Re: Freedom of data exploration vs. control
This integration announcement is SAP's first attempt to deliver the best of both worlds, and it was just released today so it's hard to say whether they've succeeded. I've asked people who have been breifed in depth to comment (watch for that), but in general, I would say that vendors like Tableau Software and Qlik still stand out as best of breed on self-service data discovery. SAP, Oracle, IBM, Microstrategy and other BI incumbents have all added data-discovery modules, but that hasn't cooled off rapid growth for Tableau and Qlik. Microsoft, too, talks a good game about data discovery with Excel, but the lack of unifying semantic models for Microsoft and others can lead to chaos in which different people have different interpretations of what's meant by "sales," "products," and other dimensions of data that aren't locked down in a consistent model.