Embedded analytics in S/4HANA: Where insights and actions meet
In today’s digital business environment we must respond swiftly to new challenges and opportunities. We need instantaneous insights to make the right decisions in real time and based on the right context. However, traditional IT landscapes weren’t capable of delivering that. Analytics and transactions have always been treated as two separate worlds, making business decisions a time-consuming and complex matter... until now.
Instant insight for the businessZooming in on the visualization of embedded analytics, S/4HANA offers three main features via Fiori:
1. Multidimensional Reports enable users to perform self-service data exploration through a user-friendly interface with pivot table and graphical representation.
2. The Smart Business Framework allows business users to build personalized Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These KPIs are represented by color-coded tiles via self-service configuration in the KPI modeler. Additionally, the Analysis Path Framework (APF) allows you to build, save and replay your own created storyline. It is the perfect tool when it comes to analyzing data without knowing in advance what exactly it is you are looking for.
3. Analytical Fiori apps deliver out-of-the-box content, presented as preconfigured apps like Sales Order Fulfilment. These illustrate the new and exciting paradigm to start from an analytical insight and then directly take action in the transactions.
Hitting the sweet spotAlthough S/4HANA embedded analytics greatly simplifies the reporting experience for business users, does this mean we no longer require a dedicated front-end reporting platform such as SAP BusinessObjects or the SAP BusinessObjects Cloud software-as-a-service solution? Well, our answer is no. We still leverage a dedicated reporting platform to provide highly interactive, more complex reports that have the ability to connect to a range of different data sources within the organization. One of these data sources could be a data warehousing solution for strategic analytics.
While S/4HANA embedded analytics connects to your ERP data in real time, business intelligence extends further than that. Data warehousing techniques are required for snapshots of data or when combining different sources with proper data quality checks. In this area, SAP offers us a modern data warehouse solution: BW/4HANA, which will be covered in a future blog. To hit the sweet spot in terms of providing optimal information to the business users via embedded analytics, we have the ability to integrate the SAP BusinessObjects platform. This allows the creation of smart business tiles with a drill-down to BO reports, for instance.