5 Steps to Real-Time Data Analysis with Virtual InfoProviders and Xcelsius

  • by Anthony Fresina, Development Manager at SAP, IBU Banking
  • Ravin R Angara, BW Architect at SAP, P&S Ops COO Mgmt US
  • January 11, 2011
Engage executives, management, and end users with real-time data visualizations using virtual InfoProviders and Xcelsius.
Key Concept
Using virtual InfoProviders in SAP NetWeaver BW and Xcelsius, you can carry out on-demand analysis of enterprise data in real time without the heavy lifting of data extraction or extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL). End users can build sophisticated, engaging dashboards based on data coming into transparent (Data Dictionary) tables in the SAP system.

As transactional data comes into an SAP system, you typically need to stage it via extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) into SAP NetWeaver BW for reporting purposes. When the transactional data is created in the transparent tables, SAP NetWeaver BW extracts analytics data for management and operational reporting. A time lag exists between the time data is posted to SAP ERP tables and when the data is available in SAP NetWeaver BW for reporting and analysis.

We show you how to use a virtual InfoProvider to read the data in real time from underlying SAP ERP tables and present the data in Xcelsius for reporting. The time lag is significantly reduced because data loading is completely eliminated, thereby making the posted data instantaneously available for reporting.

The advantages of using this approach are:

  • No need to run lengthy data extraction programs or complex ETL processes
  • Data is available for analysis immediately as it is entered into the system
  • Ability to make real-time decisions based on critical business data

However, note that Xcelsius can only handle about 500 rows of data and still maintain responsive performance (1,000 rows max). For some scenarios this may be a critical limitation. In this situation, many reports require large data sets to be pre-aggregated.

Anthony Fresina

Anthony Fresina has more than 15 years of IT experience in the facilities management, education, trade, and financial services industries. For the last five years he has been the development manager for the Price Optimization for Banking group at SAP, where he guides business intelligence and business warehouse teams as well as customer implementations.

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Ravin R Angara

Ravin R. Angara, PMP is a BW architect on the P&S Ops COO Mgmt US team at SAP. He has more than 10 years of experience in the IT industry, with more than five years in the SAP BI area. As a consultant, he has successfully implemented BW solutions for FI, CO, logistics, CRM, and treasury modules, and is currently involved in developing integration scenarios for SAP NetWeaver BW in financial services using SAP BusinessObjects tools.

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