New Beginnings

Some of you may already be aware of this. Not long ago, I was caught up in a lay-off at Teradata. This was a business decision on their part, and I hold no grudges against them. Teradata is a good company, with a great product line. I was working for the Think Big Analytics division, who decided that BusinessObjects is not a technology with which they wish to work. After all, BusinessObjects is a product of SAP, and SAP is a competitor of Teradata. So, that makes sense. I get that.

For the past 3 years or so, I’ve been working more with Tableau than with BusinessObjects. That’s why I haven’t written any new blog posts in a while. I considered myself a beginner for a long time. But I’ve been honored to be learning this new, and growing technology. In fact, I’ve fallen in love with Tableau. It’s a great product. It’s not perfect, but then, what tool is? But I’ve developed enough skill in Tableau that I have begun to work independently in Tableau. I’ve taken a few consulting and training jobs, and these have gone very well.

I see BusinessObjects as a declining technology, and Tableau as a growing technology. Do you use Tableau in your company? Do you need consulting help, or perhaps some training? I would be happy to help. If you have need of my service in Tableau, or, of course, BusinessObjects, feel free to contact me.

If you use Tableau, tell me what you think of it. What do you like about it? What areas need improvement? I have my own thoughts about this, and will probably share some of them in another post. But I would love to hear from you.

11 Responses to New Beginnings

  1. Thomas Nather says:

    And I have done the same. You and I were in deep with everything BOBJ and I have read about SAP’s declining support and I predicted that when SAP bought them. So, I have too picked up Tableau and found it about the same as Webi and I have developed many metrics on our AGV system and found it real easy to pickup. I wish I could find some training that my company would approve me taking because i think I am missing a lot. Glad you are doing well!!!

  2. Laura Strudeman says:

    Hi; I am in the same situation as you (except my company was moving to the cloud with our analytic products very slowly and ‘clunky’ so sales were significantly down and my job was a result those lower sales. I am fortunate to be able to be doing some contract work and am now learning Tableau.. which I love as well. As a FYI: there are a few great classes on Linked in Learning that I would recommend (namely a building dashboard class). Additionally, there was a post recently on Tableau about turning your resume into a tableau viz.. which I haven’t gotten around to yet but love the idea.

    Good luck and thanks for sharing Michael.

  3. Bret Holmes says:

    Michael, I am finding that situation happening to me as well. I have been very heavy in Tableau Data sources and more lately with dashboard development the last 6 months or so and very little Business Objects. All the new development lately has been with Tableau with my area. I am with you as learning a new technology. I like Tableau, it is a great analytic tool and decent dashboard tool. Its not perfect as you mentioned. I am wondering if this is going to be a trend more and more of moving from Business Objects. They seem to be late to the game with Lumira and adding the enhancements to Webi.

    • Bret, I think you’re right. SAP is coming late to the game. If you haven’t heard, they’re dropping Lumira, and putting their effort into SAP Analytic Cloud (Formerly BusinessObjects Cloud). Lumira was their best option to compete with Tableau, and they’re dropping it. They just don’t seem poised to play in the data visualization game.

      • Bret Holmes says:

        Michael,
        I didn’t hear that about Lumira. That is big news wow. Sounds like I better learn Tableau really good then. I agree with John about that the published data sources do pale in comparison. I have worked a lot on them the last 6 months and learning more of their limitations. Tableau also needs to get better being an Enterprise level tool as commented about no scheduling or bursting capabilities.

      • Yes, I agree. However, I see Tableau making great strides with each release.

  4. Bret Holmes says:

    It does very good with analytics. I have been working a lot with Data Extracts and how best to setup the Data Source. One thing I have found it doesn’t do as well, is with merging of multiple Data Extracts like webi does. I have found it needs some more work on dashboard capability. The navigation isn’t what I would like it to be and I would like some more programmability. I don’t like that fact that some things that should be straight forward to do and you have to search for the round about way of doing something. I am still new to the tool and learning all the different techniques needed. I do enjoy using the tool though. I guess I like to push tools to their limits at times and in doing so find some weakness. We will see how this Tableau journey goes.

  5. John Westfall says:

    Hi Michael – it’s interesting to read your perspectives on BOBJ and Tableau. I’ve followed you for a long time and have heard you speak at the old BO conferences. The company I’m with now uses both BOBJ and Tableau. However we are migrating data (and many platforms) to the cloud and my team is trying to figure out where BOBJ will fit in. For the long term probably not at all, and we are looking at both Birst and Qlik as potential BI Tool replacements.

    Tableau is well loved as a self-service data visualization tool. The company is great to work with and their conferences are great! (try to attend if you haven’t yet). The one thing it lacks at is the rows and columns type reporting, as well as the drag and drop interface that BOBJ offers. You can build a published data source in Tableau, which somewhat mimics a universe, but in that aspect still pales in comparison. It also does not have the scheduling and bursting capabilities of BOBJ.

    From my research it appears that “SAP Analytics for Cloud” is where SAP is putting their dollars for a cloud based platform of the future (not BOBJ), but it is still pretty early for that to be a significant player.

    I’m wondering what specifically led to your comment that BOBJ is a declining technology.
    Cheers!

    • John, I appreciate your comments. I haven’t been to TC yet. Maybe this year, if I’m lucky. I attended online last year.

      As a consultant, I can tell you that consulting jobs have been harder to find in BusinessObjects. And I haven’t heard of a company buying BusinessObjects, or moving to BusinessObjects from another tool, in many years. I see it’s usage declining.

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