Tableau Migration

Business intelligence is rapidly growing domain delivering actionable insights for business leaders to improve customer service satisfaction, boost productivity, reduce TCO and maximize return on investment. In order to realize these benefits, the most the effective and strategic path is environment standardization, technology modernization and future proofing your BI landscape.

This following cookbook provides an outline of framework to successfully migrate your mission critical Business Intelligence (BI) environment to Self-Service BI with Tableau Visualization.   Rapid and cost-effective migration and visualization of SAP Business Objects report into Tableau.  This cookbook demonstrates steps involved including pre-requisites, analysis performed, technology overview, migration accelerators, and adoption path.

BOBJ-2-Tableau

Typically, extensive corporate business logic is embedded in complex SAP BOBJ universes and reports.  Discovering this metadata and translating into Tableau is a time consuming effort and does not guarantee high quality migration.  Often several key details are lost or misinterpreted in translation leading to failed projects and dissatisfied users.

Unfortunately, there is no easy button to migrate BOBJ to Tableau.  However, using several years of experience, our experts have a process to automate some of the processes and increase fidelity in migrated objects.  This approach involves in harvesting metadata from BOBJ universe and report objects.    Code (SQL and other) and formatting of BOBJ objects such as BOBJ Universe, Reports, Schedules, User Group permissions, etc. are stored in CMS database.

cEpoch’s Custom Metadata harvest process or “Migration Accelerator” will query BOBJ CMS database for migration objects and harvest the underlying SQL generated from BO reports and transform to enable easier migration into Tableau data sources (equivalent of BO universe).  Using this approach, developers can seamlessly translate BOBJ objects into Tableau ready code.

The process is described in the section below.

1. Analysis

  • Understand the current legacy environment. Conduct business interviews, and brainstorming sessions to understand
    • utilization of existing reports
    • painpoints with current decision support systems & analytics heatmaps,
    • future business strategies, business objectives for Business Intelligence , industry benchmarks, etc.
  • Perform a comprehensive analysis of the current BOBJ environment and all its interfaces. Analyze should include  Users, Groups, Universes, Reports and Report Schedules, etc. in the existing BOBJ repository. Analysis focuses on identifying utilization and redundancy and define a plan for report consolidation, standardization, or decommissioning.
  • This will enable the migration architects to plan the environment and landscape that better meets future analytics requirements rather than continuation of the past problems and legacy reporting.

2. Assessment

  • Using the analysis performed previous phase, classify reports and analytics into one of the four buckets – Consolidation, Standardization, Rationalization, Decommission.  Reports that are mostly similar except for minor variations can be consolidated into one new report. Non-standard reports can be marked to be organized into standard reports.  Reports and object that require further analysis are marked for rationalization.  Reminder of the reports and objects are either obsolete or inactive that can be safely retired.  This will ensure that the new environment is truly modern without undue burden of legacy historical reports.

3. Migration Assessment

  • Using the Report assessment and the category of the migration objects, the migration team in partnership with business users can prepare inventory of migration objects from the surviving objects. The next step is to merge multiple related consolidated reports into beautifully organized Tableau Dashboard.  This way the reports are not migrated as lift-and-shift but as a business driven and organized effort to generate future state business friendly analytics.
  • Create Tableau Report Migration Inventory.
  • Use Metadata harvest process or “Migration Accelerator” to query BOBJ CMS database and harvest the underlying SQL generated from BO reports and transform to enable easier migration into Tableau data sources (equivalent of BO universe).

4. Tableau Projects / Sites

  • Define Tableau Projects & Sites based on the subject area, department or user group
  • Using the Tableau data sources either convert or create build Tableau dashboards.
  • Then, leverage dashboards to create self-explaining and captivating Storyboards.
  •  Take advantage of powerful in-memory capabilities of Tableau by both denormalizing large datasets and run-time joins between facts & dimensions.

Benefits

  • From Rigid Reports to Self-Service Analytics
  • From Hindsight Reporting to Predictive Analytics for Foresight
  • From Fragmented reporting to 360 Dashboarding