Over the years, we have worked with customers to implement solutions based on SAP Design Studio / SAP Lumira Designer. Alongside, we have also talked to potential customers about implementing solutions based on SAP Lumira Designer. The latter has produced a great many conversations about the possibilities with SAP Lumira Designer and how different solutions can be deployed with this tool. As part of this blog, we aim to quickly highlight the different use cases for SAP Lumira Designer in a Business Environment and how the tool’s feature set reinforces these use cases.
Understanding User Groups and End-User Complexity
The pre-requisite to understanding the Use Cases for SAP Lumira Designer is to understand where the tool lies in terms of development and in terms of consumption.
SAP Lumira Designer is poised to be high in terms of Developer Complexity. Since SAP Lumira Designer is primarily used for BI Application Development and Dashboard Development, the interface for development is not as intuitive as with certain other BI tools (such as SAP Lumira Discovery), and therefore requires a fair amount of training before one can develop applications. SAP Lumira Designer also requires the developer to have at least a basic knowledge of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and BIAL Scripting to create robust, good-looking, interactive applications. We can therefore see why the development skills required for Lumira Designer are high. While it doesn’t warrant someone with years of solid development experience, it still does require basic training to get started.
In terms of Application Consumption, SAP Lumira Designer has the least complexity when compared to most other front-end BI tools. While a developer, as mentioned earlier, may require a bit of training on the tool before designing applications, it is possible for developers to design Dashboards and Applications which have powerful analytic capabilities, but at the same time, remain easy for the end-user to consume. A variety of components and a rich visualization set make SAP Lumira Designer a tool capable of providing intuitive end-user solutions which require minimal to no user training to consume. To add to this, it is very easy to design applications with guided navigation paths that not only make it easy to consume but are even capable of guiding users step-by-step towards using an application.
The Different Use Cases
Now that we have a basic understanding of the complexity involved in both creating and consuming applications in SAP Lumira Designer, it’s imperative that we also understand what the different use cases for the tool are:
Use Case #1: Creating Enterprise-level Executive Dashboards
Executive Dashboards primarily cater to C-level executives and top-management. These display data at a very high (summarized) level and provides information at a glance. Typically, these dashboards will have little to no interactive capabilities – they are designed to provide information to users while requiring them to do minimal to no work to receive the information.
Use Case #2: Creating Robust Analysis Applications
Analysis Applications are a step further from Executive Dashboards – these will still provide end users information but have a lot more interaction available to an end-user. End-users can set filters, navigate through to different pages within the same dashboard and have different skews of the same KPI. These types of applications can provide more than just summarized information, but not as detailed as a report.
Use Case #3: Providing Users with Guided Navigation Paths and Drilldown Capabilities
SAP Lumira Designer can also be used to create applications which have Guided Navigation Paths – end-users could be guided towards browsing a dashboard/application for information in a certain manner usually flowing from top-level, summarized information into more detailed analyses. It is also possible to provide options to drilldown into a WebI report or a BEx Query from the current application for even more detailed data, such as a line item level report.
Use Case #4: Self-Service based Applications on SAP BW or SAP HANA
If the data is available on SAP BW or SAP HANA, it is possible to create applications in SAP Lumira Designer that will give users a lot more flexibility with respect to Data Sources or Visualizations. Components and features available in SAP Lumira Designer can enable a partial self-exploratory application where users can start off by choosing which BW or HANA system they want to connect to, which Query or View they want to consume and then go on to Visualize, Navigate and Filter through that Query. SAP Lumira Designer also offers a ready-to-run template that is capable of this.
Use Case #5: Planning-based Applications
Thanks to BICS, SAP Lumira Designer has remarkable capability when using SAP BW as a Data Source. This extends to BW Integrated Planning as well. Applications with Planning capabilities can be built on SAP Lumira Designer, consuming Input-enabled Queries, Planning Sequences and Planning Functions. Components such as a Spreadsheet or a Crosstab can be leveraged to even write back to the BW Planning Cube.
Use Case #6: Creating Applications with Mobile Deployment Capabilities
Thanks to HTML5 based rendering, applications designed in SAP Lumira Designer are mobile-ready inherently. However, dynamic component resizing along with responsive components such as the Adaptive Layout Container will allow the creation of a single application or dashboard that can be seamlessly deployed on different mobile devices or desktops and laptops. Additionally, CSS can make mobile deployment even more versatile and powerful.
Use Case #7: Translating Lumira Discovery Storyboards to Full-Fledged Dashboards
Interoperability in SAP Lumira 2.0 allows storyboards designed in Discovery to be translated to Full-Fledged applications in Designer. Data acquired from any Data Source into SAP Lumira Discovery are also inherited into SAP Lumira Designer through this feature. This particular Use Case is one of the main reasons behind converging the two tools – developers can pick up the storyboards designed by Business Users on SAP Lumira Discovery and enhance these using the same visualizations (and dataset if necessary).
Common Pitfalls while Using SAP Lumira Designer
We have seen the common use cases for SAP Lumira Designer. However, there are certain ways in which the tool is used that inevitably lead to failed scenarios, and it’s important to see these as well:
Creating Reports instead of Dashboards
SAP Lumira Designer is first and foremost, a Dashboard or Application building tool. What makes a dashboard most effective is the use of summarized, high-level data. It therefore follows that trying to use granular data that is usually represented using reports would set us up for failure on the tool. This would lead to poor performance and applications that have absurd start-up times. Remember – when trying to see granular data, it’s best to drilldown into a report on WebI or BEx.
Front-end Calculations and Data Manipulation
SAP Lumira Designer allows a fair amount of flexibility when it comes to Data Sources. Developers can change the initial view of a Data Source per requirement. However, it still does not make good practice to over-use this flexibility and that offered by scripting to bring in calculations into the tool. Creating calculations or manipulating Data must strictly be done in the backend, whether it is a HANA view, BW Query or a Universe that is being used.
Prototyping or Building Applications on the go
One way to set up for potential failure is to build an application on the fly. This often leads to usage of too many components, improper scripting and leveraging too many data sources, resulting in a poorly built application with plenty of performance bottlenecks. Setting these bottlenecks right could be difficult, at times requiring the application to be rebuilt from scratch.
SAP Lumira Designer is a very robust application building and dashboarding tool. With a number of components and features, the tool is capable of serving the aforementioned use cases very well. If we comprehend the advantages and the limitations of the application very well, it becomes very easy to build effective BI applications and dashboards with good performance. Keep a close watch on this space to learn even more about building such effective applications!
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