Change is inevitable and it is the only thing that is constant in this world. In the contemporary world, the rate at which it happens is rapidly increasing so it is vital to jump on the wave and sail especially in terms of technology and when in business. This will prevent cases of being irrelevant in the market and losing competitiveness.
This paper seeks to outline the benefits and major components of the System Analysis and Program Development, Business Intelligence version (SAP BI), and the examples of companies operating the system (Lane, 2002, p. 69).
Data Warehousing: Definition
Data warehousing is considered to be the most important tool for handling organizations. The information stored reflects organizational standards and concepts for evaluation of its strengths and weaknesses and for working out strategic solutions influencing the future of the organization in general. As Inmon (2002) states, data warehousing is stored in a condition that would preserve its intelligence and integrity. Data warehousing is also a repository of a company’s digitally stored information that helps to facilitate the analysis of different documents like financial reports and annual reports.
The SAP BI is an invention that takes care of data warehousing problems. It stores data concerning all matters related to the company and produces it on demand by the right authorized legal entities. The information is also retrieved in a manner that is easily understandable (Russom, 2007, p. 43). Besides, business intelligence for SAP also contains information about potential customers and collects external and internal information about them (Meier, 2005, p. 71).
Benefits that it offers
Opinion support: the system puts together data from various parts of the business. It provides an organization with the choice of seeing exactly what needs to be fixed in terms of efficiency in the process by providing the solution (Ceri et al., 2000, p. 139).
Management of corporate performance: it provides the required information by the management in the simplest of forms available for their analysis and consequent action. They provide the information when needed by the management. They get to know what needs serious attention and when and how well all the processes in the organization are running.
SAP BI tailors the information to detail so that it even beats the level of detail a CEO might have for example all the factors that would influence the data: efficiency revenue etc. The system simply delivers to the level of accuracy of the information it is fed.
Non-SAP and SAP data integration is carried with great efficiency and speed thus enabling companies to perform analysis and reporting. By means of this prerogative, an organization can easily meet the established goals and surpass the occurred difficulties (A Single Version of the Truth, 2004, p. 8).
Components of the SAP BI solution
SAP’s data warehousing plays an important in organizing business strategies and analyze patterns of different data sources. It also provides an organization with OLAP capability that considerably influences various business transactions. Hence, SAP BI presents such functions as data transportation, data analysis, and data publishing.
In data transportation, the parts in this stage involve transferring data from the initial holding systems to the data warehouse and other systems that may require the information. After putting it in the required order, the systems also get it ready for the next stage which is data analysis (Carey, 2006, p. 700). The data analysis stage is more focused on using the acquired data in answering questions and further analysis. Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) is an amalgamation of tools and ways of posing questions to the data and further analyzing to achieve concrete outcomes. Data mining entails having characteristics that can help one predict the future before it happens. Some of the procedures include clustering, classification, association analysis, scoring, Approximation among others. The SAP BI Planning framework, which is a mechanism that has various sectors for example Operation departments, Marketing, Sales, or even Finance, is then formulated. These plans help one to define and eventually incorporate the company’s objectives and other aspects as the process continues (Walldorf, 2006, p. 2).
Data transportations solution
Based on the above information, the major problem of creating a data warehouse is constant data migrating, transferring, and converting from different systems into an integral database. At this transportations stage, transportation data services greatly simplify the process and make it less consuming (Khan, 2005, p. 132). The application of the Business Warehouse benefit lies in the fact that the process of conversion and loading presupposing the data transference SAP to a data warehouse is carried out by means of the same distributor.
Data analysis solution
The process of data analysis also involves data extraction, which is also crucial for a company’s work. In particular, it helps to filter the information according to relevance and privacy level. Due to the fact that data processing includes different patterns and methods, there can exist different scenarios or programs that are destined for processing a specific piece of data. For example, the Sales Order and Credit Management process related to one functional area of responsibilities. Therefore, they can be embedded into one SAP scenario (Gupta, 2008, p 22). In addition, SAP projects are also aimed to facilitate the communication between the company’s members who work at reaching the same goal. SAP’s analysis services also advance and improve the company’s electronic infrastructure and clarify the system of information exchange.
