THERE’S GOOD NEWS FOR SAP BW CUSTOMERS who might be looking for a next-generation data warehouse: SAP’s BW/4HANA gives new life to its long-time data warehousing product. SAP BW/4HANA is a completely revamped version of SAP BW that runs on the SAP HANA in-memory database. The new product improves performance and scalability, simplifies operation and development, and supports a variety of in-database analytic functions. It is designed to support multiple analytic use cases, ranging from standard reporting and dashboarding to real-time analytics and machine learning. Although it’s not without challenges, the platform supports an array of functionality:
- Data integration to combine data from dozens of data sources and data types.
- Data quality to ensure clean, consistent data is delivered to business users.
- Stream processing, which, along with HANA’s in-memory architecture, provides the foundation for real-time analytics.
- Spatial functionality, which is essential for the location analytics that are at the heart of so many applications from mobile advertising and e-commerce to the Internet of things (IoT).
- Graph functionality, which captures relationships among data to uncover unique analytic insights.
- Text analytics, which enables semantic and sentiment analysis and can support artificial intelligence applications such as natural language processing, understanding, and generation (NLP, NLU, and NLG).
- Predictive analytics, which is fast becoming the killer app across the enterprise, supports everything from executive decision making to IoT-driven predictive maintenance on manufacturing assembly lines.
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