart or into the configuration pane as shown below:Image

You may drop may add in multiple measures and multiple attributes, this is something not possible in BO explorer as it allows only  three key figures and two attribute values. Visi allows unlimited, well up to combinations that produce less than 10,000 data points.

You may configure the measure by sorting ascending, descending, add a ranking (Top/Bottom N) or add calculation. For the attributes you may add a filter to include/exclude certain values, this can be done also in the ‘split’ screen mode where by both the facets and the chart is displayed simultaneously:Image

The chart Type can be changed accordingly to your wishes, note that certain chart elements will require more / less attributes or measures, for example the bubble chat requires two measures in addition to an attribute. In addition to pure tabular data the current charts available include:
• Column
• Line (including Combined Line and Column)
• Pie
• Bubble and Scatter
• Heat and Tree
• Radar
• Box Plot
• Waterfall
• Tag Cloud
• Geographic (Bubble, Geo Pie or Choropleth)

Graphic selector toolbar:


In order to display a geographic chart you must first select a geographic attribute and create a geographic hierarchy, this can be Country, Region, Sub-region or city. Currently there is no support for longitude and latitude like with Business Object Mobile (FP3), something for later release perhaps.


It may be necessary to match up the attribute values, in the example below we needed to match up ‘AN’ with Netherlands Antilles:Image

Once you drag and drop a geographical hierarchy component into you analytic the geographic chart options will become active:


Once you have your perfected your visualisation you can save it as a PNG file, just press the ‘Save’ button in the bottom right of the visualisation and the visualisation will be saved:Image

You may then send these saved PNG files via email or ‘copy’ and ‘paste’ directly into an office document:Image

Charts copied directly from Visi:Image

Besides saving or distributing via PNG graphic files it is also possible to save the entries Visi scenario to local file as document type ‘.svid’, this file can then be shared with colleagues:


There are a few features in Visi that we could not figure out, we came to conclusion these must be placeholders for future releases. For example the toolbar on the top right is always inactive, we believe this will be for joining two or more HANA analytics together a little like SAP HANA Information Composer :


If you manage to get this toolbar to become active, I would like to hear from you!

As far as a first release goes Visi is an awesome end user tool, it is much faster than the Web or IPad versions of BO Explorer and provides enhanced functionalities that make the whole user experience more enjoyable, looking forward to the future of SAP Visual Intelligence.



About chrishoulder

Learning and teaching are two of my key passions, spending time with my family another. I am always on-hand and hopefully helpfully
This entry was posted in SAP HANA, SAP Visual Intelligence and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to SAP Visual Intelligence (on HANA)

  1. Many times SAP experts are also little bit confused or have different opinions of what the column ‘Initial Values’ in the ‘Fields’. This type of issues are not easy to sort out but you explain it very well in this blog.

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