SAP-run organisations using the SAP BW have traditionally, and for good reason, been averse to considering non-SAP paths in the evolution of their enterprise data warehouse. This has been to due to cultural reasons, incumbent skillsets and technical considerations. Chief amongst the latter has been the notorious difficultly of integrating any third-party application with SAPs highly proprietary application.
That said, the rise of the Google Cloud Platform as arguably the premier cloud platform for data analytics is driving organisations to seriously look at the viability of using Google's BigQuery alongside the incumbent EDW - SAP BW. The serverless paradigm, virtually limitless scale and lightening fast processing provide compelling advantages for organisation looking to their data analytics to the next level.
There are numerous platform considerating ranging from cloud security to information governance that will not be considered here.
From a data consumption and modelling perspective, BI managers and Architects tasked with evaluating BigQuery need to address the following aspects:
- SAP data stores - The incumbent data models and underlying data stores represent the consolidated information needs of incumbent business processes. How can these be efficiently tapped for use in BigQuery?
- SAP security model - Security is everything. For many organisations and business functions, i.e. HR, Finance etc, the business logic governing data security is integral to the usage of that data. How can SAP BW security concepts be kept intact within BigQuery?
- Re-use of SAP BW reporting - Reporting outputs from the existing data warehouse represents the trusted data and often represent many years of investment. How can these be tapped for enriched usage within BigQuery?