Introduction to SAP BI

SAP Netweaver Business Intelligence (SAP BI) is the name of the Business Intelligence, analytical, reporting and Data Warehousing (DW) solution which is one of the major enterprise software applications produced by SAP AG.

SAP BI consists among other things of components for data management (Data Warehousing Workbench), extensive data modeling capabilities, an embedded analytical engine, a suite of rich front-end analytical tools referred to as Business Explorer (BEx), and operational tools used for importing the most current transactional data into the system.

It may be helpful to consider layers that make up the structure of SAP's BI solution:

  • Extraction, Transformation and Load (ETL) layer: responsible for extracting data from a specific source, applying transformation rules, and loading it into SAP BW system.
  • Data warehouse area: responsible for storing the information in various types of structures (e.g. Data Store Objects, InfoObjects and multidimensional structures called Info Cubes).
  • Reporting: responsible for accessing the information in data warehouse area (and directly in source systems using virtual InfoProviders) and presenting it in a user-friendly manner to the analyst or business user.
  • Planning: Provides capabilities for the user to run simulations and perform tasks such as budget calculations
Purpose of Business Intelligence
During all business activities, companies create data. In all departments of the company, employees at all levels use this data as a basis for making decisions. Business Intelligence (BI) collates and prepares the large set of enterprise data. By analyzing the data using BI tools, you can gain insights that support the decision-making process within your company. BI makes it possible to quickly create reports about business processes and their results and to analyze and interpret data about customers, suppliers, and internal activities. Dynamic planning is also possible. Business Intelligence therefore helps optimize business processes and enables you to act quickly and in line with the market, creating decisive competitive advantages for your company.


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