RoamBI for iPhone, which I reviewed last year, has long been the best-looking mobile BI application available in the market. Now the folks at RoamBI have been one of the very first vendors worldwide to come out with an updated application for the iPad, and they provided me with one in order to test their brand-new version.
It’s as beautiful as its predecessor, and the new document formats available use the new expanded workspace to pack in a lot more analytic ability. This video from Information Week shows Quinton Aslbury of RoamBI demonstrating what you can do, including additional data not included in the original documents, such as overlaid trending algorithms.
There is a series of videos available on the RoamBI web site that illustrate the different document types available.
View SAP Carbon Disclosure Data
SAP and RoamBI have partnered to provide easy access to information from SAP and the Carbon Disclosure Project. (Disclosure: I work for SAP.) When you install the free application, it comes with a series of sample documents, including one that shows SAP’s carbon footprint data, showing progress towards SAP’s announced goal of reducing the company’s carbon footprint back down to 2000 levels by 2010.
It shows SAP’s carbon footprint for various categories (corporate cars, electricity for facilities, business flights, etc.), broken down by region (EMEA has to do the most work!)
To use your own data with the application, you register for an account on to the RoamBI Publisher web site and choose one of the available analytics. The free version lets you upload your local Excel spreadsheets, the Pro version expands access to online sources such as Google Spreadsheets, and the Enterprise Server lets you access your corporate BI documents.
Working with SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence and Crystal Reports documents
The RoamBI ES3 Enterprise Server option lets you use Web Intelligence documents and Crystal Reports from BusinessObjects Infoview as data sources for the analytics:
You simple log on to the Roam BI publisher web site, log onto your enterprise BI portal, and import the documents you’d like to see on the iPad:
The basic version is free, the Pro app is $99 per user, and ES3 is $795 per user for a perpetual license with a minimum of 50 users.
First, if you’re the leader of a business intelligence project, this application is an essential part of marketing the value of your systems. I’ve had the pleasure of presenting in Stockholm and Copenhagen this week, and (like Xcelsius, where many of RoamBI’s staff came from), it is a great attention-grabber, with everybody keen to try out the tools. You may even want to consider buying your CIO or other executive sponsor an iPad just for them to be able to show off your project’s data…
As an application, it’s particularly well-adapted for mobile users such as account managers, who typically need offline access to small sets of well-defined data, and could use it effectively not only for their own use, but to share key figures with their customers.
However, because RoamBI is document-based, there’s no ability to access information that hasn’t been planned for in advanced, so it’s not going to be suitable for all users. In particular, if your users need to have online mobile access to any information in the corporate data warehouse, and multiple different view of data, you may want to turn to a complementary solution like BusinessObjects Explorer.
- Beautiful, easy-to-use user interface
- Fantastic marketing tool for your information systems
- Now with added analytical power (trending, time slices, etc.)
- The application and basic use is free
- Works offline
- Links to enterprise data systems including SAP BusinessObjects
- Visualization type (type of analytic) has to be defined in advance, not changeable.
- Report dimensions limited to the parameters already defined in the document*
* Section updated to correct earlier erroneous statement that you
could only access data already in the local document — apologies…
(Cross-posted @ the BI Questions Blog )