I have put my hands this time on mobile business analytics. We as "passionated - deep dive BI lunatics" often forget the end user requires simplicity, clearness and mobility: simply see adequate and most recent insights on a mobile device, any place any where. Time to think of them and deep dive in a mobile BI platform that is second to none: Roambi.
Roambi is a cloud based mobile BI solution that allows for insights on a mobile device both connected as disconnected (offline) to the internet. It can pick up data against almost any source amongst local files, the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform, on premise data bases or content portals. An overview of the SAP BusinessObjects Roambi solution is here; the accompanying road map for Roambi can be found here.
Starting to set things up, one goes to the Roambi Portal where there is the choice to work with Roambi Analytics to create mobile dashboard, or Roambi Flow for interactive pdf documents that can have the interactice (!) Roambi dashboards embedded. In this article I focus on Roambi Analytics which brings us to Roambi Publisher module to start our dashboard projects. On the mobile device, the user must download the Roambi App (free of charge) to see the results; again Roambi is superb is having anything available offline too.
A full demo including an extensive section on how to set-up the dashboards is below in this article. Enjoy and let me know your thoughts!
Roambi Publisher manages its content based on Projects. Each project represents a mobile dashboard. We can create a separate project that connects all the previous ones, resulting in One dashboard that can drill down to other Roambi Dashboards. In my exercise I used some Financial data composing of actual, budget and forecast level for different times series, for different cities and countries and even split up per P&L elements. If you like to join me and want to use the data, here it is.
Roambi Publisher Templates
The simplicity of Roambi is in the fact that it uses templates for different types of dashboards. There are 9 in total; see below image. Can you add your own? No! Can you change the existing ones? No! Is this an issue? No !!! the templates allow for more than sufficient flexibility. Adding or adjusting templates would spoil our requirement of simplicity. Starting from scratch we tick the new project button and have to choose one of the templates.
Let's use the pule template which gives us immediately a preview on how the dashboard may look like. Confirming brings us to the page where we can now connect to data. I have chosen an Excel, but you can choose any type. Be aware that for xlsx there is a max limit of 10mb.
The next step is to design the detailed dashboard based upon the template chosen (the pules in our case). Here you can set you scrolling dimension, an overall filter and the dimension for the series (i.e. Month, Year or product). Finally we can set up the measureS, with a capital S since we can create various. Very nice is that there are extensive choices to set up thresholds, ratios, fixed targets and comparison ratings (all color coded). Below gallery shows you some screenshots, simply scroll though.
The below video shows how things are set up. I start with demoing everything I created, in the second session I show you how it was set-up. In the end you create a project per dashboard that you want to offer your users. Once created, tick the publish-button and you will automatically receive an email that you can tap from within your mobile deice. This will start up the local Roambi App and show the dashboard.
Master template: Card
After creating various dashboards, it is time to create a "master dashboard" that refers to all the other ones. To do so, you have to use the Card template. This is the only template that allows to make "links" to other dashboards. Do I need to explain it in detail here? No, Roambi is that simple, you'll see for yourself; just go to the properties of the graphs in you master dashboard and fill in the link to the dashboard you require it to drill to. One done, notice the little staple in your graphs that the user can tick. I show it in the video too.