Common questions

Answers to common questions are provided below; further guidance is available within extended user documentation available in the Business Objects VOCAL site which you can access using your MWS username and password.

 

Logging in

How do I acess the Launchpad?

Log in to the Launchpad by visiting http://bi4live/BOE/BI. From here, use your MWS username and password to access the system. Ensure that 'authentication' is set to 'Windows AD'. If you are using Internet Explorer please note that you will not be required to sign in - single sign-on (SSO) is available.

How do I change my password?

The password you use to access the Launchpad is the same as your MWS password. It cannot be changed independently. If you wish to change your MWS password, you will need to use the 'Change Password' icon on the desktop of your PC or visit the Activate Your Account website and select the 'Change your password' link in the left-hand navigation menu.

Why can't I log into the Launchpad?

You must be registered for Business Objects in order to login to the Launchpad to access the BI tools. If you have not yet registered, please complete the registration form and submit this to the CSD Service Desk once you have obtained the necessary authorisation. If you are already registered please make sure that you are using your MWS username and password and check that the authentication field on the login screen is set to 'Windows AD'.

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Working with existing documents

Viewing documents

Once you have successfully logged into the Launchpad click on the Document tab. Click on the Folders button in the bottom left to open the Folders pane. The Folders pane contains Public Folders. Double click on Public Folders and then click on the folder called Central University Reports. The contents of this folder are then listed in the right hand side of the screen. You will see the folders to which you have been granted access and selecting a sub folder will list all available documents within that folder in the right-hand pane. Folders may contain multiple pages of documents: the top right hand corner of the screen will display the current page number and the option to navigate to the next (or previous) page. To view a document, double click the report title or highlight the report (with a single click) and then right click and select 'View' from the menu.

Creating shortcuts

Creating shortcuts to the reports you use most frequently can save considerable time. To create a shortcut to a report, right click on the report title and from the menu which appears select Organise > Create Shortcut in My Favourites.

Refreshing data

Business Objects is designed for scheduling documents rather than refreshing them on demand while you wait. Scheduling documents has several advantages:

  • A history of report usage can be retained;
  • Results can be compared between each refresh;
  • Reports can be scheduled to refresh while you are away from your desk (e.g. at lunch, or overnight) allowing you to pick up the results when you return to your computer and saving you the trouble of waiting;
  • Scheduled reports do not put as much pressure on the system as those which are refreshed 'on demand': this is particularly important during busy periods where large numbers of reports refreshed on demand can cause technical difficulties which put the system at risk

Guidance on creating a schedule is available from the Business Objects VOCAL site.

If, for some reason, you are unable to schedule a report then you can elect to refresh that report on demand, while you wait, as a last resort. To do this you will find a 'Refresh Data' button on the right hand side of the toolbar when viewing the report.

Saving documents

The results from a report can be exported to a wide variety of formats which permits data to be shared with others, including individuals who do not use Business Objects. Once you are ready to export your report, clic on the document icon in the toolbar and select 'Save to My Computer': you will be presented with a number of options to save the document, including as a PDF or Excel spreadsheet.

Scheduled reports can also be set up to export results to a particular file format (e.g. PDF or Excel) and to email that file to specified individuals.

Searching for documents

To find a report using partial information - such as part of the title, or description - use the Search facility located in the top right hand side of the screen. By default, the search facility will look at report titles. Click on the small arrow next to the Search bar to change the search parameters.

Once you have completed a search, the results will be displayed in the right hand pane.

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Creating and editing reports

How do I edit a document?

You will need to be granted specific rights to edit reports. If you have the necessary rights, you can edit a report by right clicking on the report title/description and then selecting 'Modify' from the menu options.

Certain reports cannot be modified by anyone other than an administrator or report owner/author. If you are unable to edit a report which you feel needs to be amended, you will need to contact the report owner/author in the first instance - for example, reports relating to student recruitment are owned by Student Recruitment and Admissions Office (SRAO).

Setting filters

Filters allow you to refine the results of a report by displaying only the data you are interested in. You will need to be within the 'edit query' mode in the report. Once in edit mode, the objects displayed in the report are located in the top right hand pane. The query filters - the conditions underpinning the data you will see - are in the bottom right hand pane. Objects can be dragged and dropped into the filter pane and associated conditions can then be defined. Each query filter will work with others to enable you to obtain very specific results.

Saving a new document

To save a Web Intelligence report so that it can be scheduled to refresh again in the fuutre, you will need to use the save icon in the toolbar. A window will appear to prompt you to select the save location for the document. You will only be able to save documents in locations to which you have access/permission.

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Error messages and known issues

"No Data To Retrieve in Query 1"

If you receive this error, please make the following checks:

  • Are there any prompts for the report? If so, check to ensure that what you have entered into the prompts is correct (and in the correct format - use the list of values if available to ensure that there are no errors caused by incorrectly formatted syntax).
  • In 'edit mode', check the query filters - try removing a filter and re-running the report to narrow down to the root of the problem.
  • Contact the report author or data owner, as appropriate, to seek their advice. It could be an issue related to the data in the underlying business system rather than with Business Objects.

"Query 1 *Universe* A database error has occurred"

This issue arises when objects from different classes are joined together and typically occurs when an attempt is made to draw together data from different database tables, e.g. fields from an admissions record with fields from a student record. Please contact the relevant data owners in the first instance or seek advice by contacting the CSD Service Desk.

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Accessing Business Objects on a mobile device

If you have a mobile or tablet running iOS (iPhone/iPad) then you can download, install and use the SAP Business Objects Mobile app to access content on your device. Information, including installation instructions, is available from the Business Objects VOCAL site which you can access using your MWS username and password.

Business Objects Training

There are currently two training sessions run by the Business Intelligence team:

  • Introduction to InfoView: this workshop is aimed at those who are new to the system, and those requiring refresher training.
  • Creating and Editing Web Intelligence Reports: this workshop builds upon the knowledge and experience gained from attendance at the first workshop, and supports those involved in the creation of reports with using Web Intelligence. Attendance will be dependent upon staff role.

Further details, including the dates and times of workshops, are available in the CSD Workshop Programme.

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