What is SAP BW (Business Warehouse)
SAP BW is one of the important technical module of SAP and it stands for business information warehouse. The most important thing in the running of a business is data. Every business activity generates data. This data is used by a company is all areas of its business; it is used by the employees of the company in their work, to help them make a better decision.
SAP BW or SAP NetWeaver BW is a special software made by the maker of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software systems, SAP, which groups together and formats huge amounts of business data in the Enterprise Data Warehouse. It does so with the help of SAP BI tools, and is supported by a wide range of Enterprise Planning tools. This allows the SAP BI software to analyze the data which is important for all decision making in the company. In this way, SAP BW optimizes business processes, helps a corporation to act faster and to be more flexible, as per the current requirements of a market.
Understanding Data Warehousing
To understand what SAP BW does, one has to understand the functioning of a Data Warehouse. A Data Warehouse is software that integrates, manages and stores all the data within a company got from every possible source. Nothing is left out; no information is considered to be insignificant. SAP BW allows a company executive to have an integrated view of all the relevant data present in the data warehouse. It allows you to analyze the data and use it for planning your business activities.
SAP BW not only provides critical information, but also allows for multidimensional analysis of the data, which is so useful for a keen understanding of the business processes. Key business data such as revenue, sales quantity etc. can be analysed more thoroughly using Product, Time and Customer Name as reference objects.
SAP BW also provides for data mining. Data mining refers to the processes and the methodologies used to identify pattern recognition in a data-set. The Data mining capability of SAP BW enables an executive to plan business processes better as it allows one to plan better based on the data present in the data warehouse.
SAP BW Tools
SAP BW has most comprehensive tools, business processes and functions for access and visualization. These tools enable the executive working with SAP BW to display the detailed information gathered by him along with extensive – planning data and business data analyses. He can do so in exhaustive detail or as a brief overview depending on how he wishes to present the data. Plus, he can present the data in any work environment of his choice – this could be in the form of Web based data or Microsoft Excel.
The SAP BW tools enable the flexible distribution of the most vital data to all individuals involved in the process of decision making. All individuals can be notified of the latest information by e-mail through a corporate e-portal.
SAP BW also has extensive security tools that ensure that the data is exposed to only those at the higher levels with the valid credentials, and the critical data about an organization is always protected. The idea is to constantly make available relevant and critical data to the relevant people in the hierarchy of an organization, who are responsible for acting upon the data and making decisions based on it.
Advantages of SAP BW
1. Every business seeks a competitive advantage, an “X-Factor” to give it a leg-up over the competition. SAP BW gives a business that advantage. This is because SAP BW does critical business functions, such as reporting, analysis and interpretation of business data.
2. It helps a business to optimize its business processes and access the most important and most relevant data pertaining to the most crucial aspects of the business within seconds.
3. The several tools available with SAP BW allows a business to integrate data from several SAP modules, transform it into a more legible and easily understandable form, and consolidate data from various sources into one solid, concrete information that throws light on the intricacies of a business process.
4. The SAP BW provides a well thought out, high performance, well structured infrastructure that allows the end user to evaluate and interpret complex data, simplify it and to decipher its meaning. This allows the executives at the highest levels in an organization or managers looking after important departments or projects to make better decisions on crucial issues that affect the future of the corporation, identify specific business targets based on this information, and implement several business activities more efficiently by a better analysis of the data.
Integration with SAP BI
Another important aspect of SAP BW is how well it is integrated with SAP BI. The integration of SAP BW and SAP BEx with SAP BI is seamless and allows for much better reporting and analysis of the data. This also makes Data Warehousing all the more efficient and effective.