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Posts Tagged ‘Lumira’

Lumira 1.29 – Data Blending Comes of Age

November 23rd, 2015 1 comment

Lumira recently introduced a new concept called BlendingBlending allows Analytics to allow data from multiple datasets or fact tables to be displayed across a common dimension.  This was a critical next step in Lumira’s evolution because often the job of an Analyst requires them to pull together multiple result sets into a single visualization.  It’s great to be able to visualize actual vs. budget together in a single graph; however often you want to be able to create a new calculation across the datasets, e.g. variance,  variance percent, etc.  This was not possible before.

Blending Enhancements

On Friday I downloaded the latest release of Lumira — Lumira 1.29.  There is a lot here to see and although it’s always great to see more features coming into the product, the enhancements to blending really make this release standout and make this version of Lumira a must-have upgrade.

Lumira has always done a good job at allowing users to manipulate data, but limitations of no micro-cube and the inability to create custom calculations across multiple data sets was extremely limiting.  Until now the only options were to:

  • Perform data preparation in the microcube of WebIntelligence and access to microcube directly using the APOS Data Gateway
  • Hope you could leverage the Join_By_SQL option within the Universe so that only a single result set would be returned.

As you might imagine, this was quite limiting and I ran into this first hand during a recent customer evaluation.  Here was my scenario.

Supporting YoY Comparisons

I was asked to calculate the growth factor within a dataset that included data over time.  The growth factor was defined as

G = (Volumecy/ Volume(cy-t))1/t – 1

Where t is the time in years. For the purpose of this analysis, t is taken to equal 3, 5 or 10 years.  cy is the current year.  The example below will use the standard year breakdown.

Example:  The table below is used in the example calculations

 2014 Volume 2013 Volume 2012 Volume 2011 Volume 2010 Volume
125,452 124,118 120,506 119,987 126,623

In 2014, the 3 year growth would be:

G = (125,452 / 119,987)1/3 – 1 = 1.5 %

In 2013, the 3 year growth would be:

G = (124,118 / 126,623)1/3 – 1 = -0.66 %

At first what seems so simple, wasn’t.

This is a straight-forward request.  With Lumira it wasn’t so simple.  When processing a Lumira document, the formula engine processes one record at a time, so prior to blending, the only option was to create custom calculations to filter the volume for each year.  I would then have to use these custom calculations in yet another calculation for the growth.  Here is a sample.

2014 Volume Custom Calculation:   if {Year} = 2014 then {TransCount} else 0

2011 Volume Custom Calculation:   if {Year} = 2011 then {TransCount} else 0

2014 3yr Growth:  Power(({Transcount_2014} / {Transcount_2011}), 1 / 3) – 1

So for 5 years of 3-yr grow calculations I would have to create 15 formulas!  Yikes!

It was possible, but there were two big problems:

  1. Each year you would have to add more formulas because the calculations weren’t dynamic by year.
  2. You lost the ability to visualize the data in context.  In this case you would not be able to easily show these calculations in a YoY line chart.

Could blending be the answer?  Possibly.  Here’s what I discovered.

Previous Blending Helped But…

Suddenly I had an idea.  What if I loaded the dataset in twice?  Once for the current year and again but leverage “Year+3”.  This would allow me to join on year and because the value for the year 2011 now say 2014.  I could then display the current years value next to the value from 3 years ago.  It worked!

Here is what I did.

I loaded the same dataset twice and renamed them to Current Year and CY-3.

Two imported datasets

In the dataset named, CY-3, I created a calculated dimension called Year+3 in which I added “+3” to the value of the Year column… so now 2014 became 2017, 2013 became 2016, etc.

Year+3 Calculated Field

In the previous example when I created Year+3 and added 3 to the Year, the field went from being defined as an integer to a real number.  Lumira doesn’t allow you to join across data types and since my original Year column is still defined as an integer, I needed to create a current date which is also a real number.  I accomplished this by creating a new calculation dimension called Year+0, by creating a new formula Year+0.

Year+0 Calculated Field

Next I lined the two datasets.  I was able to link Year+3 from the CY-3 dataset to the Year+0 from the CurrentYear dataset.

Dataset Linking

I also renamed the TransCount field in the CY-3 dataset to Transcount (CY-3) to avoid any confusion with the value TransCount in the CurrentYear dataset.

Next I created a column chart visualization showing the data from CurrentYear and the CY-3 datasets together in the same chart in the following manner:

First, Add Year+0 and TransCount to the Column chart.  This shows you the current values.  Next, change the dataset you are working with to CY-3 and add TransCount (CY-3) to the output.  Now I can see the CurrentYear Transcount compared to the Transcount from 3 years earlier.  As expected, there are null values for the earliest 3 years because I loaded the same data set twice and my initial calculation is using Year+3.

