Some months back I published an executive summary on Considerations when using BW as a data source for predictive modelling and also how BW can connect to SAP Predictive Analytics Expert mode. Since then we have seen a number of exciting enhancements to both SAP Predictive Analytics and SAP BW on HANA which has changed the way we approach predictive when using BW on HANA. In this blog we will go through some of these new features and how they can be leveraged when using SAP Predictive Analytics with SAP BW on HANA.
Before I delve in to what they are and the benefits they bring, it is worth recapping on some of the key features in SAP HANA. Since its conception in late 2010 SAP HANA’s key differentiators have been the ability to leverage in memory technology to increase speed, reduce complexity, data redundancy and enable real time analytics. However it is also worth noting that SAP HANA is more than just a database it is also a platform with numerous capabilities, such as an embedded predictive engine, housing numerous predictive libraries such as PAL, APL & R to name but a few. Keeping this in mind I will start by outlining 4 of the key changes in SAP Predictive Analytics 2.2 and SAP BW on HANA 7.4 and above.
1. Generation of HANA view from BW Objects:
The first feature is the HANA View Generation functionality introduced in SAP BW 7.40 SP05 on HANA for InfoProviders and since SP08 for BW Queries (BEx Queries and Query in Eclipse). The BW on HANA Guide to HANA View Generation outlines all the prerequisites and steps that are required to generate Calculation, Analytical and Attribute views from BW objects.
2. Consumption of HANA Views
HANA Analytical & Calculation views have been supported by SAP Predictive Analytics Expert mode for some time now and as of PA 2.2 Automated mode is also able to connect to both Analytical & Calculation views. This means that HANA views generated from BW objects can be consumed by both PA modes.
3. Writing to HANA
Not only can SAP Predictive Analytics consume HANA views but both Automated and Expert modes have the ability to write back scores in to to HANA Tables. This brings us a step closer to returning the insight to the Business User or Decision Maker.
4. Export Scoring Equation for real time scoring
Last but at no means least is the ability in SAP Predictive Analytics Expert to operate in HANA online mode. Although this feature has been available in Expert Analytics since it’s release with the addition of HANA view generation, BW on HANA can now operate on online mode. The benefits of this include no limit on data acquisition and speed of model training as data does not leave HANA and processing is delegated to HANA’s own predictive engine. Use of predictive libraries installed on HANA database and finally the ability to seamlessly inject scoring equations back in to HANA.
In summary this is just a starting point there are additional features and functions under review to enable smooth interoperability between SAP Predictive Analytics and SAP BW on HANA. Remembering that Advanced Analytics does not end once a predictive model has been created but focusing on getting the insight back to the decision make and ensuring simple management of the life-cycle of the model. For more details please see our how to guide or even better if you are attending TechEd this year join me at the hands on session BA160 to see for yourself.