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BI System Builders at the Houses of Parliament

On the 4th of December 2017 BI System Builders founder, Russell Beech attended the South Warwickshire at Parliament event held in the Members’ Dining Room at the Houses of Parliament. The event was organised by Jonathan Smith and hosted by Nadhim Zahawi, MP for Stratford-upon-Avon.

The invitation to BI System Builders was made by Professor Simon Swain, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Warwick (pictured left).  The event brought together business and academic leaders and senior government officials. There were five short speeches made including one by Professor Swain and another by Andy Palmer, CEO at Aston Martin. Russell commented that he was looking forward to BI System Builders continuing to build relationships with the University of Warwick.

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We Can Help You

We Can Help You:

You can engage BISB (BI System Builders Ltd) to design and deliver your Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence Solution. We provide all the Business Intelligence services listed below.


Cornerstone Solution®

A Cornerstone Solution® is the backbone product of knowledge, know how and methods formalised and systematized by BISB. It is a strategic Business Intelligence Solution Architecture and Delivery Framework. It consists of the Cornerstone Framework of BI Solution Architecture and the full Delivery Model (set of Business Intelligence Services and Mechanisms). BI Solution Architecture and a full set of Business Intelligence Services and Mechanisms form a full Business Intelligence Solution known as an End to End BI solution. Cornerstone Solutions® are End to End BI solutions that include End to End Solution Architecture.  Cornerstone Solution® is BI Vendor and data agnostic so regardless of what has been or will be procured it is worth speaking to us.


System Integration

System Integration refers to the installation and configuration of your Business Intelligence Platform and its integration into your Data Warehouse, your Business Process Areas, departments, functions.  The Data Integration component may include legacy source systems, ODS’s, 3NF Enterprise Data Warehouse, master/reference data, spreadsheets, XML files, third party data, text files and RDBMS platforms such as Oracle or MS SQLServer, Informix or DB2.  System Integration works equally well with ‘Big Data’ tool sets as with the long established classic BI tools.


Can We Help?

Optimal Data Warehousing Design & Build

Optimal Data Warehouse design is critical to a successful BI implementation.  Data Warehouse design should be driven by user requirements. BISB use the Agile Data Warehouse Design methods published by Lawrence Corr through workshops to gather requirements and model. A Data Warehouse that does not meet end user requirements is not fit for purpose. A Data Warehouse must have excellent performance, hold trusted data, be loaded in a timely manner and join up the business.


ETL Design For Clean & Trusted Data

Clean and trusted data is achieved through the development of the ETL system which will extract, transform and load data into the Data Warehouse. This involves extracting data from source systems, cleaning it and transforming it before loading. Cleaning and transforming data encompasses numerous tasks such as fixing ‘dirty’ data by removing duplicates, fixing partial records according to business rules, trapping errors and conforming data etc. The benefit of this is that business users have confidence that they are working with data that can be trusted and that is joined up. There are really two big components to the ETL system. These are the development of the system and the management of the system.


Analytic Applications

Analytics consuming clean, quality assured, joined up data are highly valuable to the business. The three most common ways to achieve Business Analytics are to Build, Buy, or Buy and Extend. Business Analytics may be designed and developed for you from scratch (Build), procured from a vendor such as SAP BusinessObjects (Buy), or by using and customising templates (Build and Extend), often referred to as accelerators to jump start a BI initiative.

Business Intelligence Services


 Business Intelligence Competency Centre

Organisations can protect and grow their Business Intelligence investment by establishing a Centre of Excellence (CoE) often referred to as a Business Intelligence Competency Centre (BICC). BISB have advised several companies on BICC strategy and process. The BICC is the optimum way to role out, maintain, support and scale your Business Intelligence initiative.


Business Intelligence Training

BISB can provide bespoke Business Intelligence and SAP BusinessObjects training geared to meet specific needs. This may include end user BI tool training, BI administration, BI system user adoption, Data Warehousing, and Business Intelligence Competency Centre awareness, orientation, and governance.


BISB Business Intelligence Services

The following Business Intelligence Services are provided by BISB.


