Tag Archives: Analytics

HANA Virtual Data Models

Recently I had a chance to work with HANA VDM – Analytics for ERP 1.0 in sidecar scenario. These built-in views are very valuable for real-time operational reporting. For organization which already made an investment on HANA, implementing these views mean a quick ROI to business users. Another big advantage is to use the existing ECC as-is while using HANA as a secondary database before doing “Integrated Scenario”.

Here are the high level steps I took to implement these views;

Technical System Landscape

  • HANA SPS08
  • SLT 2.0 (Dedicated Server)

Pre-Installation

  • Verify HANA appliance is functioning and HANA Lifecycle Manager is working (we had an issue which we had to upgrade lifecycle Manager)
  • Installation of SLT 2.0 on Windows server
  • Setup proper roles in ECC and HANA
  • Configuration of replication between ECC and HANA (one to one mapping)

Installation

  • Replicate 559 tables from ECC
    • If not all 559 tables replicates, the view activation process will be skipped during HANA Analytics package deployment
    • 1781992 – Tables for SAP HANA Analytics for ERP 1.0
    • 1782065 – Tables for SAP HANA Analytics for SAP Business Suite
  • Configure Schema Mapping
  • Download and Deploy Content package in HANA

Post-Installation

Install following adds-on on HANA (http://help.sap.com/hba )

  • SAP HANA Live Extensions Assistant
  • SAP HANA Live View Browser
  • Analytical Authorization Assistant (AAA) for HANA Live VDM

Purpose

  • SAP HANA Live Extensions Assistant

With the SAP HANA Live extension assistant, you can extend query or reuse views delivered by SAP. The tool is an eclipse plug-in for the SAP HANA studio.

http://help.sap.com/saphelp_hba/helpdata/en/62/37605394efa548e10000000a423f68/content.htm?frameset=/en/0a/8feb526e4aeb2de10000000a423f68/frameset.htm

  • SAP HANA Live View Browser

SAP HANA Live Browser is a SAP UI5 based web application that allows to browse, search, and tag HANA content views and consume them in SAP Business Objects Lumira or Analysis Office for analyzing the data.

http://help.sap.com/saphelp_hba/helpdata/en/9c/382618453244d8aaa9e460a77f5de0/frameset.htm

  • Analytical Authorization Assistant (AAA) for HANA Live VDM

Here are some key points which I’d like to investigate more;

–          Create Analytical Privileges in a regular way. This will give us flexibility of the naming of APs and create a custom restriction

  • This is very important considering there are almost 1000 prebuild models / queries for HANA Live

–          For real-time operational reporting we don’t need to replicate ECC security. However it should be granular enough and flexible for security provisioning (example, secure PM KPI from Finance, etc.)

–          Once we create all APs we create Roles and assign APS to role and assign roles to users.

–          This adds-on comes with metadata tab which we could define authorization object (similar to what is done for vendor security in EDW).

https://help.sap.com/saphelp_hba/helpdata/en/69/7fad51f6fb2166e10000000a441470/content.htm?frameset=/en/da/28a39e975f4e85a5eb69d20b5668de/frameset.htm

Validation

We selected couple of queries such as “CostCenterPlanActualCostQuery” and “LocationAndPlannedGroupCostQuery”. We were able to have reconciled them back to the ECC system via Lumira and Aoffice.

Lesson learned

I found Cost Center Hierarchy is missing from “CostCenterPlanActualCostQuery”. There are couple of hierarchy queries available as part of 1018 Calculation Views, however none of them works as hierarchy. I noticed the “ProfitCenterQuery” uses the same set of tables that are required for Cost Center Hierarchy, however here are some challenges;

  • “Profit Center Group” in ProfitCenterNode is hardcoded (0106). This query is not reusable for Cost report.
  • ProfitCenter queries don’t have any hierarchy. For some attributes, the hierarchy property is set to “true” but it doesn’t function as hierarchy.
  • Any change in these queries (reusable query) impact the higher level queries.
  • Any change in these queries could be overwritten by upgrade / patches

Considering these challenges I decided to build a Calculation View for Cost Center Hierarchy which worked as I expected!. This view could be joined with CostCenterPlanActualQuery to provide true hierarchy functionality for cost centers.


What is the primary application of BI in oil and gas companies?

Business intelligence (BI) is a broad category of applications and technologies for gathering, storing, analyzing, and providing access to data to help enterprise users make better business decisions. These days to run a competitive business one needs to manage its supply and demand very effectively. Some of the primary goals have been to shorten the time required to create reports and analyses, improve the accuracy of information and create a single reporting repository. BI Performance Management Solutions help organizations to identify and interpret business information to gain a better view of, and control over the key drivers of high performance for Upstream, Midstream and Downstream.

BI Solutions address three different levels of requirements;
• Strategic – Such as optimizing the locations and sizes, partnering with distributors and customers
• Tactical – production, transportation and inventory decisions
• Operational – daily production, source planning, inbound/outbound planning, production-to-supply level planning

As Enterprise / Solution Architect, we design BI solutions to help oil and gas companies to consolidate operations, monitor the current progress, forecast the future very effectively and cut costs. Oil and gas products are commodities and competitive based on price. This makes the industry cost-conscious and highly dependent upon the price of commodity such as crude oil.

The most common application areas for BI have been to provide daily, monthly, quarterly and yearly financial reports and support business operations with a special focus on ERP. For example, BI could provide significant value for areas such as distribution network configuration, distribution strategy, trade-offs in logistic activities, inventory management and cash flow management (Supply Chain Domain). Some the KPI(s) of Supply Chain which might be considered for Dashboard / Scorecard are; Inventory turns, Manufacturing Metrics, percentage of units sold under a specific period, percentage of total stock, etc. Some KPI’s related to oil and gas in general that might be of interest are; Meters drilled per day, drilling costs and quarterly exploration expenditure, strategic zones held under exploration license, percentage of market share of exploration expenditure, etc.