One of the most powerful tools in the Business Analyst’s arsenal should be SAP Data Services. Using Data Services, you can extract important ERP Data, transform and load it into a purpose built Data Mart that can be optimized for analysis. The data can be re-labeled with business names to make it semantically easier to manage and interpret. Indexes and performance tuning can be added to the Data Mart so that the data is more optimized for reporting than for transaction processing. In addition, offline processing of analytics usually means the Analytics do not disturb transaction processing performance and vice versa. SAP Data Services provides you with a world class tool for moving, managing and reporting on that data.
But what happens when you have more than one ERP system – and not all of the systems are on HANA…and maybe not even all on SAP. Now you are combining multiple data taxonomies, multiple sets of master data, multiple hierarchies and often multiple headaches ! In this case, one of two solutions typically emerge:
- In-line data transport solution – A reporting table(s) or view(s) is created where the primary, lead or master data OLTP set resides (typically Financials, HR, SCM or CRM), Secondary transaction systems are then fed into this instance. Master Data will be a challenge, but the bigger concern is usually over the management of the performance of the transaction system
- Off-Line storage and transport – A stand-alone reporting / analytics data store is instantiated. (I really hate using the terms Data Warehouse, Data Mart or any of the derivatives. I agree that the differences are real, but too often the purist passions over semantics confuse the issue at hand – namely better analysis).
In In-line and some off-line situations, database replication is seen as the most sustainable method of transport. Replication is generally faster (nearer to real time) for a number of reasons (less I/O, in-memory transport, etc.) and as long as the diverse OLTP data is on a common DBMS, the practicality of managing this is high. But this isn’t always the case. Further, transaction processing performance concerns generally trump everything else in most businesses.
As a result, many teams prefer off-line solutions. While there may still be master data solutions to be managed, business analysis and corporate performance management demands a way to get comprehensive data out of a system that integrates data from diverse sources (ORCL, JDE, PSFT) and to get that data speaking to SAP.
In 2005, Business Objects introduced the Rapid Mart. BOBJ Rapid Marts were subject area special purpose data marts that also included ETL jobs defined using Data Services to transport data from SAP ERP data sources into the defined data model of the Rapid Mart. For business users unaccustomed to the naming conventions of SAP ERP, this was a welcome tool. There were 13 Rapid Marts defined by subject areas such as GL, AR, AP, PO, and so on. The ability to get direct access to business data defined with common business terminology was an early breakthrough in business intelligence for SAP ERP data.
But the BOBJ Rapid Marts did not stop there. Data Services jobs were defined to help extract, transform and load ERP data from Oracle e-Business suite, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards as well giving users with diverse enterprise data a means for aggregating all of their enterprise data. In 2007, SAP bought Business Objects and in 2011 SAP sold the non-SAP Rapid Marts to a Connecticut based firm, RapidDecision. In the fall of 2013, RapidDecision licensed the technology to transport SAP ERP data into the Rapid Marts as well.
In 2014, RapidDecision became Datalytics and still maintains a high level of commitment to SAP RapidMarts.
- Combining data sources such as, SAP ECC, Oracle e-Business Suite, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards, and more to provide a single analytic platform
- Best practices for building, managing and maintaining a productive single unified Data Model containing both Oracle and SAP ERP Data
- A simple, cost effective reporting and analytic platform solution for SAP ECC using Rapid Marts
- The future of the Rapid Marts product line
Here’s a link to register for the webinar if you’d like more information: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5318380989255684610