Modern business is handling increasing volumes of data in which valuable information may be hidden. Market trends, possible savings or strategic cues can be revealed thanks to Business Intelligence – business analytics to support planning when doing businesse.

The need to collect, organise and analyse the data acquired is currently not so much a burning issue as it is a required one. Possible optimisations, savings or support in strategic planning are increasingly being based on “hard data” and specialised business analytics tools. The concept of BI has become an industry key word and a business must-have; not to be overlooked. However, to take full advantage of the benefits of business analytics, you should choose the solution tailored to meet your needs and expectations.

While working with customers, it often becomes apparent that the company has delayed the implementation of Business Intelligence tools because of the expected high costs and the time consuming nature of their project. Not everyone is ready for a full implementation, and they would like to test the capabilities of BI in the environment of a pre-existing SAP ERP system. Hence the idea of five out-of-the-box solutions, which we have tailored to the needs of two main, potentially interested groups – says Michał Gruszecki, Solution Architect at Hicron, the author of the concept.

A well-planned solution

Based on their customer experience, the Hicron Business Intelligence team have prepared packages targeted at small- and medium-sized businesses who are just beginning their adventure with analytics, and at those who want to expand the potential of their existing BI data warehouse and do in-depth analyses.

It is very important that business sees possible benefits of implementing Business Intelligence. Of course, you can use these tools to generate standard reports, but it contradicts the BI philosophy. The goal is not the implementation itself, but the collection of structured data, which after exceeding a certain threshold will assist in deep analyses and visual reports. In addition to the implementation of the very system, it is also necessary to develop analytical competences in the customer, where they will look at the data more broadly than only as the source of reports. The data needs to be explored, viewed and analysed with conclusions drawn from it, and then viewed again from another angle. This is a process to be repeated. It does not stop with system implementation and report generation – adds Gruszecki.

What is the advantage of out-of-the-box packages? Primarily, they require a short implementation period combined with the possibility to build on the infrastructure already owned by the customer. This enables you to take advantage of the potential of existing solutions and to develop them towards good management based on a variety of valuable data sources. The packages are divided by the minimum licensing requirements the customer should have. The SAP ERP system along with the solutions which can be used for reporting and visualisation, such as Crystal Reports Server, SAP Lumira or SAP BusinessObjects, are the basis.

Starting up

For small- and medium-sized businesses that are just about to start their adventure with business analytics, Hicron has developed the Analytics for Starters and Online Analytics packages, which thanks to minimal licensing requirements, enable the solution to take off after about 30 days of deployment and configuration. These are the basic packages with great development capabilities as the needs of your company grow. They are based on a data model creation and a set of three reports from Crystal Reports or Web Intelligence, as well as a cockpit in Dashboards or Design Studio.

It is worth taking a closer look at Crystal Reports Server 2016: an easy tool for creating both simple and advanced reports. The Analytics for Starters package enables the inclusion of Business Intelligence in one of three areas of SAP ERP that are key for business: Finance, Controlling or Sales.

For SAP BusinessObjects full license holders, Hicron has developed the broader Online Analytics package based on the deployment of Web Intelligence and the training of users in it, as well as configuring a set of three reports and a cockpit in Design Studio.

More with SAP Business Warehouse

By creating our package offer, we took into account the needs of users who already have their SAP BW but who do not use its full capabilities. One of our packages involves the enhancement of the presentation and analytics layer with SAP BusinessObjects tools. By ensuring the complementarity of services, we also take care of the proper development of the data layer and the training of end users so that they will benefit fully from the implemented solutions – says Michał Gruszecki.

SAP HANA as a sure investment

Hicron’s offer includes two packages for the companies who have already invested in the SAP HANA platform and want to enhance the basic functionalities of SAP ERP with new analytical capabilities. The first of these, Online Analytics for Demanding Customers, includes the training and preparation of reports in HANA-based Web Intelligence, allowing for real-time reporting. In addition, a cockpit/application is created in Design Studio. The customer will be trained in using SAP HANA for ad hoc analytics and for creating formatted analyses.

For those who are just starting out with analytics and do not want to engage in an advanced tool right away, Hicron offers Data Discovery workshops, which will enable users to use HANA views on their own by means of a simple analytical tool which SAP Lumira is. In addition, a management cockpit is implemented from one data area, which, thanks to the use of the latest technologies, will enable the control and a “bird’s eye view” of the operations of your business.