I had my first HANA Moment during a SAP HANA project for a power grid provider.  The customer had developed his own simulation tool to estimate the power supply and demand at a given time in the future. The software was able to take weather and other external conditions into account.

For example, the simulation software was used to answer a question such as:

Will the power grid infrastructure of today be able to handle 2023 demands on a sunny but windy day? 

The simulation software looked at the number of solar panels, wind parks and classical power plants estimated the power supply, compared this with the power demand and anticipated the impact of all these factors for the existing power grid.  84 million of these simulation results, including their 50 simulation parameters (sunny, windy, 2023 … ), were written in a data base.

Business analysts and their pain point

Business analysts used these simulation results to make recommendations to top level management. A typical question from management is:

Where do we need to make investments in our power grid infrastructure in order to be future-proofed?

Business analysts were complaining about the slow, static and fixed way they analyze the data. A typical method of working for a business analyst was to enter the relevant simulation parameter into the reporting tool, wait about 10 minutes and then receive a fixed standard report as a PDF.

SAP HANA the game changer

To speed up the current process we copied the complete 84 million simulation results to SAP HANA. The performance improvement was immediately available. The old report was now available in 1 second. So we started to dream about what we could do with this new improvement.

We decided to use new a more interactive front-end tool (SAP BusinessObjects Explorer) which allowed the business analyst to interact with the simulation in real-time and without any delay.  SAP BusinessObjects Explorer allows the user to enter a question such as “What is the power demand and supply on a sunny day in 2023?” and will find the relevant data in your data set.  The new possibilities meant that the business analysts could look into more simulation scenarios and gain better insights into power grid investments for the future.

SAP HANA changed a batch job driven way of working into a flexible and highly responsible solution where business analysts are in charge and not restricted by the limitations of underlying IT architecture.

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    SAP BusinessObjects Explorer used to analyze power supply and demand by region

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