Analysis Process Designer: Profile Data the Easy Way

  • by Mike Curl, Principal Consultant, Bluefin Solutions
  • May 1, 2005
Profiling key figures and characteristics in ODS objects, PSA data, and BW queries can be difficult, time consuming, and inefficient. The updated Analysis Process Designer tool in BW 3.5 vastly improves your ability to profile data, giving you more options to understand your data. Here’s how you do it.
Key Concept
SAP BW Analysis Process Designer (APD) is a tool that helps move BW beyond reporting and analysis and into the realm of knowledge discovery, which along with data mining allows companies to glean a better understanding of the information stored in their massive data sets.SAP BW Analysis Process Designer (APD) is a tool that helps move BW beyond reporting and analysis and into the realm of knowledge discovery, which along with data mining allows companies to glean a better understanding of the information stored in their massive data sets.

Hidden away in BW are a number of tools and functionalities that allow you do much more than simply generate reports. One of the more interesting tools is Analysis Process Designer (APD). First available in BW 3.0, APD uses a graphical drag-and-drop interface to create sophisticated processes that prepare, transform, mine, display, and store data. It can provide you with quick answers to questions that would otherwise require more time-consuming BW configuration and lead to a proliferation of data marts.

APD is able to source data from InfoProviders such as InfoCubes, ODS objects, InfoObjects, database tables, BW queries, and flat files. Transformations include joins, sorts, transpositions, and with BW 3.5, integration with BW’s Data Mining Workbench (RSDMWB).

Data Mining Workbench is another well-kept BW secret and offers a range of data mining algorithms such as decision trees, clustering, and association analysis. Data targets for APD are InfoObject attributes, ODS objects, and SAP CRM system target groups. BW 3.5 also introduces the ability to transport analysis processes between systems, whereas before the only option was an XML export and import. The sidebar, “APD Scenarios,” on page 11 shows two common ways you might put APD to work.

Mike Curl

Mike Curl is technical director and principal consultant for Bluefin Solutions, a UK-based SAP partner. Mike has more than 10 years’ consultancy experience, covering a wide range of SAP technologies and industries. Mike is a recognized BW expert who has been working with BW since its earliest versions. He helps organizations define and implement their BW strategies, and he also has a particular interest and track record in optimizing the performance of high-volume BW systems.

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