Data mining solution
Data mining with the help of the SAP business warehouse helps to transfer the data inside and outside the company. SAP operations and projects provide the users with the patterns and requirements for specific data that is to be retrieved from large amounts of information. The main problem connected with data extraction consists in the lack of knowledge about SAP structure and tools that lead to inappropriate usage of information. To solve the problem, it is possible to introduce SAP ERP information systems that would make access to the data more flexible (Roze, 2002, p. 7). Secondly, the promotion of the third-party solution products allows to mine data out of SAP from various distributors (Roze, 2002, p. 7).
Role of SAP BI
The main task of SAP’s data warehouse should consist in transforming digital data into available information. This is revealed through the need for data analysis and data exchange within an organization. All the services provided by SAP BI (analysis, transportation, and publishing) are viable solutions for organizations to enhance a better application of reporting software and modeling procedures services. The components also contribute to accurate classification and better systematization and distribution of function within the organization.
Specific industries and functions
Business Content: it is handy and volatile. It entails a set of predefined data systems extractors, data cleansers, data structures, question types.
Analytical Applications: they are predetermined applications that carry the best practices of analyzed models in the business. An application may contain calculations that are common to all retail industries in the market and another the best that is specific to a particular business.
Examples of companies
The Florida Crystals Corporation (FCC) with its associate in business Domino foods has tried the system for over five months and had the following challenges to note about it. They said they had a problem putting together the sources of information concerning the business so that the users could understand. They also had to share out costs on marketing and sales so as to speed up the processes. Finally, their goal was to make a positive change in customer care by cutting down on manual procedures (Whittington n.d.).
The company is more focused on getting SAP solutions for their own business conduct. They chose the SAP NetWeaver platform as the basic one and started its implementation in 2002 (Wittington n.d). The application of this software helped the business to manage the ongoing challenges they had to overcome. In particular, the SAP NetWeaver system enabled the company to optimize the innovations and provide flexible access to information. Besides the introductions have also fostered the decision-making process. Some of the advantages noted were increased efficiency in processes, time-saving due to speedy access to information, and frequent access to information regarding users using a faster system “sign on». The Florida Crystals Corporation has considerably advanced its efficiency level with the help of SAP which greatly contributed to the formation of a technologically and organizational advanced infrastructure. Additionally, SAP NetWeaver’s introduction has been also carried with the aim of implementing a self-service project for the broker to access the database quickly and find the necessary information (Wittington n.d).
Some companies in India have also tried the system. Another is the AMB property corporation also uses the program and to add to the challenges mentioned above, they had an extra one which was a collaboration with other organizations. SAP provided for them a system that is self-sufficient in fulfilling the tasks (Crystal Reports, 2010, par. 1).
In some cross-sectional surveys, it was found out from investigating 111 organizations that the support of the management is key in the success of the warehouse system. It is also essential that the resources are in place which will be effective when management is actively involved. The right team makes sure the systems are run in the proper way hence beating deadlines on budget. The systems need not be too diverse because this leads to more technical problems to be dealt with (Wixom 2001).
SAP BI makes everything simple from the transfer of information to the analysis, especially that, the system makes questions and keeps them in a database so that there will never be complex questions keyed in that cannot be solved. The system can also run the assessment of the whole process periodically without supervision. SAP BI has major advantages that cannot be overlooked and it is in the best interest of the company that they should consider adopting the system in light of the facts laid out.
Certainly, despite numerous advantages and opportunities provided by SAP data warehousing, it still needs to be further improved for the companies to enhance their organizational structure and suggest flexible date access for companies’ clients. More importantly, the master data component of SAP can be also advanced in terms of its better classification and systemization not for external users only but for the company’s members as well.
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