Macro-Business Intelligence Services

Business Intelligence Strategy

BI Solution Architecture Design

End to End BI Programme & Project Planning & Management

Business Intelligence End To End Solution Design

Business Intelligence Competency Centre – Design, Process, Implementation, & Governance

Business Intelligence Change Management & End User Adoption


SAP BusinessObjects

Our services include the Installation and configuration of the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform in Single or Multi-machine Deployments

Deployment Across Single or Multiple Environments – Production, Pre-Production, System Test, & Development

High Availability & Clustered Environments

SAP BusinessObjects Administration

SAP BusinessObjects Security Model Design & Implementation


Analytics & Report Development Services

SAP BusinessObjects Semantic Layer (Universe) Design (OLAP & Relational)

SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence Report Development

SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Development

SAP Crystal Reports Development

SAP BusinessObjects Dashboard Development

SAP BusinessObjects Live Office Development

SAP BusinessObjects Advanced Analysis (OLAP) Development

Ask us about developing with other BI tool sets


 Data Warehousing

Requirements Gathering Workshops (ADWD/ BEAM)

Dimensional Modeling

Logical & Physical Models

Conformed Dimension Bus

Enterterprise Data Warehouse Design

Physical Deployment

Data Federation


ETL System

ETL Strategy

Data Services (Data Integrator) & SSIS ETL Package Design & Development

Metadata Management

Master Data Management

Source to Target Field Mapping & Data Dictionaries

Data Profiling

Data Cleansing & Data Quality

Data Governance


Performance Design

Business Intelligence Platform, RDBMS, & ETL Sizing

Hardware Recommendations

Database Table Design Optimisation e.g. Aggregate Design & Monster Dimension Management

ETL System Optimisation

OLAP Cube & Query Design Optimisation

Optimization of All Reporting Tools Listed Under Report Development Services


Enterprise Performance Management

KPI’s, Balance Scorecards & Strategy Maps







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Death Of The Cube – Long Live The Cube!

OLAP Cubes

OLAP Cubes

The acquisition of BusinessObjects by SAP paved the way for a very welcome tighter integration between the two softwares. One of the challenges coming out of that tighter integration was the performance of Web Intelligence against an OLAP universe generated on SAP cubes and BEx Queries. The reality of SAP project implementations was that SAP Netweaver experts designed large cubes and large queries. And why not; after all this was the OLAP world?! Large SAP cubes and large BEx Queries make sense for OLAP.

However, Web Intelligence is not an OLAP tool, it builds a cache of data referred to as a ‘microcube’. Note the word ‘microcube’. Attempting to pass large volumes of data from an OLAP query to the microcube could cause the Web Intelligence engine to perform poorly or crash. BISB have observed this on numerous occasions when undergoing performance testing at client site. Problems with the version of Explorer dependent up on the Web Intelligence engine have also been observed for the same reason.

But failing to process large volumes of data was not a weakness of Web Intelligence. On the contrary, Web Intelligence was designed for smaller, fast, ad hoc queries. Users experiencing problems with large volumes of data and Web Intelligence could consider the use of Crystal Reports. Crystal Reports uses a different cache infrastructure to Web Intelligence.

The above mentioned data volume issues have made the SAP BI 4.0 road map very welcome. Using the new Data Federator connectivity through the SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 universe means that the SAP MDX engine (OLAP) is bypassed. This removes one of the big issues of the SAP OLAP data volumes, namely MDX crossjoins. Other development means that the BI 4.0 universe now has connectivity to SAP HANA. If you have the budget available this makes SAP HANA highly desirable for Big Data and Analytics.

Finally, ardent OLAP users that cannot live without a cube have not been left out in the cold. BI 4.0 ushered in the end of the Voyager OLAP tool, replacing it with the new Advanced Analysis for OLAP tool.

The view expressed in this article is from BISB and not necessarily SAP. Russell Beech was Senior Analyst in the BusinessObjects Analytic Applications Division for almost six years. Check out Web Intelligence In Under Three Minutes here.