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An Overview of SAP S/4HANA Embedded Analytics

With a capacity to simplify your infrastructure, Embedded Analytics is a key innovation at the very core of S/4HANA. 

What is Embedded Analytics?

SAP S/4HANA’s Embedded Analytics is a repository of tools and concepts that enable the use of analytics in your reporting. It is my belief that the future lies in these tools which can be used to design effective reports. With the help of real-time operational reporting in your transactional system, Embedded Analytics opens up whole new horizons when it comes to reporting. In contrast to traditional reporting landscapes involving ERP and data warehouse systems, in embedded analytics, there is no need for ETL (Data Extraction, Transformation, and Loading) and batch processing.

Why should I use SAP S/4HANA Embedded Analytics?

One of the key challenges faced in data analytics today is providing the right information to the right person in a systematic and timely manner. SAP S/4HANA Embedded Analytics offers some key advantages over the age-old classic reporting system. Delivering relevant data at the right time drives business decisions and therefore, data needs to be analyzed in real-time. Not just this, the benefits of embedded analytics are manifold;

  • It allows organizations to embed real-time business analytics within the context of a business process.
  • It does away with unnecessary tables, and redundant data, and delivers a single source of truth.
  • It provides insight that leads to the ability to take necessary actions right away without having to launch multiple applications or transactions.
  • It allows power users to create their own queries and KPI tiles.
  • It enables the re-use of data models in all analytical applications. 
  • And finally, it provides a consistent look and feels across the entire system, and across all devices, desktop, or mobile. 

SAP S/4HANA Embedded Analytics

SAP S/4HANA uses SAP ABAP Core Data Services (CDS) to create Virtual Data Models (VDM) or represent operational data. In the image below, you can see a list of tools that are available to us to create the VDMs.

 

Even in the standard version, there are many SAP views available, which can be used for reporting. 

At the backend, SAP S/4 HANA uses CDS views as the virtual data model for embedded analytics. ABAP CDS views are created based on the master data tables of SAP S/4HANA.

The ABAP CDS views are developed, maintained, and enhanced in the ABAP layer of the SAP S/4HANA system, which automatically creates SQL runtime views in SAP HANA. These go on to execute the readout and transformation of the data within the SAP HANA database layer.

In conclusion, there are many “operational reports” in SAP BW/Data warehouse that can be replaced with S/4 Embedded Analytics. However, it depends on each customer’s specific business requirements. S/4 Embedded Analytics offers new capabilities and business values to the user community which traditional reporting tools do not offer.

It is, therefore, important to consider which report should be sourced from S/4HANA and which should be sourced from a data warehouse system. A few vital points to consider would be;

  • Whether the report requires data from multiple source systems.
  • How much data needs to be downloaded. 
  • Whether you need analytics on old data as well.
  • Whether you require snapshots of old data as well.

Enabling all the VDM provided by SAP can also lead to performance issues. Therefore, a key point to consider would be the volume of data required as well as the data retention policies of the organization. 

Pratik is a Technical Architect at Mindset. He has over 13 years of experience in the SAP space across various roles, ranging from designing applications to rollouts.
Pratik looks for customer success and various ways to improve processes. When he is away from machines, he reads books or takes off on long drives.

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