Viewing YoY Volume (TransCount)

In other words, if I hover over the value for 2004 I will see it matches the Transcount(CY-3) value for 2007.

Next I want to Exclude the 2004 through 2006 numbers.

Excluding Years with null values

So now I am left with the correct bar chart.

Viewing YoY Volume (with nulls excluded)

The next step is to now do some math between the two datasets.  For example I wanted to calculate the variance.  What is the difference between CurrentYear and CY-3?  Nope.  I needed to calculate the growth rate using the formula introduced above.  The problem was in Lumira 1.28, there was no way to do this. Now you can!

Custom Calculations Across Datasets

As soon as I got my hands on Lumira 1.29 I was able to find the new Custom Calculation feature two places.  You can either:

  • Use the menu at the top of the charting area
  • Right Click on the measure and select Add Calculation >> Custom Calculation
 
From the Menu From the Measure

So let’s create this new custom calculation.  Below you can see where I’ve highlighted a new and critical change.  You can now select the “Dataset” of the fields you want to use in the calculation.  This allows me to choose measure elements across both data sources:

Ability to select either dataset

So now I can create the following new growth calculation:

Power({DS1.TransCount}/{DS2.Transcount (CY-3)},1/3) – 1

Once I add this new YoY calculation to the chart and remove the previous measure values I can see the following results:

Dynamic 3yr Growth YoY

Now I have a dynamic growth calculation and I didn’t have to create dozens of formulas!  It works beautifully.

Now the only existing limitation is that I cannot show the 3yr growth and the 5 yr growth in the same chart because each of them is linked to a different combination of results.  (Year linked to 3Year) and (Year linked to 5Year).  There is currently no way to linked more than two data sets together.

Exercise for You

If you would like to try this exercise out for yourself, I have attached the associated data file here.  All you will need to do is load the dataset twice and then create the calculations as described above.

Now I’d like you to calculate the growth of Volume using the Growth Formula stated above, but this time instead of doing it for 2 yrs, do it for 5 yrs.  Once you’re done, you should get a chart like this:

Dynamic 5yr Growth YoY

Wrap-up

Lumira 1.29 is a huge leap forward.  The ability to do data blending and create new dynamic calculations across multiple datasets is very important capability indeed.  This goes a long way to remove many of the limitations you may have encountered around data preparation and analysis thus far.

So the next question is… when will they be releasing Lumira 2.0? 🙂

Enjoy!

«Good BI»

Using Explorer and Lumira with SAP BW

March 18th, 2013 No comments

This is a quick post to let you know that there is an excellent whitepaper available which explains everything you need to know about leveraging Explorer and Visual Intelligence with SAP BW.

Organizations must leverage some type of acceleration technology – either HANA or BWA.

Here is the original article:
http://www.saphana.com/docs/DOC-2943

Here is a link to the must-read technical document:
http://www.saphana.com/servlet/JiveServlet/download/2943-3-9226/SAP%20VI%20and%20Explorer%20on%20BW%20powered%20by%20SAP%20HANA%20v2.pdf

This document outlines four different scenarios, showing the different implications for SAP BusinessObjects Explorer and SAP Visual Intelligence.

  1. SAP NetWeaver BW standalone without SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator (BWA) and without SAP HANA
  2. SAP NetWeaver BW in combination with SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator (BWA)
  3. SAP NetWeaver BW with SAP HANA, DB edition
  4. SAP NetWeaver BW with SAP HANA, Full Use Editions (allows write-back)

In order to leverage Scenario 3 or 4 you must be on:

  • SAP HANA 1.0 SP5 or higher
  • SAP HANA Modeler 1.0 SP4 Rev 37 or higher
  • SAP BusinessObjects Explorer 4.0 SP4 or higher
  • SAP Visual Intelligence 1.0 SP4 or higher
  • SAP Netweaver BW 7.3 SP7 or higher (with SAP Notes:  1703061, 1759172, 1752384, 1733519, 1769374 and 1790333)
When reading the whitepaper, make sure that you read through to the end.  Pages 13-15 provide important cavets and new roadmap information.

«Good BI»

Categories: BI Platform, HANA, Lumira Tags: , ,

Visual Intelligence – Resolving Start Up Issues

January 10th, 2013 No comments

Enjoying Visual Intelligence?  I am.  Unfortunately however every once in a while something will go wrong.  Most of the time stopping and restarting Visual Intelligence will fix the problem but sometimes not.

