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.

Valuable Features:

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

Improvements to 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.

Room for Improvement:

Data mining and more visualized reports are the next steps.

Deployment Issues:

We had to deal with data quality problems.

Stability Issues:

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.

Previous Solutions:

No, we did not.

Initial Setup:

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

Implementation Team:

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

Other Solutions Considered:

  • Cognos
  • Microsoft SSIS
  • SSRS

Other Advice:

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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