Uncover Hidden Trends in Historical Data with Analysis Process Designer

  • by Rajesh Yerragunta, Business Intelligence Lead, Platinum-DB Consulting
  • February 1, 2006
Go beyond data warehousing to data mining. You can use Analysis Process Designer (APD) to discover hard-to-find trends that allow your company to make more informed decisions. Learn what APD is, how it differs from data warehousing, and how to implement it.
Key Concept

Analysis Process Designer (APD) explores the data that SAP BW collects, consolidates, and manages. APD allows various data transformations, such as data mining, statistical and mathematical calculations, and building intelligence into the data. It allows business users to access, transform, and deploy information in a single step.

Companies often find it difficult and time consuming to evaluate millions of historical records to uncover and explore the trends in their existing data, but these trends are critical to success. Using this otherwise hidden information allows businesses to make proactive and knowledge-driven decisions. Analysis Process Designer (APD) is one of only a few tools such as SAS Enterprise Miner or thinkAnalytics that addresses these data issues that are otherwise technically challenging.

Although transactions in previous versions of SAP BW provided similar functionality to APD, SAP intended these transactions mainly for customer relationship management (CRM) content. Transaction RSCRM_BAPI performs tasks similar to APD and was released in SAP BW 2.0B/2.1. SAP BW 3.5 introduced APD as a distinct data-mining tool whose capabilities greatly surpass RSCRM_BAPI capabilities.

In this article, I will show you how APD, a data mining process, differs from extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL). I’ll also describe APD’s capabilities and provide detailed steps describing how to implement it.

Rajesh Yerragunta

Rajesh Yerragunta is an SAP-certified consultant specializing in Business Intelligence solutions. He is currently leading the Business Intelligence practice at Platinum-DB Consulting, a Chicago-based company that helps clients with design and development of SAP’s new dimension products such as SEM, SAP BW, xRPM, cProjects, mySAP CRM, and SAP NetWeaver Portal.

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