One error I received recently was:  Open document failed / The engine failed to start before timeout.  Restart the application.  (HDB 10005)

Open document failed / The engine failed to start before timeout. Restart the application. (HDB 10005)

Here is a quick article about this topic from SCN about this error:  http://scn.sap.com/thread/3256250

Here is an SAP note which also has additional details:  http://service.sap.com/sap/support/notes/1783894

These articles provide good information but didn’t solve my problem.

Sybase IQ Hiccups

As you probably already know that Visual Intelligence leverages an embedded Sybase IQ engine for data manipulation.

Here you can see both SAPVisualIntelligence.exe and the embedded Sybase engine, iqsrv15.exe, listed in the task manager.

… and sometimes there are problems.  I’ve found that assuming it ‘normally’ works okay (install was correct) and nothing else on your PC has changed (software/firewall conflicts), then it’s a memory issue.  Remember 8 Gig is recommended for this application.  (4 Gig minimum)

The problem is that sometimes when the Sybase Engine hiccups, it may continue to run in the background and make it impossible for Visual Intelligence to start-up again.

Resolving Issues with iqsrv15.exe

Here is what you need to do:

  1. After you shutdown Visual Intelligence, make sure that iqsrv15.exe is not still running.  You can kill the process via task manager if necessary.
  2. Delete the DataBase directory where Hilo.db is stored
  3. Restart application and it will recreate.
You will find the DataBase directory in your working directory.  By default this is located here:
C:UsersAdministratorAppDataLocalSAPSAP Visual Intelligence

Location of local Visual Intelligence Database

Hope that helps!

«Good BI»

 

Categories: Administrators, Help!, Lumira Tags: ,

Visual Intelligence Goes Predictive….

December 13th, 2012 5 comments

It was only a few short months ago when Visual Intelligence was released.  We were promised a rapid development and release cycle, but I never expected this many changes is such a sort time.

Here is a quick summary:

  • 1.0.1 – Visual data analysis and data discovery for the Desktop
  • 1.0.2 – Freehand SQL, Publish to Streamwork, Proxy support.
  • 1.0.3 – Universe  4.x
  • 1.0.4 – Basic Predictive, Export to Explorer (with Explorer 14.0.4), Geocoding Lat/Long
  • 1.0.5 & 1.0.6 – Bug fixes
  • 1.0.7 – Universe 3.x, 32-bit release, cell limit increase to 30M

Now both Visual intelligence and SAP’s newest Predictive Analysis are coming together and are available today in a single release.

Where To Find the New Release

The new, combined release is branded as Predictive Analysis 1.0.7.  It uses the same code base as Visual Intelligence, so any of your saved Visual Intelligence documents will open and work just fine with Predictive Analysis 1.0.7.

You can find the release under: Software Downloads > SAP Software Download Center > Support Packages and Patches > A-Z > P > SBOP Predictive Analysis Service > SAP predictive Analysis 1.0 > Entry by Component > Predictive Analysis 64-bit > Windows on x64 64bit.  The file size is 238885 kb and was released on 11/19/2012.

Download PA on Service Marketplace

If you want to install it, there are a couple of tricks to getting it to install correctly, so you’ll want to follow my instructions below.

Installing Predictive Analysis 1.0.7

The download and initial installation is very straightforward – but before long I needed installation help, which was the motivation for this blog post.

First you must uninstall the following old products:

  1. SAP Predictive Analysis
  2. Visual Intelligence
  3. R (any version)

If you don’t you’ll receive a message at installation time that says, “incompatible products installed.’

I also recommend when you install the product to use “Run As Administrator” just to make sure there aren’t initial issues.

It will complete without asking any questions and like Visual Intelligence will allow you to use it for 30 days without a keycode.

Predictive Analysis is ready to go.

Using Predictive Analysis with R

The great news with SAP Predictive Analysis is that the software distribution now includes a menu option which will use web services to connect to the R distribution library and automatically download and install R for you.  The current release supported here is R 2.15.1.

The one challenge is that the installation of R will cause an error because the R distribution has changed since SAP Predictive Analysis was released and there is an error in the install script which will cause the installation script to fail.

The problem is explained in this SAP NOTE:
http://service.sap.com/sap/support/notes/1796831

You can avoid the error and everything will work fine if you fix the R install script prior to attempting to install it.

64-bit Fix

  1. Simply download the updated inputpackages64.txt file here (Right Click – Save As):
    http://trustedbi.com/files/inputpackages64.txt 
  2. Replace the existing inputpackages64.txt in the $INSTALL_DIRDesktoppluginscom.sap.pa.runtime.config_1.0.0.v20121110-0533resourcesR64 with this one.  (Default installation directory is:  C:Program Files (x86)SAP Predictive Analysis)
  3. Continue with the R Installation instructions.

