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Why some are not using Embedded Analytics in S/4HANA?

SAP S/4HANA embedded analytics is a set of analytical features for performing real-time reporting and analysis. They can be also accessed using FIORI, SAP BO tools and third-party client tools. The key architectural components of embedded analytics include the virtual data model (ABAP based CDS views), analytical engine (embedded SAP BW), OData service, and interfaces.

Supporting day to operation with real time data is one of the key benefits of embedded analytics in S/4HANA. Here are few examples,

A customer calls their sales representative and asking for details on a specific sales order. The sales representative can check the status in a FIORI based App and can take an action(e.g.: Remove delivery block) to fulfil the order if required. This is a typical example of a Transactional App.

A Customer Service manager can display and analyze incomplete service orders, identify the most critical ones and speed up the processing of these orders. This is a typical example of an Analytical App.

Refer to the table below for SAP delivered/standard total number of Apps and FIORI Apps by S/4HANA version. SAP started delivering more and more Apps in every new version. This is the snapshot when I write this blog, and this number shall be updated specifically for newer S/4HANA versions. The number of FIORI Apps are almost doubled if you compare the versions 1709 Vs 2020.

The CDS views feed data to all Apps and the number of CDS views are also increasing in every new S/4 version. The new FIORI Apps and reports/dashboards can be also created using the existing CDS views.

Version Total Apps FIORI Apps
SAP S/4HANA 1511 317 238
SAP S/4HANA 1610 7548 541
SAP S/4HANA 1709 9191 954
SAP S/4HANA 1809 10018 1329
SAP S/4HANA 1909 10608 1663
SAP S/4HANA 2020 11284 1924

Many have started reaping the benefits of Embedded analytics in S/4HANA. Some are still not leveraging or effectively using these features/tools yet. The following are the top 3 reasons for not using the Embedded Analytics in S/4HANA and also listed few ideas/thoughts to overcome the same.

  • Organizational alignment
    (a) This gets complex where there is a sperate team delivers reporting using stand alone SAP BW system. This calls for ONE leader/team owning both operational and analytical reporting.
    (b) Secure support from functional team/SMEs specifically for Transactional related Apps. Also, secure technical resources who have skills in embedded analytics.
  • Consuming resources and disrupting key operations in S/4HANA system
    (a) Set up governance (e.g.: Define specific use cases, Restrict memory per user, etc.)
    (b) Proper system sizing exercise needs to be done
    (c) Deploy Apps/users in phases (e.g.: R2R Apps/users first)
  • Knowledge of these features/tools with Functional teams or SMEs or BAs
    This is slightly complex compared to ABAP list, ALV grid and Report painter reports. So, this calls for educating SMEs, functional teams and Business Analysts on the details (e.g.: Architecture, tools, etc.) of embedded analytics. For example, Business Object tools such as Analysis for Office can consume CDS views.

Please note that the SAP S/4HANA Embedded analytics is really intended for Operational reporting and not a replacement for Data Warehousing. Let us start planning and leveraging the Embedded Analytics in S/4HANA.

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