Considering BW for Your HR Organization? What You Need to Know

  • by Rishi Agarwal, IBM Global Business Services, HCM Reporting & Analytics
  • August 15, 2004
Companies are increasingly going to need HR reports based on information stored in various sources, including R/3, third-party tools, and the Internet. Business Information Warehouse (BW) provides that capability. The author has worked on numerous implementations of BW for HR, and explains some key considerations for companies thinking about their own BW for HR implementation.
Key Concept
BW is an analytical reporting tool that can extract information (potentially from multiple sources) over time in comparison to some goal, measurement, or benchmark. This information is normally in summary format and is often accompanied by charts and graphs (e.g., headcount comparison over four quarters).

The implementation of data processing systems for HR in the past has focused primarily on the acceleration, cost reduction, and automation of HR processes. Now HR executives and managers are turning their attention to the effective use of the enormous information potential springing up in enterprises. However, this information is spread across various business areas and disparate HR systems. The scope of reporting along with the need for cross-module/cross- system information that enables timely and accurate decision-making information has increased. SAP Business Information Warehouse (commonly known as BW) addresses this issue.

The emphasis in this article is on the use of BW as an analytical reporting tool. It is intended for project managers and functional project teams who are considering BW for HR and want to learn more about it. I’m going to present an overview of BW and then tell you about HR business content, with tips on when you should use it. In a subsequent article, I’ll provide some key lessons from the numerous HR implementations I’ve worked on.

Rishi Agarwal

Rishi Agarwal leads the SAP HCM reporting and analytics team at IBM. He has significant international (US, Australia, and Europe) HR and BW implementation experience. Rishi’s experience includes 10 years of SAP HR experience, including five years of BW for HR experience at Global Fortune 100 companies.

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