Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with SAP Business Warehouse.
What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?
There are a lot of things that could be improved especially in terms of data cleansing, data management, data lineage, etc. The solution needs to offer more flexibility in terms of formulas and the query designer. The solution has very limited options, so we have to mix and match some functionality formulas we create in Business Warehouse. The rest of the formulas and functionality we try to deliver on the front end via direct objects. Therefore, there's a lot of improvement needed. My understanding is that they are going to discontinue Business Warehouse so that they can push HANA, including Native HANA, S4 HANA, and BW/4HANA. This platform has reached its limitation. In order for SAP to improve it, they have to provide a new product, which they have: BW/4HANA. BW/HANA is much better than the native standard Business Warehouse. It has new options, new functionality, is faster, has pre-built processes, etc. It has all the data processes from a different company's best practices, and they give it to you by default, just out of the box. This is what Business Warehouse should have been, and it's good they are pushing HANA instead of BW.
In terms of what can be improved, they already improved the features of SAP HANA, and since we are not migrated now, we are using SAP VPC and consolidation where they provide those VW's for HANA. Once we go there, we will be able to understand that differentiation point and what could be improved or could have been provided more. But as of right now we're in a very early stage so I don't see anything else that is required. In the next release, I would like to see BW integrate the visualization with the reports which are in SAP HANA. If that gets into BW in the next release we would be happy rather than having to purchase different business objects, like for the front end, or Tableau, or other SAP products. Instead, of buying that, BW could provide us better visualization. Then we don't have to put data into other tools and build things out there.
On the existing release, I'm unsure about improvements. For sure the functionality is available in the new release. I don't know what competitors' systems of data warehousing provide. I would for sure like to see a different end solution in order to read the data and attract internal users. I'd like to see the flexibility to create reports. Having the back-end data set with the right information is the best qualification for this solution. I'm considering migrating to the BW/4HANA solution because the language in terms of settings is very similar to the one I am currently using. We are starting to configure the BW old version solution so I don't need to invest in data analysis in order to understand the difference or to connect to a different data warehouse with this system. Additional features that could be included would be for SAP to provide different layers of solutions. One for data warehousing, another for different end solutions on the data warehouse.
It would be helpful if we could interface with BW itself, instead of piggybacking on Excel. If it could have its own interface where you can build dashboards and reports and where high-level power users can start building things, that would be helpful. Right now, only developers can build reports on BW. They need to begin to open it up to power users. The solution needs a broad-based interface. More integration with Microsoft Office products (not just Excel) would be helpful.
The visualization should be improved, as well as the dashboards and advanced analytics. It needs to have a better interface. The solution could offer better connectivity with other databases.
The advanced structuring can be complicated and the interface is not very intuitive. I know this is already available, but what I would have wanted to see in the next release is the Time-Dependent Hierarchies. I would like to have the interface improved and made to be more intuitive.