How many times have you heard “BW is too slow” or “Getting anything from the BW Team is impossible”.
Are your business users waiting 6 to 18 months to see traction on their requests? Does a “quick change” get lost in a request queue that stretches out to several months or more?
If your business users are looking into alternative analytics tools like Tableau or ClickView to access their metrics, then waiting for BW is no longer an option and product segmentation may become a problem.
Drinking From A Firehose
From prior engagements, I have seen requirements come in faster than a development team can handle. This is especially common on new or greenfield implementations where a business analyst may not see a report until one or two years after the start of a project.
From proposing the correct business metric that boosts a company’s bottom line to when a business analyst can analyze that information, a lag time of one or two years is much too long for a competitive business.
So is the problem inherent to the tool (SAP BW) or is it due to your team’s skill set? In other words, are things taking longer because ofan education problem?
With the availability of SAP BW 7.4 on HANA and the new modeling approaches with in-memory data, we can assume that your development team can deliver on a faster timeline. But are they?
Is Your Team Reliant On Dated Concepts?
Leading a large-scale SAP BW on HANA implementation, I’ve found that a majority of the implementation partners are still working with classic data modeling approaches (which I outlined in this interview with Ace, LLC).
In my previous article, I had also described Open ODS views as a way to quickly consume and model non-standard solutions. Let’s take a closer look.
Legacy vs Field-Based Modeling
In a traditional BW on anyDB implementation, you were required to define info-objects for each field in the data source that you plan to consume. That’s because info-objects are the building blocks for all BW artifacts.
For custom solutions that contain many fields, this task of finding or creating the corresponding objects with matching data types and lengths are incredibly time consuming and mind-numbing.
What if you can bypass this step completely?
Taking the concept of process elimination one step further, what if I were to tell you that you can consume and test a solution without first having to model it?
Using an Open DSO is one option.
I wrote about the benefits of field-based modeling and how it can greatly reduce your team’s development cycle. Here’s a link to that article: Agile Data Modeling with SAP BW 7.4 Open ODS Views
There are additional introduced with BW on HANA that can shave days off your team’s development timeline (and bypassing other steps completely).
So how do we stop wasting time and start to adopt the new concepts and tools? Let’s explore the additional new concepts and how in parts 2 and 3 of this series.
More to come in a future article.
I built analytical applications, dashboards, and reports for Fortune 500 companies that run on the SAP Platform.