SAP’s Next Generation Data Warehouse Solution in the Cloud and Why it Matters

SAP’s Next Generation Data Warehouse Solution in the Cloud and Why it Matters featured image

What is SAP Data Warehouse Cloud?

Data Warehouse Cloud is a data warehouse solution in the public cloud. It is a software as a service (SaaS) offering managed by SAP and built on SAP HANA Cloud, allowing for a combination of SAP and non-SAP data to deliver real-time insights and provide end-to-end enterprise data warehouse functionalities.

Why SAP Data Warehouse Cloud?

One of the challenges businesses face today is the lack of agility and freedom to access data and address business needs.

With classic data warehouse solutions such as SAP BW (Business Warehouse), content is centralized and managed by the IT department. Classic data warehouse solutions often do not allow business users to build or customize their own data models, change business definitions of dimensions and measures and define their own reporting logic. Unfortunately, the managed data models and reports do not always offer the business what it needs, and change request processes were too time-consuming. As a result, business users began to export data from the managed reports while combining their own datasets with building reports and adding additional calculation logic into their spreadsheets. These datasets and spreadsheets were shared through emails with no process (including metric definitions and business logic), effectively causing chaos and loss to the material.  A data warehouse solution must exist that can balance freedom and governance to bring IT and business together. This is what Data Warehouse Cloud is going to address.

Bringing IT and Business Together

 Governance, Spaces, and Data Connections

Data Warehouse Cloud uses virtual team environments called “Spaces.” These Spaces are designed for content organization and collaboration. Organizations might create Spaces for each line of business or different projects. Data connections can be managed by IT or admins at the space level. The solution supports connections to SAP sources, non-SAP sources, and cloud storage, and only users assigned to the individual spaces may access the data within them. IT and admins can also create data access control to mitigate further what data users can see and access.

SAP Data Warehouse Cloud

Data Modeling

Data builder is the Data Warehouse Cloud area where most of the data modeling activities take place.

IT brings in data from different source systems through data federation or replication, harmonizing the data and laying the foundation for business users.

Business Modeling

Using the Business builder, IT can create a business entity built on top of the view defined in the data builder. It represents an object in business terminology such as a product, vendor, sales order, etc., and hides the data layer’s complexity from the business user. Business users can choose from the list of available business entities to create consumption models and corresponding perspectives, business KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), and even reporting logic to satisfy reporting needs. This provides business end-users with the flexibility they need to customize and evolve their models to keep up with changing business demands and goals.

“We see Data Warehouse Cloud as a key ingredient in SAP’s Data Strategy. It eliminates data silos, allows for real-time data federation and aggregation, and reduces and simplifies the work for business analysts,” states Martin Stenzig, Chief Technology Officer at Rizing.

SAP Data Warehouse Cloud

SAP Data Warehouse Cloud

Consumption and Story Builder

SAP Analytics Cloud is embedded within the Data Warehouse Cloud, giving a user the ability to leverage SAP Analytics Cloud’s self-service capabilities to build and share reports and dashboards. It comes with standard business content that is ready for consumption. Non-SAP analytical tools can also be used to consume the data models within Data Warehouse Cloud.

Does Data Warehouse Cloud replace SAP BW and SAP BW/4HANA?

Is Data Warehouse Cloud a successor of SAP BW and BW/4HANA? The short answer is “No.” It can be used as a standalone warehouse solution or complement the existing data warehouse solutions of SAP.  SAP BW/4HANA and HANA for SQL Data Warehousing will continue to be SAP’s strategic data warehouse solution on-premise and in the private cloud. Data Warehouse Cloud is SAP’s strategic data warehouse solution in the public cloud.

SAP BW/4HANA and Data Warehouse Cloud address different needs in the data warehousing space.

SAP BW/4HANA works best with SAP sources such as SAP S/4HANA, and it comes with a rich set of standard business content. Data Warehouse Cloud works better with various source systems and unstructured data (in addition to supporting SAP sources) as it is more open and agile. SAP BW/4HANA is an IT-oriented solution, while Data Warehouse Cloud is designed to be more business-oriented.

Yet, SAP BW4HANA and Data Warehouse Cloud complement each other in Hybrid scenarios. SAP BW or BW/4HANA systems can be connected to Data Warehouse Cloud. Virtual or replicated data access is available for InfoObjects, InfoProviders, Queries, and generated external SAP HANA views and native connectivity to BW/4HANA is also available. Data Warehouse Cloud has access to the data and the semantics stored within your BW/4HANA applications.

While leveraging the existing content in BW and BW/4HANA, users can take advantage of the functionalities of Data Warehouse Cloud such as semantic modeling in the business builder, provide more self-service data access capabilities to the business user, enable cross-functional reporting by combining SAP and non-SAP data, structured and unstructured data. This enables organizations to empower end-users with the enterprise data they need to make informed business decisions.

Conclusion

Data Warehouse Cloud offers an end-to-end data warehouse solution in the cloud. This next generation offering provides flexibility and freedom for business users to access the data and build their own reports while giving IT full flexibility to manage and govern the data. It is fundamentally changing the user experience of data management. Instead of just collecting, transforming, and storing data, it connects business users to the data and enables them to turn that data into business value quickly.

To find out how your company can benefit from SAP’s next generation data warehouse solution, contact Rizing.