With the massive online training (open.sap.com), free tutorials (sap.com/LearnBI), do you still need an SAP education course?
My answer: YES
I wrote last December Suggestions for Taking a SAP Virtual Class – the Experience and today I completed a two day SAP Education Virtual workshop on data migration. I didn’t follow my own advice the first day – I used a headset. The second day I took the course in the conference room and it was much better.
Did I have all the documentation to proceed with the data migration project without the class? Yes, but that doesn’t mean everything is still going to work as expected.
At first I wasn’t going to take this class, I was going to work through the documentation and handle things myself. Then I read Quick and Dirty Guide to EIM Training by Richard Zanghi and though I would sign up for the data migration workshop.
Some key things I learned:
1) how to handle nulls
2) consider including data quality transforms
3) use the RDS mapping templates to map exactly to how the SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions packages are built
4) should you use the provided BI platform Web Intelligence reports that the RDS provides?
5) long discussion about certification courses and tests
If you are not using NULLS simply place NULL in the output schema:
In the example above the RDS package provides the field DISTRICT but we are not using it so you need to map it as NULL as shown above.
The above example is a class file we used to help us map the legacy data to Data Services RDS jobs. We had a discussion in the class whether to make the legacy spreadsheet similar to what is expected in the mapping and the answer was yes.
Should you use the SAP-provided Web Intelligence Reports?
With the RDS package SAP provides reporting to show how your migration is going, what is invalid, etc.
I had not been running any of these in practice. I asked the class whether they used these and many said no, but one student said they provided these reports to the business to let them know the remaining work to be done. This was a good idea that I wouldn’t have heard through e-learning.
While discussing this slide, the Joel Gilbert , the instructor, used “real-world” examples of the Flintstones, the relationship between Wilma and Fred, and when he got to the Matching part he broke out into song singing “Matchmaker, Matchmaker make me a match…”
He also showed us the Data Management console as another way to look at data validation statistics and said something to the effect “drill on the Pac-Man”.
At the end of the course, as in many courses, the class had a long discussion on SAP certification test questions, translation issues, etc.
One attendee said it would be good to have a hands on sandbox as part of the certification
Overall, what business challenge does SAP certification offer for both SAP, customers, and partners? It was a good discussion overall.
So yes, I believe SAP Education courses are still valuable, still useful, and still needed. I value the free Open SAP courses, the free tutorials, but courses still provide you an additional way of learning.