A Solid Roadmap
Given the size and scope of this project, we partnered with the end-user community to come up with a strategic roadmap for Business Intelligence. This was not going to be a one-and-done project, instead one that spans over a period of several years. The roadmap laid out the several phases to the project, along with many deliverables, over a span of 5 years.
Enterprise Data Warehouse
The choice of software and tools was a pivotal decision at the onset of the project. Once it was decided that SAP BW and SAP BusinessObjects would form the basis of this implementation, the rest of the roadmap was set in motion. We designed the ETL framework and EDW model that was specifically for that first phase, but one whose design supported the remaining phases.
Enterprise Reporting and Business Intelligence
There was a total of 8 business units selected for the initial BI deployment, of which two were chosen for the first phase – HR and Supply Chain. Each sub-organization under HR had their own version of one or more reporting systems prior to this project. Each had its merits and shortcomings. One of the challenges was that the same data was sliced and diced different by each sub-unit. The challenge was to design a single data warehouse to house the same data that can be viewed in a variety of ways, without having to replicate the same data multiple times. To achieve this, our consultants designed and developed a Reporting Engine within SAP-BW’s OLAP processor’s framework, that slices and dices data in a wide variety of ways.
Mechanized Data Disbursement
Based on interviews with the client organizations, one requirement that emerged repeatedly was mechanized data disbursement. Every organization required processed or summarized data to be transmitted over to another application in either a schedule with a certain frequency or upon request.
Out of the box, SAP-BW does provide a basic framework for data disbursement. But the sheer volume and complexity involved required us to design and develop a full-scale mechanized data disbursement platform within SAP-BW’s framework.
Data Access and Security
One of the main challenges of a centralized data repository or Enterprise Data Warehouse is managing user-access and putting controls and processes to enable data security. Amick Brown developed a custom user-access provisioning and data authorizations module into the EDW, that enabled the administrators to provision and authorize using a web-gui based front-end. Built into this application was general authorization reporting and audit trails.