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SAP HANA Advanced Modeling

This book introduces developers and architects to the methods and options for implementing smart SAP HANA solutions based on real-world projects, and field tests. It contains clear recommendations for setting up data models, optimizing performance, using ...



  • Preface
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Case study and hardware setup
  • 3 Create the data model
  • 4 High-performing information views
  • 5 Advanced modeling techniques
  • 6 Best practices and recommendations
  • 7 Operational reporting on SAP HANA
  • 8 Conclusions and outlook
  • Endnotes
  • A   About the Authors
  • Dominique Alfermann
  • Dr. Stefan Hartmann
  • Benedikt Engel
  • B   Disclaimer

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Dominique Alfermann, Benedikt Engel, Dr. Stefan Hartmann






2.1 The demand for SAP HANA native solutions

Through our daily project work with clients in recent years, we have noticed an increasing demand for real-time reporting and flexible data warehouse solutions. The need for real-time reporting in areas such as logistics, planning processes, market basket analyses, and next best action recommendations emphasizes the numerous use cases. These examples underscore the demand for a wide range of reporting solutions. Given the reporting requirements, clients are likely to invest in these types of technologies. Furthermore, many research facilities regularly analyze reporting needs and user experience. Gartner, Inc. recently published an analysis stating that by using real-time reporting in consumer businesses, for example by sales representatives leveraging data on a daily basis, revenue increased by up to 17%. The corresponding analysis can be found in the article Fast-Fashion Retailer Boosts Sales With Real-Time Big Data Analysis by Alicia Fiorletta in Retail TouchPoints.1

Based on the fashion retailer Bohme, the article analyzes and highlights the benefits of real-time reporting.2 According to the article, the retailer achieved a 15% increase in sales shortly after implementing a real-time reporting solution. The company’s employees had to deliver an unreasonable amount of work in order to handle warehouse stock and maintain operations. The article states that “tracking and analyzing the sheer variety and velocity of data became too cumbersome.” 3 Once the company implemented a real-time reporting solution, they achieved a turnaround. Using different visualization types, such as dashboards to report relevant KPIs etc., improved collaboration between the shop floor (production team) and management significantly.

The development of real-time data for sales representatives had a positive impact on the company’s revenue.

Best practice emphasizes the importance of real-time reporting for the effective management of companies, as well as for their daily business. Above all, it shows that there is a vast market for real-time data analysis that can be used for different industries and approaches.

Since SAP announced its new SAP HANA technology, these topics have received higher visibility within companies already using SAP, as well as those considering implementing SAP in their IT environment. However, whether or not a company should commit to SAP HANA, particularly an SAP HANA native implementation, is a question that is occupying many decision makers.

SAP Societas Europaea (SE) dedicated itself to this question in a concerted effort with its customers and analyzed their motivations for choosing an SAP HANA native solution. They identified the following key aspects (see Figure 2.1):

HANA Advanced Modeling

Figure 2.1: Top 10 reasons for SAP HANA native

Speed is one of the main arguments for an SAP HANA native implementation. This was outlined by Mr. Akihiko Nakamura, the Corporate Senior Vice President of the Nomura Research Institute: “Now and in the future, speed is the key to adapting to an ever-changing business environment. The speed SAP HANA enables is sudden and significant, and has the potential to transform entire business models.” 4

In addition, agility, as described by SAP, enables real-time interactions across a company’s value chain.

Another argument for SAP HANA native is the ability to build interfaces for structured and unstructured data. In other words, it enables various heterogeneous data sources to be connected. One of the main benefits of this solution is insight, enabling faster response times and consequently, better planning and predictions. Finally, simplicity implies the ability to quickly and easily create data flows as long as complex logic is not required. Other aspects such as costs and utilization have to be considered, as well as the return on investment (ROI). SAP clients keep asking questions such as “why should I use SAP HANA native and not some other in-memory solution?”.

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