BW for Beginners: Teach Users InfoCube Basics with Excel and Better Reports Are Sure to Follow

  • by Kurt Goldsmith, Senior Business Consultant, Enowa Consulting
  • January 1, 2003
This simple exercise is a friendly introduction to the confusing terminology of InfoCube, InfoObject, Dimension, and Attribute. Experienced BW professionals will find this article useful because it shows them a non-technical way they can teach the process to others in their company.


The InfoCube is one of the most important BW elements used for reporting. Although other parts of BW (such as the PSA and ODS) store data, InfoCubes hold the data from which most of your BW reports will read. So knowing how to populate InfoCubes with data is important whether you produce or request BW reports.

For those who view reports, it is helpful to know that your data is coming out of something called an InfoCube and to know exactly what an InfoCube is. Understand this and you can provide the report developers with a better understanding of what you need in the InfoCube. Those who want to create their own reports in BW have many things to eventually master. You want to get data into the InfoCubes with validity, with integrity, and with an inherent capability that allows end users to reconcile the numbers they'll be seeing in their reports. That learning curve will become easier once the standard mechanics behind the InfoCube become clear.

In this article, I will walk you through an exercise I developed in Microsoft Excel designed especially for beginners. Exercises in BW are great, too, but to a person just starting off, every aspect of a BW exercise is brand new. Most people are already comfortable with spreadsheet-type software technology. I've found that this familiarity helps me see relationships in the InfoCube more easily than when the exercise is performed in a new technology (i.e., BW).

Kurt Goldsmith

Kurt Goldsmith is a senior business consultant for Enowa Consulting, specializing in the diagnosis and resolution of productivity-related integration issues between a company’s division of labor (end users, managers, executives) and SAP software (R/3, BW, APO, CRM). He also has a lifetime performance record of one win and two third-place finishes from five career starts as a thoroughbred racehorse trainer.

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9/8/2015 10:05:37 AM
Michelle H

As a junior BW Developer I found this article very easy to understand and digest - thank you!

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