Moving your Mining FMS Dashboards to Tableau
Updated: Mar 26, 2019
A few months ago, we wrote about the end of life of SAP Business Objects Dashboards.
Across the BI world, many of our peers are tearing their hair out at the situation (it is definitely frustrating no longer having a "one stop shop" BI platform). The reality is however, that unless there is a change in strategy, the software ‘Dashboards’ will cease to launch at the end of 2020. For those of you still running Flash based Dashboards.... you really need to get those over to HTML ASAP (we actually prefer the HTML dashboards quite a lot more!).
Less well talked about is Explorer is going too. For sites that have grown used to this awesome tool, loosing it will be a big blow. Cloud based replacements are largely unpalatable for many mining operations (think security and also connectivity at remote operations)
So where are many sites heading for their FMS Business Intelligence?
A number of the mining operations we work with are now moving to utilise Tableau for their dashboarding/analytics; whilst maintaining SBOP Webi for their standard reporting. Web Intelligence with properly-designed universes remains a hugely powerful tool for BI reporting (quite frankly once you have utilised a universe as the semantic layer, its very hard to use anything else.).
How does Tableau stack up?
Really rather well. It handles large volumes of data with no apparent performance degradation. The visualisations are crisp, modern and effective. In short, we think this is a fabulous tool.
What about getting the data? Is it as easy as Dashboards?
If you are pulling straight from an FMS database without the ability to build appropriate views or tables (i.e. you don't "own" the database) then you may find Tableau a little tricky at first.
The lack of a semantic layer (i.e. a universe) to "build" a complex SQL statement can make this daunting and you are likely to encounter errors with the wrong data being extracted.
This is where InfoSol's InfoBurst Tab provides the perfect bridge between the two products. For many sites using Webi to populate Dashboards, the same feeder reports can be plugged straight into Tableau. Great eh?
What approach are we taking for sites moving from Dashboards to Tableau?
Our approach with our sites is this:
Review all their dashboards - kill any that are no longer needed.
Can we move any of them to Webi? (The answer is often yes!).
Ok, so we do really need a dashboard, lets work out a strategy to move to Tableau.
One final note we should add here is that flash will be around till the end of 2020.
You have two years to figure this out, so a considered approach is possible - taking into account many factors, including cost!
Stay tuned for more details in the New Year
The end of the year is approaching and we are wrapping up a number of projects, so whilst this month's Mine Tech Services blog is rather short, we hope it has provided a couple of pointers on how you can move forwards. Into 2019, we will be blogging in more detail on this topic.