SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence makes Self-service BI a reality by providing access to data in an intuitive information analysis product. By simply dragging and dropping objects into their reports users can gain business insights and turn these into true Business Intelligence for effective decision making. A business user can quickly create a query from scratch with a few mouse clicks. This is frequently termed ad hoc analysis or creating queries on the fly. Users can then format the retrieved information and analyze it to understand underlying data trends and root causes. The Web Intelligence interface is intuitive in design allowing business analysts and non-technical information consumers to ask spontaneous and iterative business questions of their data using their everyday business language. For example, users could easily create a query that allowed them to compare the performance of their top customers this year over last year. The user could then create their own variables, for example a forecast algorithm and add this to their report. Web Intelligence allows trends to be quickly identified along with sub-optimal areas. Users can drill down and drill across on their data. Web Intelligence access to the data is via a robust semantic layer known as the SAP BusinessObjects universe. The universe objects make query building easy and shields business users from needing to understand database technicalities. Multiple universes from different data sources can be combined in a single report.
The earliest versions of Web Intelligence were only available in thin client. In other words Web Intelligence had to be accessed via InfoView and a web browser. Web Intelligence is now available in the Rich Client version. This is loaded on to the users local machine. A report can now be viewed or developed on the local machine and then published to the BI Platform and shared and viewed as thin client via InfoView. This is great news for people working from home or on a train etc. They can now make changes to their Web Intelligence document off-line and then publish their changes next time they connect.