Analyze and Visualize Data with the Information Design Tool

Often I am asked by BusinessObjects customers whether it is worth the time to upgrade a universe from the traditional (UNV) Universe to the newer (UNX) universe.  Since BI4 supports both the new and legacy universes, it does give you the option to stay with what you’ve known and with what you are most comfortable with.  But where’s the fun in that!

Recently as part of the BetterBOBJ – Data in Motion series, I discussed some of the benefits to learning about your data with the Information Design Tool (IDT).  One of those benefits involves being able to report, analyze, and visualize your data directly inside your universe without ever having to go out to any of the client BOBJ tools.  We have become a society used to immediate satisfaction and results, and what better way than to immediately see the changes you make to your universe visually without having to export to the repository and view them in Web Intelligence or extract the SQL out and dump into Toad or Management Studio.

Let’s look at an example of some data with our trusty e-Fashion universe inside of the Information Design Tool.  As you can see, the IDT has it’s own query builder similar to that of the legacy universe designer.


The one key difference being you can view and download the results directly from the IDT.


You then have the additional option of slicing and dicing your data based on the dimensions brought back using the label axis under the ‘Analysis’ section of the raw data as well as visualizing your data into different chart types that you would normally only find in other reporting tools like Web Intelligence and Dashboards.


You also have the option to change the template and the palette of the charts inside of the IDT as well as export the chart as an image file.



So, how does this help you if you are a universe developer.  Well, if you’ve experienced anything like I have, you probably get some strange requests from time to time from end users who are looking for something specific on a 1-time basis.  It probably will never be asked for again.  Instead of creating an entire new universe and publishing the results out, you can just take an existing copy of a universe, make the modifications you need, and then publish the results straight out of the IDT.  Better yet, you can even throw in some cool graphs and charts and make it seem like you went the extra mile.

The Information Design Tool is a next generation tool that closes the gap between Business and IT.  The tool realizes that business requirements change all the time and a successful tool must be able to adapt to those same changes in a blink of an eye.


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