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SAP Business Warehouse (BW) and SAP Predictive Analysis

One of the coolest features that customers can get a first look at in SAP Predictive Analysis 1.21 is connectivity to any SAP Business Warehouse (BW) system in a database-agnostic way. This allows users to work with BEx queries, with or without variables, to fetch the train dataset for offline analysis. Hierarchies are automatically flattened to allow algorithms to process the data and generate models.

How to enable SAP BW Data Source in Predictive Analysis 1.21

In Predictive Analysis 1.21 this feature is turned off by default and can be enabled manually for those customers who wish to get a first look at BW connectivity ahead of the upcoming release where it will be made generally available. Please refer to Using SAP Predictive Analysis in Combination with SAP Business Warehouse Queries which outlines the currently supported features, restrictions, and recommendations

If you have SAP Predictive Analysis 1.21 and want to try downloading data from your SAP BW data source, you have to manually enable the feature first using the following steps:

  1. Make sure SAP Predictive Analysis 1.21 is not running.
  2. Navigate to the Desktop folder under your SAP Predictive Analysis 1.21 installation folder. Typically this would be C:\Program Files\SAP Predictive Analysis\Desktop
  3. Open the file SAPPredictiveAnalysis.ini for editing in Notepad
  4. Add the following additional line to the end of the file (including the first dash):
  5. Save the file and start SAP Predictive Analysis 1.21

NOTE: If you are unable to save the file due to insufficient permissions, you may need to run Notepad as Administrator first (By right clicking on the Notepad icon and selecting ‘Run as administrator’) and then open the file for editing.

BW Data Source in SAP Predictive Analytics 2.0

In the upcoming release of Predictive Analytics 2.0 (Expert Analytics), SAP BW Data Source feature will be generally available by default in Expert Analytics without the need to manually enable it. Watch for announcements and further information regarding BW Data Source in this upcoming release soon.

Downloading data from SAP BW database

You can directly connect to SAP Business Warehouse (BW) systems. This allows you to download train sample sets for model training offline. You can not only connect to SAP BW InfoProviders, but also execute BEx queries and pass values for variables defined in the queries. This eliminates the need to manually download or export data from SAP BW to perform predictions on the data.

Before you can connect to a SAP Business Warehouse (BW) system, it needs to be registered through SAP GUI for Windows on the same computer. It is recommended to test the connectivity of the registered BW system via SAP Logon before using it in Predictive Analytics. Refer to SAP GUI for Windows documentation on SAP Help Portal at to configure a new system. To download SAP GUI for Windows, go to SAP Service Marketplace.

1. To create a new dataset, first select a source by choosing File menu -> New.

2. In the dialog that appears, select Download from SAP Business Warehouse option and choose Next.


3. Enter BW connection details such as Client ID, Language, User, and Password and choose Connect. Note List of available BW servers is derived from the SAP Logon.


4. Select the BEx Query from the list of available queries and choose Create. You can search for your BEx Query or InfoProvider using either the Roles or InfoAreas view. Alternatively, you can search for key words in the Find box.


5. Enter values for mandatory variables of the BEx Query.


6. Where queries have hierarchy variables defined, you need to select a hierarchy.


7. Select values within the hierarchy that have been filtered based on the node selected for the previous variable and choose OK.


8. Finally, select dimensions and measures with the predictive use case in mind. These are downloaded when you choose Create.


The dataset is added in the Predict room and you can apply algorithms to the dataset to generate predictions.

Also, check out a quick video here.

– The SAP Expert Analytics Development Team

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    1. Orla Cullen

      Thanks Antoine,

      Yes we have something coming very shortly which will outline some additional features since this was first written and also some new functionality available using BW on HANA.




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