Does Lumira 2.1 Discovery make SAP an industry leader in data visualisation?

4 September 2018

Karun Soni

Karun Soni


Tools like Tableau, Qlikview & Power BI have been incredibly useful for end-user data visualisation for some time. The recent release of SAP Lumira 2.1 introduced many new and important features, which I believe places SAP Lumira at the forefront of data visualisation, ahead of some of the other tools available. Allow me to explain:

Here are a number of features that are particularly impressive in Lumira 2.1 discovery, features I believe  places SAP on the map as a leader in data visualisation:


Geomaps in Lumira allows users to use multiple measures in one visualisation in an online ESRI map. Geographic hierarchies in the data means that the user can drilldown into the map to enable a more detailed view. To enhance this experience, we can animate the data to see how measures evolve over time.

This feature could allow users to gain answers to complex queries quickly- for example seeing how sales vs targets have evolved by location over the last 12 months. Hierarchical filters means that the user can then drilldown by time and location to examine areas within cities over weeks/days.

Fig.1 SAP Lumira 2.1 visualisation demo

Linked analysis

This is a brilliant user-friendly feature that Tableau has used rather effectively. This release of Lumira allows users to highlight or select areas in a graph which would then filter the rest of the dashboard. This enables fast analysis and filtering on the fly.

Let’s imagine you’re looking at global sales revenue and wanted to break that down into sales by France, USA and UK. In the diagram below, you can simply highlight these (in blue) and the dashboard will automatically adjust, showing just the relevant data. This is a feature that Tableau is particularly popular for, as it allows executive end users to very easily filter the data through the visualisation itself. It’s slick, aesthetically pleasing and easy to use.



The waterfall chart or ‘flying bricks’ has various enhancements to improve the overall visualisation. For example, positive and negative values can have different colours, sub-totals and totals can be included and lines connect each bar. This is a subtle change but it makes a real difference in terms of making it easier to interpret the data.


Ad-hoc data analytics

This is a feature that begins to push Lumira beyond many other data visualisation tools: ad-hoc comparisons done on the fly. This can be done both informatively (fig 4) where a user can check values on the fly against a measure or it can be done as a part of the visualisation (fig 5). This is an in-built feature of Lumira so it is easy for end-users to get meaningful results fast. In other tools this is something that needs to be designed by developers first, which doesn’t allow users freedom to make ad-hoc analysis.

Dynamic filters

A key feature in Tableau is having measures as filters. This allows you to filter the data with a ‘range’ filter and gives users a new way of interacting with the data. This is a key new feature of Lumira 2.1. In addition to this, hierarchies are now visible in filters, which enables drilldowns at each level.


Leading by example

There are also features like trendlines on line graphs, exporting to PDF and the much-awaited scheduling dashboards. Lumira 2.1 Discovery puts SAP data visualisation and UX at the fore, making it stand apart from its competitors. Furthermore, the extensions and customisation with Lumira Designer allows advanced data visualisation and analytics such as: adaptive (or responsive) layout, offline data sources, advanced conditional formatting and UI improvements to make this frictionless for the end-user.

One also can’t ignore another impressive SAP product, SAP Analytics Cloud with brings predictive analytics in this mix- SAP have revealed plans to merge these tools into a hybrid strategy - more information here.

If you’re looking to do more with Lumira and would like to learn more about using these features, then reach out to us.

About the author

Karun Soni


Bluefin and SAP S/4HANA - welcome to the one horse race

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