With its intuitive user interface and functional data modeling capabilities, SAP Web Intelligence empowers end-users to create reports and visualizations that provide better insight into business performance and promote more informed decision making across teams.
This article will explore the key components, features, and benefits of SAP Web Intelligence, as well as where our team of SAP consultants can come in to help.
Read on to learn more!
What is SAP Web Intelligence?
SAP Web Intelligence is a reporting tool within the BusinessObjects platform designed to help users optimize data analysis, management, and transfer processes, as well as conduct analytical and ad-hoc reporting to improve decision making processes and ensure all reports meet business and industry requirements. Web Intelligence can be used as a standalone tool for reporting or as a client tool within the Business Intelligence platform.
With Web Intelligence in SAP, business users are enabled to…
- Create basic, medium, and complex reports from transactional data
- Leverage data sources from SAP and non-SAP systems to create reports
- Build a “Universe” with the Information Design Tool (IDT) or Universe Design Tool (UDT)
- View and analyze data more efficiently with drag-and-drop features within the Web Intelligence Interactive Viewer platform
- Display data in a web browser or export to access in other formats
- Run standard reports or create customized ad-hoc queries to analyze data and create more actionable insights
Key Components of Web Intelligence Architecture
Web Intelligence in SAP allows business users to access, view, analyze, and transfer data from various SAP and non-SAP systems, including SAP ECC, SAP SRM, Oracle Database, and Microsoft SQL Server, to create reports based on evolving business needs and requirements.
Here are the key components of SAP Web Intelligence and their key report creation functions…
1) Database Layer
The database layer is responsible for defining SAP and non-SAP data sources and retrieving necessary data from those sources to make it available for reporting functions within the Web Intelligence platform.
The database layer provides the foundation for data analysis and reporting in SAP and offers the following functions for business users…
- Data retrieval: Leverage Structured Query Language (SQL) queries or data-specific languages to find and retrieve data from the underlying database.
- Data cache: Place frequently-used data in a cache to help users access it more easily.
- Data transformation: Transform queried data into a format that is compatible with SAP’s Web Intelligence platform, including aggregating data or creating filters or field types.
- Data security: Ensure only authorized users have access to certain data and prevent unauthorized data modification with improved security from a strong database layer.
2) Semantic Layer
The semantic layer defines the multidimensional data model and serves as the intermediary layer between the database layer and the reporting layer within the Business Intelligence platform, offering simplified, easy-to-use data management functions.
With the semantic layer, SAP BI users have access to the following features…
- Data modeling: Leverage conceptual data models to map multi-dimensional data across data sources, consolidate data into a simplified database structure, and define hierarchies, calculations, and more to accurately and effectively describe the data.
- Data governance: Ensure data is secure and protected by enforcing defined data governance policies, including data security, quality, and lineage checks.
- Data abstraction: Reduce complexity within data sources for end users by providing a single, unified view of the data across the entire Business Intelligence platform.
- Business logic: Maintain consistency and accuracy across data sources by leveraging calculations, business rules, and other business logic specific to each organization or related business unit.
3) Presentation Layer
The presentation (or reporting) layer provides an intuitive interface that makes it easier to present data to end users in a more organized manner and allows users to quickly and easily access, view, and interact with the data they need.
The reporting layer provides the following functions to help users find the data they need, create reports, and communicate insights with key stakeholders…
- Data exploration: Leverage drill-down, pivoting, and filtering functions to gain a better understanding of the data at hand and find answers to questions more efficiently.
- Data visualization: Present data in a more user-friendly way with enhanced formatting options and visualization techniques, including charts, tables, graphs, and more.
- Report creation: Use intuitive drag-and-drop features to create reports and visualizations without the need for complex programming or coding requirements.
- Report sharing: Share reports with key stakeholders by exporting reports to different formats or publishing them to a central repository with community access.
Standard Report vs Ad-Hoc Query – What’s the Difference?
Within SAP Web Intelligence, there are multiple BI solutions and tools designed to make analyzing and transforming data easier, as well as creating, running, and saving queries. Both standard reports and ad-hoc queries are referred to as web intelligence documents or WID files, and include all necessary and related objects, calculations, and variables.
What’s a Standard Report?
Standard reports are based on common business scenarios required to meet data analysis and management requirements across the entire organization and can be customized to meet evolving business needs, including adding custom filters, removing data fields, changing the default formatting for any report, and more.
With standard reports in the Web Intelligence platform, SAP users can leverage pre-built, out-of-the-box capabilities to address common reporting needs and provide a reliable reporting foundation for users in any area of the organization.
Common standard reporting and analysis features cover a variety of reports including, financial reports, Human Resources reports, operations reports, sales and marketing reports, and more.
What’s an Ad-Hoc Query?
Ad-hoc queries are based on agency-specific business scenarios and offer the functionality needed to retrieve important data from an internal database without the need for pre-defined templates or reports. The ad-hoc querying function allows users to create on-the-fly queries to extend reporting capabilities past pre-built features in standard reports and explore data in a more interactive, intuitive manner.
With ad-hoc queries across SAP Business Intelligence applications, users are enabled to leverage a drag-and-drop interface to select data fields, group data, and apply filters based on specific criteria to expand the flexibility of their reporting tools and maintain greater control over their reporting functions across the board.
Users can also leverage ad-hoc querying functionality to create calculations and perform advanced analysis across data sources, including regression analysis and forecasting, to refine their results and ensure high levels of accuracy and accessibility for all their data.
Leveraging the Business Intelligence Launchpad
The Business Intelligence (or BI) launchpad provides a comprehensive portal that houses and displays the main SAP Web Intelligence tools and other Business Intelligence content in one place. This way, users can access and organize their reports and ad-hoc queries more efficiently, allowing them to focus on more important tasks.
- Banner: Includes standard navigation tools for User Settings, Search, Refresh, Alerts, and Web Assistant functions to simplify web navigation.
- Menu Bar: Provides tools to navigate to Home, Recent Documents, Favorites, Applications, and more to improve operational efficiency.
- Tile Sections: Offers defined tiles for Folders, Categories, Instances, Documents, and the BI inbox for better functional organization.
How Can We Help?
Whether you need help getting users acclimated to new Web Intelligence features, an extra hand integrating BI capabilities with other SAP systems like SAP HANA and Data Warehouse, or additional support sharing business intelligence content across your entire enterprise, Surety Systems is here to help.
Our team of senior-level SAP consultants has the right skills and Business Intelligence consulting experience needed to lead you to success, regardless of the complexity of your organization or the nature of your Web Intelligence needs.
Getting Started with Us
Interested in learning more about SAP Web Intelligence? Ready to get started on your SAP BI journey, but don’t know where to begin?