 32-bit Fix

  1.  Simply download the updated inputpackages32.txt file here (Right Click – Save As):
    http://trustedbi.com/files/inputpackages32.txt 
  2. Replace the existing inputpackages32.txt in the $INSTALL_DIRDesktoppluginscom.sap.pa.runtime.config_1.0.0.v20121110-0533resourcesR32 with this one.  (Default installation directory is:  C:Program FilesSAP Predictive Analysis)
  3. Continue with the R Installation instructions.
NOTE:  Although SAP software is often downloaded as a .EXE, you can always
manually unpack the .EXE file by using a utility like WinRAR.  Here is
a previous post about the topic:
http://www.trustedbi.com/2009/12/18/businessobjects-winrar/

Installation Help – Installing R Step by Step

From the File menu choose Install and Configure R.

Install and Configure R

This will make sure that the correct version of R is downloaded and configured with SAP Predictive Analysis.  It will download R-2.15.1

R Installation Screen

You will see the download process begin.  The R download package is almost 50 MB.

Downloading Progress...

R will begin to install after the download.

Extracting files and installing R

Next it will download individual additional libraries which are needed.

Downloading supplemental libraries

If you updated the installation file, R and all the required packages should install correctly.

The final step to complete the installation is go into the Configure tab and set the configuration to point to your R library.  The default directory should be correct.

Final Step - Tell Predictive Analytics Where R is Located

Fixing Your R Installation Manually

If you were not able to modify the installation file, you can also complete the installation of R manually.  Here is the message you are likely to see if you did not update the installation program.

ERROR:  R installation not successful.  Detail: R-2-15.1 is installed successfully. But failed to install the required R packages.  Ensure that you are connected to the internet and you have Administrator rights to install software on the computer.

Common Error When Installing R

The Good News is that the core R software has installed correctly.  The only part that failed was the downloading of all the add-on libraries that Predictive Analysis needs for all the build-in predictive functions.  We will need to install the following libraries one by one.

  • AMORE
  • arules
  • RJDBC
  • XML
  • RODBC
  • caret
  • DBI
  • monmlp
  • PMML
  • rJava
  • reshape
  • Plyr
  • Foreach
  • Iterators

You can manually download them one-by-one from the R website:
http://cran.r-project.org/bin/windows/contrib/2.15/

Or you can download all the required files from my blog and unzip them:
http://trustedbi.com/files/required_rfiles_for_pa107.zip

  1. Open the RGui Console (Start > Programs > R > Rx64 2.15.1)

    Installing Packages Manually

  2. Choose Packages > Install Package(s) from local zip files
  3. Select the zip files one by one and install them, you may ignore any warnings.  After the package installs successfully you will get the following message:  Package packagename successfully unpacked and MD5 sums checked.
  4. If you want to test that a library is installed, go to the R Console command prompt and type:  library(rJava).  Press Enter.  It is successfully installed if you don’t see any errors.
  5. You can also check in your R library folder, which is located here:  [R_INSTALLATION_FOLDER]library.  This is typically C:UsersPublicR-2.15.1library for Windows 7 users.

Additional Troubleshooting Help

If you need additional help, check out the following excellent resources:

PA 1.0.7 Troubleshooting Guide

Install Guide for PA 1.0

Let me know if you’ve got any additional installation or configuration issues and solutions in the comments below.

Hopefully I can save your a few hours of troubleshooting.

Licensing

Visual Intelligence and Predictive Analysis will continue to be licensed separately.  If you only need data visualization, then you will only need to purchase a license for Visual Intelligence.  If you want to add Predictive, then you need to purchase a license to enable that functionality.

License Key Screen in Predictive Analysis

Here in the Help > Enter License Key, you can see that both Visual Intelligence and Predictive Analysis license keys are recognized.

«Good BI»

 

New 90-day free trial to SAP Visual Intelligence

September 11th, 2012 3 comments

It’s New!

It’s Cool!

It’s Wow!

It’s like two aspirin for that DeskI hangover!

… and it’s available FREE for 90 days!

11/12 UPDATE:  This was a limited time offer.  The free trial is now 30 days.

SAP Visual Intelligence is now available for download.  It provides the ability to connect to data sources such as MS Excel, Relational databases (SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase IQ, Teradata), Universe (unx) and HANA.

To enjoy your 90 day free trial go here:
http://www.sap.com/tryvisualintelligence

… and don’t forget to leave feedback for our product team so we can continue to make this new innovation product better!
https://cw.sdn.sap.com/cw/community/ideas/businessanalytics/sap_visual_intelligence

Enjoy!

 

 

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