Modern Analytics from SAP (Part 2)

Author – Anooj Behanan – Practice Director – Analytics

Enterprise Data Warehouse and Strategic Insights

While embedded analytics and contextual insights meet most operational reporting needs within SAP applications, the following use cases still warrant the need for an enterprise data warehouse –

• Consolidate, transform and harmonise enterprise data using a standard but fully scalable data architecture providing a single version of the truth from a wide variety of SAP and non-SAP sources including big data lakes
• To derive strategic insights from both real-time and large volumes of historical data such as year-on-year and trend analysis
• Need for pre-configured content, data lifecycle and governance

SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) has been SAP’s de facto data warehouse for both operational and strategic reporting. With SAP BW/4HANA, the latest version, SAP have created a truly agile, flexible and modern data warehouse with the following capabilities:

1. Simplicity – Reduced development efforts due to the possibility of data virtualisation & federation, real-time integration and reduced data tiering (LSA++). It comes with pre-delivered business content for S/4HANA and other SAP business applications
2. Openness – Provides inter-operability with the underlying HANA artefacts in a mixed architecture approach and allows for native SQL data warehousing to co-exist with BW
3. Modern Interface – New intuitive user interface for all user types and not just database experts
4. High Performance – Harnesses the power of HANA by pushing down data intense processes

As BW/4HANA runs on HANA, data tiering and multi-temperature management become essential. It now automatically classifies data as Hot, Warm and Cold based on usage.

At our forthcoming What’s Next for SAP BW and Analytics event I will be sharing what migration/upgrade options exist for BW customers and what tools are available to facilitate this.  I will also cover deployment options for BW/4HANA and asking should BW/4HANA be the default option for big data warehousing with S/4HANA?

Cloud Analytics

With increased proliferation of cloud products and IT landscapes all around increasingly moving to hybrid architectures (on premise and cloud), today’s analytics tools must derive insights from both at real-time.

SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) is a SaaS offering that brings together Business Intelligence, Planning and Predictive under one end-to-end analytics platform built on SAP’s Cloud Platform and uses the HANA data layer. It comes with extensive self-service BI capabilities together with embedded Big Data analytics features, ad-hoc reporting and what-if analysis to explore, discover and visualise data.

Top Features include:

• Offers connectivity to both on-premise and cloud sources and live connections to S/4HANA, BW, Universes etc., data import and lightweight transformation capabilities from some SAP and non-SAP sources
•  Built-in social collaboration tools as well as embedded AI capabilities such as smart insight, discovery and predictive capabilities to uncover hidden correlations
• Access from any device with responsive layouts
• Comes with pre-delivered industry and line of business content across a wide range of SAP business applications
• Integration of data models with excel

SAP Analytics Cloud thus provides a compelling case in becoming the default analytics layer for embedded and big data warehousing use cases.

Questions for Consideration

Should SAP Analytics Cloud be used for extending embedded analytics within S/4HANA?

How can SAP Analytics Cloud be used for unified operational reporting across S/4 and other SAP cloud products?

What is the roadmap for SAP BusinessObjects users and advantages of a Hybrid BI landscape?

Join NTT DATA Business Solutions at our What’s Next for SAP BW and Analytics event  in London to find answers to the pertinent questions stated above, see live demos of embedded analytics, BW/4HANA and SAP Analytics Cloud, discuss SAP Analytics strategy & architecture options and much more.

Final Thoughts

According to a recent Forrester report, organisations must focus on the following capabilities to become more insights driven:

• making data management and analytics more agile and flexible
• finding insights based on all enterprise data, not just partial datasets and
• ensuring data insights are contextual, actionable, and pervasive

For companies with an SAP data footprint, embedded analytics, BW/4HANA and SAP Analytics Cloud will provide a secure and robust Data and Insights foundation in making them an ‘Intelligent Enterprise’.

Also, if you are reading this blog and haven’t read Part 1 of this blog from Anooj, you can read it right here.

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