Ok, time is running close to the end of the year. As every year, this is some of the hottest time of the year, especially this year maybe, with the recent SAP HANA 2.0 release announced by Bernd Leukert at the SAP TechEd 2016 in Barcelona.
However I just got reminded, that I can look back on 20 years working in the overall “Information Management” area and it is pretty interesting to see how some things really changed within these 20 years and how other things, techniques, ideas, requirements, solutions almost stayed the same.
So back in 1996 when I was starting in a pretty small company that created some impressive and that time innovative software solutions for error-tolerant database search and postal address cleansing that was the time where early powerful and “not too expensive” computers entered the market and allowed customers to do expensive, calculation intensive processing on relatively cheap computer power; off the mainframe. One of the compelling events for the whole (regional German) industry was the change of the postal code systems from 4 to 5 digits. Maybe someone remembers the cartoon figure Rolf?
Nowadays we are talking about Digital Transformation and initiatives like Industrie 4.0, Big Data, … a lot of compelling new events where the biggest Taxi company is not owning a taxi, … and new, impressive computational power to process almost infinite amount of data in memory for a price tag, nobody could have imagined 5 years ago. But still it is all about how to manage the data, how to access it in the right way, at the right time and get most valuable information for a specific question or solving a specific problem.
After a presentation at the German speaking SAP User conference (DSAG Jahreskongress in the SIG for Master Data Management, Data Governance and Data Quality) I had some great conversation with customers on the different Information Management capabilities, that are currently natively implemented into the SAP HANA platform and how unique and absolutely beneficial this is for the simplification of the customers landscape, when all the necessary capabilities to access, integrate, replicate, search, improve and enrich, transform and cleanse, analyze and map your data, extract semantic meaning, provide a metadata or entity grid on your information artifact, … are already within the central place where your data resides or is processed.
And we started thinking and collecting all the broader Information Management capabilities that we could identify within the SAP HANA Architecture picture.
Well depending on your definition of the term “Information Management” you might have a slightly different perspective, but to me it seems pretty fair to say that there is already a mature set of capabilities natively integrated capabilities that are already consumed by SAP Applications running on the HANA Platform, as well as being part of Partner’s Applications implemented on the HANA Platform or obviously just there to be consumed by your own Applications created on top of the HANA Platform – on Premise or in the Cloud.
- Single column or multi-columns search and lookup via SQL, with Search Rules or in the Enterprise Search with Search Models.
- Finding answers instead of searching for hours.
Decipher Your Unstructured Textual Data for Greater Insights
- Extracting helpful information out of semi- or unstructured text for enriching your text with extracted entities or sentiments.
- Making unstructured text information relevant for analytical use cases or for real-time processing based on the content.
- Grouping and categorizing document based on the content.
- Great capabilities to store and visualize data and their relations in a very intuitive way.
- Provide transparency and visibility into the relationships between data objects for business users.
- Dimensional representation of information, obviously used mostly in geo location or three dimensional space use cases.
- Data can natively be stored with all the geometrical forms (points, lines, polygons) and a native set of calculations functions (between, in, distance from, …)
- Includes a set of 90+ natively embedded algorithms to prepare, process, analyze your Big Data
- Data Mining capabilities enable users to find relationships and dependencies within data columns to either define data quality rules or automatic column value enrichment based on rules.
- Heavily used by Data Science
SAP HANA Enterprise Information Management
Maybe the most “classical” information management capabilities that include:
- Enterprise Semantic Search for preparing the Entity Grid, a collection of metadata artifacts of the HANA landscape as well as remote data sources,
- Data Quality for standardizing, cleansing and enrichment of business partner data, matching data, gain deeper insight into column content by content type profiling and
- Data Integration for federated access to remote source, replication of data in real-time and ETL-type batch data movement.
This is definitely just scratching the surface and giving some pointers on these Information Management capabilities. A great source for further details is the SAP HANA Academy Chanel on YouTube.
Feel free to explore some of these capabilities in your own SAP HANA environment, in a SAP HCP Developer Account, within the new SAP HANA, express edition or as already embedded capabilities in some SAP applications like in SAP Master Data Governance or SAP Agile Data Preparation.
Share your thoughts and experience here or in an own blog on how you successfully managed your information in a SAP HANA centric landscape.