If a spreadsheet or database has ever made your eyes glaze over or your audience members slip into a haze, you're in for a real treat.

SAP Lumira software takes massive amounts of data and transforms it into colorful, easy-to-grasp visual displays. Moreover, the application itself is as simple to use as painting by number. So it saves users time because they won't need IT to help with a database every time and won't spend hours fine-tuning a spreadsheet.

Save Time Right from the Start

Start off in SAP Lumira by pulling data from a broad range of sources: Excel spreadsheets ("personal data sources") as well as many types of databases (for example, Access, Oracle, SAP HANA, BusinessObjects). Users can input data in seconds with a couple of points and clicks.

Oftentimes with other applications, data needs to be prepped before it can be converted into visual form (such as a graph or chart), whether that means adding a column, combining data sets, inserting a new formula, or the like. Before Lumira, users might have had to wait for IT to segregate or pull data from a database, or write scripts or code, before the analysis can even start.

Lumira shaves off hours of time spent doing prep work because features built into the application allow the user to do what was formerly "prep" simply by dragging and dropping criteria and filters in a few seconds.

SAP Visual Intelligence screenshot

Drag and Drop for Visually Stunning Results

The screenshots don't lie. The endless options and the stylish look might make you think these reports are difficult to achieve. The exact opposite is true. Basic bar charts, bubble charts on geographic maps, and multidimensional layouts are all possible by toggling through the "picker" buttons at the top of the screen and making a choice. The visual options merely begin with the different chart types (pie, bar, graph, geographic, line, or scatter charts), but relationships, patterns, trends, geolocation, and other qualities can easily be added.

Share Your Visual Masterpiece

Share your SAP Lumira works of art by attaching them as images to emails. Another option is to copy and paste them into Microsoft Office documents or other documents.

Expert Session Webinar

View the archived Lumira Expert Session webinar here for tips and tricks on how to best utilize this tool and streamline your process. Or stay tuned for the next live session on Friday, July 12, at 9 a.m. Pacific time (noon Eastern time).


Try It Out and See if You're a Data Geek

A 30-day trial is available on the SAP Lumira website along with a contest aimed at new and nontechnical users. Enter the Data Geek Challenge by first downloading the free 30-day trial version of SAP Lumira or receiving it as a donation from TechSoup. Then choose your own data or use sample data sets SAP has provided, visualize or solve a problem by plugging data into the software, and share your creation in a video, blog, or email.

Are you a data geek?

Images: SAP

Carolyn Cotney | TechSoup Copywriter