Book Review - BusinessObjects XI Release 2 For Dummies
One of the main reasons I like the Dummies series is that it helps me to know what I don't know. When I have no background on the overall structure of a technology, I find that a Dummies book helps me to get the right mental framework so I can start to dive in at a more technical level. BusinessObjects XI Release 2 For Dummies by Derek Torres, Stuart Mudie, and Julie Albaret once again filled that role for me when it comes to working with BusinessObjects. At least now I can start to use the tool without floundering around so much.
Part 1 - Getting Started with BusinessObjects: Business Intelligence and BusinessObjects XI Release 2 - Working Hand in Hand; Deploying on a Single Computer; Performing a Server Installation; Taking Control with the Central Management Console
Part 2 - Universes: Creating a Universe from the Safety of Your Desk; Defining a Universe; Joining Your Universe; Adding Dimensions to Your Universe
Part 3 - Using Your Desktop for Reporting: Reporting Live from the Desktop; Building Queries; Documents in BusinessObjects
Part 4 - Making Web Intelligence Work for You: Getting Your Hands Dirty with InfoView; Setting Up Your Documents; Working with Your Completed Documents
Part 5 - Keeping Track of How Your Organization Is Doing: A Different Kind of Dashboard; Making Better Decisions through Analytics; Using Performance Manager to Set Goals and Track Achievement
Part 6 - Getting the Best Possible Data with Data Marts: Putting Data Integrator to Work for You; Working with Data Marts
Part 7 - The Part of Tens: Ten Ways to Prepare for BusinessObjects Integration; Ten Resources to Help You
Part 8 - Appendixes: Reporting on Crystal Reports; Glossary
We use BusinessObjects where I work, and it's always been on my list of "one day I have to get around to investigating this tool" items. Now after reading this book, I'm bumping that up from a "one day" to a quarterly goal to hold myself accountable. The authors start out with the basics of "what is BusinessObjects", as well as how you install it. From there, they get into the basics of how to set up queries to data sources, formatting reports, some SQL terminology for getting the right relationships between data, and how to set up reports for use by others. I was especially intrigued by their chapter on Dashboards, as that's becoming an increasingly important tool for conveying summary information at a glance to knowledge workers.
I don't expect a Dummies book to serve as an ongoing, exhaustive reference for a particular software package. That's what the 800 page volumes are for. Business Objects XI Release 2 for Dummies gives me that quick start to get going quickly. Hopefully by the end of this year, this book will have helped lead me down the BusinessObjects path and opened a number of new opportunities for what I can offer my end users.