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Can I learn SAP Business Intelligence (SAP BI/BW)?

SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) is the name of the Business Intelligence, Analytical, Reporting and Data Warehousing (DW) solution which is one of the major enterprise software applications produced by SAP AG. It was originally named SAP BIW, (Business Information Warehouse), but is now known as “SAP NetWeaver BI”.

Source: Wikipedia

1. Can I learn SAP Business Intelligence (SAP BI)?

This is the question buzzing in the mind of new and experienced consultants from different stream. The simple answer is YES. But I need to justify that.So, read on.

2. Who can learn SAP BI?

Since BI is the blend of technical areas such as ABAP, WebDynpro, XI, BASIS, Business Objects(now an SAP Company) etc and functional areas such as CRM, SRM, SCM, HCM etc. A consultant from these areas can easily migrate to SAP BI. Consultants from other ETL tools like Ascential, Ab Initio can also migrate to SAP BI.

3. Does it mean a person from non-SAP background can’t learn BI?

Absolutely No. Anybody who has got functional or technical experience in any domain can learn BI and there are no hard and fast rules for this. The only thing they should know is the fundamentals of SAP BI or any Data Warehousing tool.

4. What is the basic requirement for learning BI?

As mentioned earlier. the minimal requirement is the basic knowledge of Data Warehousing, which is mandatory in nature. Knowledge in any functional areas viz. Sales and Distribution (SD), Material Management (MM), Finance & Controlling (FI-CO), Logistics (LO), Plant Maintenance (PM) and so on is necessary and if you have more than one domain knowledge then it’s definitely an added advantage.

Consultants from technical areas such as ABAP, BASIS, and XI can easily learn BW-Technical areas such as Configuration, DB Maintenance, Portal Settings, Idoc Management etc.

5. What will be the nature of work for migrated consultants?

Here I’m just giving the nature of work they may get, but finally it all depends on the Company they work for.

ABAP Consultants: They can be involved in writing routines (Update, transfer, conversion etc), SAP and User Exits, DataSource enhancement, BAdi, tables, function modules etc

Functional Consultants: Creating reports for relevant areas, data validation, functional review etc.

Other than these you may also be involved in the following:

Implementation Activities: Creating new data models, DataSource, reports etc.

Support Activities: Monitoring the data loads, data reconciliation, and other maintenance activities.

If you are a senior consultant then you may be involved in gathering the User Requirements, Creating Functional and Technical specifications, GAP Analysis etc. 

If you have knowledge in Web technologies, you may work in Enterprises Portal(EP), Web Application Designer(WAD) etc.

To know more about BI SDN is a library for all SAP related documents; all you need to do is just search. Click here to see How to Search SDN?

Use of BW in ESA World

BW – Functions in Detail

SAP Business Information Warehouse (BW)

There are lots of people here in SDN you can give you valuable feedback regarding the same, so just keep SDNing.

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  • Hi Chandran,

    Indeed many people today are considering becoming specialists in BI. And indeed, the basics of BW or NW BI are quite straightforward. SAP training courses and on-line help describe *basics* of SAP BI very well: data warehousing, reporting, data acquisition.

    But then reality comes and you find that a devil seats in the details. You will not find meaningful description of business content, available datasources or APIs in training materials, help or books from SAP Press or any other publisher. This is when you are left with OSS notes and SDN content, and this is where hell begins. There is no guaranty of correctness, completeness and actuality of information or links to information. You might get correct answer to your post, but you might get as well wrong answer from point-hunters or no answer at all. Sometimes OSS Notes are translated awfully from German, but there is no way for you to provide feedback on this back to SAP. Some blogs are nice, but again there is no guaranty you’ll get answer for your question posted to the blog.

    That’s my experience.

    • Hi Vitaliy,

      Thanks for your comment.

      This blog is just to give an idea that what one should have to become a NW-BI consultant.

      Every technology / platform has difficulties and NW-BI is no exception. As you said there are lots of help pages without any information. Example see this Bex Formula page

      You won’t find any details for Mathematical and Trigonometric functions.The application of these functions may be less but then information is always necessary.

      We can see thousands of threads in SDN and other SAP Support sites everyday which looks the job is getting harder day by day as the complexity in also BI grows.

      Chandran Ganesan

  • Hi,
    I am working in a support project, in ALE/IDOC. There is very very little coding involved in my project. But i love to code.
    I need some guidence from you. My project is about to end. So as the next plan, i am planning to do SAP BI certification through tech-ed and push my carrier into BI.
    How is the market for ABAP+BI technical guy with 2+ years in support project?.
    I am also interested in Implementation.
    Is there enough number of implementation projects in BI?.
    People say that we have very few BI implementation projects.
    Is that true?.  Will there be more coding involved in BI? so that i can enhance my coding skills. Please update me. Thanking you in advance.
    • Hello,

      That was true,until SAP considered the Small Business and Midsize Companies.After that now even small companies started implementing SAP.Moreover lots of companies are migrating to Netweaver 7.0.

      So a Consultant with ABAP and Netweave BI 7.0 would be a good combination for a company to look for.

      SAP for Small Business and Midsize Companies

      Getting an implementation or support project is purely based on the company & time you choose.You can look check with your company or look for companies with Implementation project.

      Chandran Ganesan