Is data warehousing dead?

With the arrival of new, exciting technologies such as translytical databases (read, SAP HANA!) and data lakes, speculation has persisted over its potential demise. More recently, debate has arisen over whether SAP S/4HANA customers—benefiting from the SAP HANA translytical database to run their next generation ERP—would still require data warehousing or whether the dominance of Big Data would finally overwhelm the capability of traditional processing methods to cope with the vast amounts of data which are now generated on a daily basis.

But as data consolidates its position as the world’s most valuable resource, data warehousing remains central to organizations.  And with SAP S/4HANA, data warehousing is not dead, but entering a new era—that of the Big Data warehouse, fulfilling the role of one of the critical technologies that are driving business intelligence and analytics for the digital enterprise.

SAP BW/4HANA is core to SAP’s analytics strategy for end-to-end business intelligence and analytics, including data warehousing, and since SAP analytics lies at the core of intelligent technologies as well, SAP BW/4HANA is simply the natural extension to SAP S/4HANA for data warehousing, offering significant benefits in three key areas:

  1. Steering excellence : SAP BW/4HANA delivers trusted data insights enabling its customers to enjoy data harmonization and data governance across all lines of business and applications, create unique value-added networks with business partners, and empower business users to become more agile with fact-based decision making. Ultimately, the organization is better equipped for steering excellence.
  2. Strategic insights : SAP BW/4HANA enables both historical comparisons and trend analysis to deliver strategic insights your business needs to thrive. Transaction data is enriched with greater context from Big Data lakes and you can even apply the power of machine learning and predictive analytics to get more value from it.
  3. Risk mitigation : Last but not least, as you embark on your project to roll out SAP S/4HANA—on premises or in the cloud—you will want to mitigate risks associated with extra steps that embedded analytics might require in this critical initiative. SAP BW/4HANA enables you to manage analytics processing outside of SAP S/4HANA and therefore helps safeguard your project.

Data Warehousing Is Alive and Thriving

We know by now that effective data management is the critical element of your entire digital platform, and data warehousing remains the most effective way to process vast amounts of complex data in order to provision timely and trusted insights.

SAP BW/4HANA’s next generation data warehousing platform combines the capabilities of Big Data warehousing with the benefits of traditional data warehousing, driving both efficiencies and business profitability, enabling businesses to adapt to new market realities.  The solution is deployed on-premise or in the cloud, and with agile access to actionable insights, it enables a smoother transition to the intelligent enterprise thanks to best practice business content designed for SAP S/4HANA.

To paraphrase author Mark Twain, ‘the reports of the death of data warehousing are greatly exaggerated.’

With SAP BW/4HANA, data warehousing is alive and thriving. And that has to be good news for SAP S/4HANA customers.

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