SAP BPC Version for NW on HANA – Uncovered

Communication is key. Understanding relevant SAP terminology is the fundamental principle for conversing in the industry. Accurately transposing technical topics across functional and tech teams is the foundation for project success.

The cruciality of precisely conveying the subject at hand should go without saying.  However, many times tech and functional team members fall short on embodying this notion. And depending on the magnitude of the conversation, this could be just a small blimp or detrimental to the task at hand. Working in SAP for the past 5 years, I know how common it is to misrepresent a system issue or requirement due to the sheer complexity of the environment in play – which is no different in the SAP BPC arena.  In an aim to educate and mitigate potential confusion, this blog will break down an SAP BPC version for NetWeaver (standard model) on HANA environment using the EPM Add-In as the frontend reporting tool, primarily from a reporting lens.

SAP HANA In-Memory Appliance vs. TDI Approach Overview

SAP offers two approaches for deploying SAP HANA on premise -  the In-Memory Appliance and the Tailored Data Center Integration (TDI) approach.

The In-Memory Appliance approach, often referred to as the “all-in-one-box approach”, lets customers leverage SAP and their certified hardware partners to deliver a pre-configured HANA system and its components.  On the other hand, the TDI approach leaves the installation and the maintenance of the OS and HANA appliance to the discretion of the customer (within boundaries established by SAP). As with everything in the IT world, they’re pros and cons of both approaches and it will depend on an organizations use-case and scenario to determine best fit.

Evaluating Your Next BI Resource – Three Common Comparisons

Whether you’re tasked with bringing on a consultant, or filling a permanent position on your analytics team, it’s imperative that you determine the candidate’s holistic skill set prior to extending an offer. As many hiring managers know, it can be a tall order to precisely align role requirements to a resume (or even throughout the interview process). While each job posting calls for different needs, there are common traits and skills acquired by industry experience that contribute to an individual’s overall makeup. If these are analyzed and interpreted correctly, it can pay off in spades for your organization. Below are three common experience comparisons, to aid you in the process of evaluating your next BI resource.

'Hacking' Tableau's XML

Born too late to explore the earth. Born too early to explore the galaxy. Born just in time to explore the world of data.

At almost every company I’ve worked for, I’ve heard the phrase, ‘data driven decision making’. Companies now are realizing the gold mine they sit on that is their SQL server or GP or Teradata DB and with this realization comes the need for deeper and deeper data dives in the search for the ‘unknown’. Subtle nuances of your consumer base or aspects relating to operational efficiency are just sitting within gigabytes upon terabytes of data waiting to be discovered.

Euro Cup 2016 Overview

With the Euro Cup tournament going on, I thought it would be useful to have a visual with all the information you would need about the teams and players. Regardless of how much you know about soccer, this cheat sheet will give you enough information to sound like a soccer pro when you talk about the games with your friends over the next few weeks. This visualization was made using Tableau and uses data sourced from various online soccer sites.

Click the dashboard image below to go to the interactive site.

Note: Recommended to view this on a tablet or laptop to enjoy full functionality of the visualization.

Click the image above to view the interactive visualization

Click the image above to view the interactive visualization

The Emergence of Hybrid Business Intelligence Consultants and Three Key Benefits

One-dimensional BI resources meet deliverables, multi-dimensional BI resources shape and drive initiatives. Historically, BI Consultants have been an IT-centric (and funded) function, brought on to do ‘B’ while receiving input from ‘A’ and ‘C’. While this has been a tried-and-true model, the need for a specialist who can traverse from business process to BI technology (and all points in-between) has become an increasing sought out skillset in the marketplace. This is partially attributed to the arrival of Big Data, Data Science and Advanced Visualization, adding to the appetite of the business undertaking traditional IT responsibilities.  However, the value of a hybrid BI consultant has always been present, BI practices may not have always seen the advantages unless they’ve had one in the midst of their team.  The following are three key benefits of hybrid BI consultants.

From Excel to BI: The Much-Needed Transition to Standard Reporting

Let me start off by saying Excel is awesome. It is undoubtedly one of the most popular programs in the business world and does everything from simple calculations to complex financial modeling. Everyone knows how to use it because it has been the standard of the business world for so long. But it is this deep-seated reliance on the tool which creates a reluctance to adopting Business Intelligence reporting.

As a BI Consultant, my most difficult challenge isn't gathering requirements or building dashboards with complex logic... it’s trying to convince business users and leadership to adopt BI and divest of their bulky, manual, yet ever-reliable Excel reports. How do you successfully take away a tool people have used from the beginning of their careers and expect them to trust an automated process that they have no control over to magically give them the data they need to do their jobs?

Big Data and Advanced Analytics are Powering CNN's Magic Wall

Big Data is everywhere. I am fascinated about the speed at which election estimates, predictions and results are displayed on TV with Analytical Applications such as CNN’s Magic Wall. It indeed is Magic; cool tool and a lot of Manpower. Statisticians, Interviewers, Visualization experts and so on. To make this Magic Wall work it requires an extraordinary manual effort that can only be sustained every 2 or 4 years. Unless your name is Google, Amazon and the like how can you sustain such an environment on “Main Street”? Yes, some “Main Street” companies collect data in their marketing departments but it does not really amount to Big Data and Advanced Analytics. It is at best a very manual effort that creates dashboards and fancy reports. In order to be successful with Big Data and Advanced Analytics it is necessary to think about organizational structures and mechanisms across Business and IT Boundaries. We might want to give a fresh look at the old Gartner Business Intelligence Competency Center. We may find that this concept finally can “take off” in the real world as Business and IT is fusing in the Big Data and Advanced Analytics arena as income generating Analytical Applications can be deployed almost instantaneously.

Big Data and IoT are Transforming the Health Care Market

If anyone doubted that the Health Care market is not technology driven outside the OR was proven wrong by the planned acquisition of Truven by IBM. We can already see how Disease Management changes through Big Data and Analytics technologies. This trend will only accelerate in the coming years and I believe that we will see innovative technologies inside prescription drugs medicine that deliver real-time health information to care providers through the IoT at a low cost. The Affordable Care Act is working as a catalyst for these Analytics based Business Solutions similar as the year 2000 challenge moved us from Mainframe to Client Server platforms. After almost 20 years in Business Intelligence and IT Management I have not been more excited than now. Finally corporate IT is starting to become a profit center.