27 October 2021

Three questions about Embedded Analytics

Operational reporting is rapidly gaining in importance. Real-time evaluations are becoming increasingly important in order to make quick decisions and keep pace with current developments on the market. With Embedded Analytics, SAP offers a new generation of reporting.

Transparency seems to be the new word of the year. Quick decisions in operational business are sometimes essential. Users can only make such decisions if they have up-to-date data. SAP has also recognized this and developed a new tool for data evaluation: In contrast to the classic BW system, Embedded BW is directly integrated into S/4HANA and bundles analytical applications under the term "Embedded Analytics". With Embedded Analytics, S/4HANA offers real-time analysis and reporting options thanks to new technologies that were not previously possible in this way. On the one hand, this is due to the new in-memory database, which processes large volumes of data in real time. Where previously an extended coffee break had to be planned for the runtime of an analysis, today you get lightning-fast results. Complex queries with large data sets are thus possible without any loss of performance.

On the other hand, predefined Fiori apps are available in S/4HANA for the first time, enabling multidimensional reporting in real time and without data redundancies. The Fiori apps can be accessed via the SAP Fiori Launchpad. Users assemble the apps they need and see them directly when they enter the Fiori Launchpad. The individual tiles show values directly on the start screen, such as open tasks: this allows users to see at a glance whether they have open tasks waiting for them for certain tasks. This increases transparency and saves working time. What else will please users: They no longer have to wait for the developer for a new report or spend a long time learning about the subject. The apps are easy to use and do not require any in-depth technical understanding.

The three questions about Embedded Analytics

Experience shows that operational reporting in S/4HANA is also being used more and more by our customers. At the same time, many questions arise that make it clear that certain information gaps exist. We are frequently asked the following three questions by customers and in the webinars:

  1. Where is embedded analytics located?
    Embedded Analytics is a component of S/4HANA and can be used there without additional licenses.
  2. What is required for Embedded Analytics?
    In order to be able to use the analytical applications, only Embedded BW must be activated in the S/4HANA system. In addition, the required Fiori applications must be activated. After activation, all functions of Embedded Analytics are fully available.
  3. Do I still need the BW then?
    Anyone who has used a classic BW system up to now may wonder whether it is no longer needed with S/4HANA and can be completely replaced by Embedded BW. The question is justified, but cannot be answered sweepingly. However, both solutions - the embedded analytics in embedded BW and the classic BW (BW/4HANA) - are partly different in the scope of functions and are not one-to-one interchangeable.

What is different with BW/4HANA?

The classic BW system is also mapped in a separate system under S/4HANA and bears the name BW/4HANA. While embedded analytics maps operational reporting in real time, the focus of BW/4HANA is on strategic analyses. BW/4HANA harmonizes and consolidates data from different sources. With a focus on ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) processes, the BW/4HANA unifies analytics to form a holistic view of business data. While BW/4HANA is based on a different technology than the previous BW, it is used for the same strategic goals. Example: You map your forecasting in the financial area in BW/4HANA.

With Embedded Analytics, SAP offers a new generation of reporting. Thanks to the new in-memory database, large volumes of data can be evaluated in real time.


Jan Merkel, Senior Consultant FI/COCONSILIO GmbH

Further Information:

The new reporting options in S/4HANA Finance

The future is called S/4HANA. But how do you make the transition to the new environment?