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Author's profile photo Tom Slee

Self-Service Analytics and SAP HANA Data Marts

The law of supply and demand is at work when it comes to enterprise data.

Supply is growing rapidly. New sources are coming online all the time: enterprise data is becoming accessible in real time, supply chains are being instrumented with IoT devices, image and speech are appearing as new kinds of data sources.

Demand for data in the enterprise is also growing, and that growth is reflected in the emergence of self-service analytics, where line-of-business employees carry out data analysis and reporting themselves, independently of IT services, using self-service business-intelligence tools (BI tools).

Put these two trends together, and it’s no surprise that many enterprises are seeing new value in large and complex data marts, pulling together disparate data sets and making them widely — though securely — accessible, extending the benefits of data analytics to all parts of the organization.

SAP has a compelling set of offerings for analytical data marts.

  • The SAP HANA Data Management Suite integrates many different data sources, bringing to this landscape the governance, reliability, and security practices for which SAP is known.
  • SAP HANA itself provides a compelling hub for analytics data marts with its in-memory performance, solid foundation as the database underlying the new generation of SAP business applications, and increasing support for rich data types such as geospatial, text, graph, and JSON.
  • When it comes to visualization, SAP Lumira is an excellent offering for self-service analytics and data visualization, providing interactive dashboards and analytic applications in one solution that rapidly promotes insight across organizations, and integrated with SAP HANA.

But many organizations have standardized on self-service BI tools throughout the enterprise, providing a common data visualization toolset on which all business units can rely. For those who have standardized on non-SAP BI tools the natural question is: can I use my self-service BI tools with SAP HANA data marts?

Here is where SAP’s certification programs come into play. The SAP Integration and Certification Center offers an open program for any partner or independent software vendor to have their solution or interface certified with all kinds of SAP technologies. As part of this program, SAP has certified several leading BI tools for use with SAP HANA. While HANA interfaces are open, so that any vendor who wishes can support HANA databases, certification provides an additional proof point of technical alignment between the vendor product and SAP HANA.

For a quick answer about using third-party self-service BI tools with SAP HANA, see the SAP Certified Solutions Directory, and particularly the third-party Business Intelligence (BI) tools for SAP HANA. Tools are certified by interface: some use a SQL interface and others the MDX query interface. Leading solutions are available, including (as of June 2018) tools from Microsoft (Power BI), Longview, Tableau, Qlik, FORCS, Tibco, Information Builders, Global Software, and IBM Cognos.

The variety of third-party BI tools, including self-service analytics, brings the benefits of HANA analytic data marts to all kinds of organizations, whether using SAP Lumira or third-party self-service BI tools.

The BI Tools certification adds to other SAP HANA certification programs. The Backint for SAP HANA (BRINT) certification program ensures that third-party backup client software is compatible for backing up and restoring data and log backups of the SAP HANA system (storage snapshot tools require no certification for backup). ETL Tools for Data Replication or SAP HANA Smart Data Integration adapters provide certified solutions for bringing data into the data mart.

SAP HANA Data Management Suite provides the infrastructure for complex data marts. Offering the choice of certified BI tools in addition to SAP Lumira ensures that all kinds of organizations can benefit from the value they bring.

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      Author's profile photo Sara Gonzalez
      Sara Gonzalez

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