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SAP Business Intelligence (SAP BI)


A decision starts every action. You can think of any company as a machine that produces decisions. The product director might make one big choice weekly, but other employees probably make several smaller ones daily.

You will need some information to make a decision. Furthermore, the more you learn, the better your judgment will be. In the business world, one area of technology aids individuals in making sound judgments by providing them with accurate data. Business intelligence or BI refers to this field.

Business intelligence comprises several hardware and software components that share the same goal: to transmit data to the individuals who need to see it. While business analytics may not be able to tell you whether it is time to take out the dog or make a marriage proposal, it can be helpful for company decisions. The demand for BI solutions drove the market's growth.

With many BI vendors, it is common to stick with the more recognizable names, such as QuickSight or Power BI by Microsoft. However, today we will focus on the SAP BI platform - a less known vendor. This article will provide general information about the SAP BI platform and each separate solution it offers. In addition, we will analyze the product as a whole to find its pros and give you some points to consider before making your final decision.

What is SAP BI (Business Intelligence)?

Let's start by introducing the vendor. SAP is a multinational IT firm that creates software for businesses. Its product roster is tremendous, but we are particularly interested in its BI solutions. Without revealing the actual names, SAP offers two types of BI solutions: database/data management and analytical solutions.

Database and data management solutions Business intelligence has two aspects: the part where data analysts and business users interact with the data and the technology side that makes sure the data is accessible and consumable. The technology side performs three main functions:

  • Collecting data from its sources
  • Transform data and store it in the warehouse
  • Choosing a data access mode allows you to grant access to the data for certain groups of individuals via an end-user interface

Analytics Solutions The database and data management solutions in SAP BI concern themselves with storing, transforming, and managing data. The analytics solutions are tools that provide access to your data and improve analytical capabilities. In simple terms, analytical solutions are the front end of a BI system, which provides visualizations, reports, data discovery, or dashboard tools for analysts.
The Analytics Solutions Platform includes the following analytics solutions for business intelligence and data analysis:

  • SAP Analytics Cloud 
  • Collaborative Enterprise Planning 
  • Predictive Analytics

The Pros of SAP BI (Business Intelligence)

SAP has an estimated market share of about 16%. According to BI Market Share statistics from BizVibe, SAP has a commanding presence in the global business intelligence market. While the range of SAP's BI solutions is broad, g2.com reviews indicate that, for the most part, SAP is popular among companies with 1000 or more employees.

Based on the broader picture, here are some benefits of utilizing SAP Business Intelligence products.

Business intelligence software and tools It's a pro for an old, well-established business like SAP to be able to provide, but it can't be overstated. To make use of a data platform and reporting tools at your company, SAP offers all necessary technological components.
You can choose to deploy our products on a server or in the cloud, depending on what better suits your needs. Hybrid, on-premise, and cloud deployment options are available for most of our product line for both Analytics solutions and Database solutions.
Analytics Cloud lets you store all your BI tools in one central location. From here, you can provide permission-based data access so that users can only access the data they need to do their job.

User-friendly graphical user interface Since business users and self-service tools are not the main focus for most vendors, their business intelligence tools often look outdated. This clunky interface makes it difficult for those who don't have programming or data analysis skills.
SAP Business Intelligence offers a variety of useful tools with an intuitive user interface. It might take practice to learn how to utilize it (much like any BI tool), but SAP's user interface is simple to grasp. Furthermore, onboarding business users is much easier because you can access all the instruments from a single web-based dashboard.

Functions for Sharing and Microsoft Office Compatibility Not only does business intelligence give you access to data, but it also allows you to share your findings with others. This is what makes BI valuable – it's not just the data itself but the ability to gain insights and knowledge with others. We generally think of reports as either text documents or visualizations, but they can also be things like dashboards that other people can access.
It's also possible to upload the information into Spreadsheets or Excel files and share it with coworkers the "standard" way.
If your main focus is data security, you can authorize access via database SQL permissions or use data management tools.

Availability of Self-Service Tools to a Broader Audience Data work necessitates a lot of mastery concerning data and engineering skills. Even though the primary objective of BI tools is to streamline the task of moving data from ample storage into use, sometimes they need human support. Developers specializing in BI or ETL often take on this responsibility, as does a company's IT department.
SAP Business Intelligence provides a number of self-service tools (BusinessObjects, Lumira) that make it easy for novices to handle data. It does not mean your BI users won't require assistance, but it will undoubtedly cut maintenance expenses and time spent on report preparation.

SAP offers a range of SAP BI products that are easy to use and integrate, but they also provide the option to deploy them on-premise if you prefer. This gives you more control over system management and hardware maintenance.

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