SAP Data Services Review

ETL and third-party data integration are great features, but inadequate data analysis and data profiling has increased testing and user-acceptance duration.


What is most valuable?

ETL is very useful. We use Data Services not only with data warehouse development but also integration with other 3rd parties and external data.

How has it helped my organization?

We have integration with 30 different systems now. Business users manual data-entry load has decreased, and data between different systems are consistent in almost-real time.

We can develop time-based, visualized analyses with our BI platform, and four years ago, business users had to prepare their complex records in Excel every time they needed data reports. Now they only need to refresh reports. On the other hand, business users were only able to query data four years ago, but now their visions are changing and they are now performing data mining and forecast analyses.

What needs improvement?

Data mining and more visualized reports are the next steps.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We had to deal with data quality problems.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has inadequate data analysis and data profiling, which has increased testing and user acceptance duration.

BO Web Intelligence, v4.0 is more unstable than XI v3.x. We’ll upgrade to v4.1 in Q3.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

No, we did not.

How was the initial setup?

Setup was straightforward, but the customization and implementation process was complex.

What about the implementation team?

We started with a vendor-partner, but now we have in-house team and still get consultancy advice from the partner.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

  • Cognos
  • Microsoft SSIS
  • SSRS

What other advice do I have?

First, perform an analysis of your business users' requirements.

The data quality and your data warehouse models are the most important parts of a BI project. Design the model from both business requirements and source data. Make sure you involve business users from the beginning and explain the advantages of business intelligence to the data life-cycle well. Assign a short and attractive name to the web site and/or tool that users can remember easily and will like.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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