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Organizing Data for Analysis Is Not for the Faint of Heart

Save Money, Time, and Hassle by Implementing a Pre-Built Solution for Reporting and Analytics

by Donald Friedman | SAPinsider, Volume 15, Issue 3

July 1, 2014

Preparing data from disparate sources for reporting, dashboards, and analytics creates a variety of challenges for organizations. This article explores those data extraction issues that are common when dealing with a multitude of systems, so you can capture and combine that data, and then architect it for cross-module analytics.


A lot of problems would be solved if a single vendor produced every software product. In an ideal world, the products would have consistent interfaces, simple procedures, and data could be accessed and analyzed easily. Unfortunately, in the real world, not only can products from a single vendor behave differently, but large IT organizations use a multitude of products from a host of vendors. This can make seemingly simple tasks like reporting and data analysis much more complex and expensive. 

It takes innovative techniques to simplify the considerable effort involved in finding and analyzing data spread across dozens of tables and systems.

There are a variety of challenges in preparing data from disparate sources for reporting, dashboards, and analytics. You need to know how to find, extract, organize, and continuously update data while dealing with the idiosyncrasies of particular systems. It can be expensive and unreliable to pin these tasks on internal resources.

Address Your Data Extraction Challenges

The key challenges lie in developing a deep understanding of the internal structures of the source data, merging data from multiple sources into a unified data model with conformed dimensions, and continuously updating the data. Even in well-structured ERP systems that contain a majority of the data, it takes considerable effort to find the right data and make sense of its structures and hierarchies across dozens of tables. This step then must be repeated for each ERP system. Also, innovative techniques are required to simplify the efforts involved with the actual analysis. For example, the environment must be designed so that you can: 

  • Continuously update the data without affecting the production system or network performance.
  • Capture the history of changes to customer, product, and supplier data that does not exist in production systems and store it for future analysis.
  • Combine data from different systems.
  • Provide snapshots for legal or security reasons.
  • Architect the data for both high-level, cross-module analytics and detailed, cross-module drill downs.

At Datalytics, we possess the skills and experience in areas such as extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL), ERP, database management, and data modeling that are necessary to help you solve your data challenges. 

Our RapidDecision solution works in conjunction with SAP Data Services, integrates data from ERP systems and other data sources into a unified data model, and enables better reporting, dashboards, and analytics based on data you can trust. Additionally, Datalytics offers a RapidDecision fixed-price implementation guarantee that mitigates any customer risk — and the installation process can take as few as 10 days.

Customers have two options for implementing RapidDecision:

  • RapidDecision EDW is a pre-built data warehouse that is ideal for moving and organizing data from non-SAP sources for reporting and analysis with SAP Business­Objects business intelligence (BI) solutions.
  • RapidDecision for SAP HANA allows movement of non-SAP data onto an SAP HANA platform. It leverages the power of SAP HANA by organizing non-SAP data into a data model where it can either be analyzed in a traditional universe with SAP BusinessObjects BI solutions or with SAP HANA views using SAP visualization tools. Alternatively, you can start with SAP BusinessObjects BI solutions and evolve to visualization tools when your business needs dictate.

Datalytics also sells, supports, and maintains SAP Rapid Marts, which provide similar reporting, dashboards, and analytics capabilities for SAP ERP data. Users will soon be able to use Datalytics products to build SAP HANA views over a unified data model that is populated with heterogeneous data from sources including SAP ERP, SAP Business Warehouse, and Oracle ERP systems. 

Enhance Reporting and Analytics

Learn why successful large and small companies around the globe have selected RapidDecision and SAP Rapid Marts to enhance their business analytics, reports, and dashboard capabilities. To learn more, visit our website at

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Donald Friedman
Donald Friedman

Datalytics Technologies

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