How to Leverage SAP BW/4HANA for Big Data and Analytics

  • by Akash Kumar, Technical Consultant, SAP Labs
  • January 23, 2017
Understand the benefits, design principles, and architecture of SAP BW/4HANA, and learn how to leverage them.
Learning Objectives

By reading this article, you can understand the:

  • Design principles of SAP BW/4HANA
  • Features of SAP BW/4HANA
  • Architecture of SAP BW/4HANA
Key Concept

SAP BW/4HANA is the new SAP HANA data-warehouse product launched in August 2016. SAP BW/4HANA preserves the core functionality of SAP BW and leverages all the features of SAP HANA, such as smart data access, dynamic tiering, and advanced analytics. SAP BW/4HANA enables the data analysis of structured, Internet of Things (IoT), behavioral, and un-structured data irrespective of location (e.g., data can be stored within or outside the organization, in the cloud, or in data lakes).

Insightful data management has always been a key priority for businesses, but, at least initially, the analysis was more focused on structured data for longer-term planning and strategic decision-making. With advancements in technology and digital disruption, such as the rise of Internet of Things (IoT), multimedia, and social media, the focus has shifted to unstructured and streamed data. The current database-warehouse system does not have the capability to support so many different types of query processing and different data locations; hence, companies are looking for new data-warehousing solutions.

The move to digital organizations has led companies to focus on prescriptive analytics. There have always been three type of analytics. Descriptive refers to the past to summarize what has happened. Predictive talks about the future, making predictions based on the past data. And prescriptive analytics provides different scenarios, along with their impact on the business to help answer the question “What should be done?”.

SAP BW/4HANA supports companies in doing all three types of analytics by combining data sources together to create insights. It helps companies to combine their own database with social media platforms to generate such data, and then to send personalized offers and promotions to their customers.

SAP BW/4HANA also allows companies to:

  • Collect and choose structured data, unstructured data (Twitter, Facebook, and so on), and streamed data (such as the IoT) from multiple sources.
  • Choose a data-management option to leverage this new technology, such as vertical and graph databases, Hadoop, and so on, along with traditional data-query processing
  • Have the capability to build advanced analytical models, such as predictive modeling, to help with decision-making and to grow their company’s profits.
  • Have real-time analytic environments and faster project turnarounds.
  • Provide business users with self-service BI tools that give them direct access to transactional data to create models.

Akash Kumar

Akash Kumar is an SAP technical consultant specializing in ABAP and HANA. He has 5+ years of experience in design and development of products with corporate organizations such as TCS, RBS, and SAP Labs. He is an active speaker and has organized multiple BarCamps in Delhi, India. He holds a bachelor of technology degree in computer science. He holds a certification in SAP HANA.

 

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