Thursday, December 20, 2007

Optimize BW’s Data Modeling Capabilities with BPS

Make the jump from reporting in BW to planning and data modeling using BW’s Business Planning and Simulation (BW-BPS). See how the InfoCubes, attributes, calculated key figures, and dimensions for planning differ from those you use in reporting. Get valuable tips about properly structuring your planning InfoCubes.

Key Concept

A characteristic is an object that you can use to report with, such as employee, company code, or sales organization. A characteristic adds information to a transaction.

An attribute is an object that describes a characteristic, including employee name, Social Security number, and address.

Starting with SAP BW Release 3.5, you can use its Business Planning and Simulation (BPS) functionality to analyze your data in new ways and create plans, budgets, and forecasts.

Although both the reporting and planning sides of BW use the same platform for querying data, the requirements and focus vary. Different rules apply to data modeling in a BW-BPS environment than for reporting. The data modeling rules that allow an InfoCube to efficiently read data and generate queries are neither necessary nor consistent with what you need to read and write the data and generate plan information.

Prior to implementing BPS, you must review the planners’ requirements and planning layout formats to understand what functions they may need later. Also, you must make sure that your InfoCubes include the characteristics and key figures related to your planning requirements. A simple way to do this is to develop a BPS design document to give the configuration group the necessary characteristics and key figures that planners need.

I’ll review data modeling methods and investigate the different approaches to accommodate BW-BPS processes and data modeling around configuration of InfoProviders, variables, and other structures in BW. I’ll focus on the data modeling issues from the application side of the process and identify required and optional components to efficiently construct an InfoCube for BW-BPS. I’ll show you how to use BW hierarchies, characteristics, key figures, dimensions, and attributes of an InfoCube in planning, as well as data modeling and planning BW-BPS functionality.

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