This paper evaluates the importance of BI capabilities in an organization. The business intelligence in today’s world is called differently as business intelligence, business analytics, business warehousing, and big data. This paper examines the SAP BI project at Levi Strauss & Co. This paper discusses the key capabilities required for an organization in terms of the storage capabilities of the data for the business that can be fetched at any point of time from the information cubes, and how to integrate the data integration points of the information, and provide insights for making product intelligent decisions, and dashboarding and visualization capabilities of the BI reports in terms of presenting the data with nuts and bolts of the data attributes in the organization.
Keywords: SAP BI, storage capabilities, information integration, insight creation, dashboards
Business Intelligence is extremely far-reaching métier in the organization. The BI primarily has four critical capabilities in the enterprise; these are enterprise memory, information assimilation, product intelligent intuitive decision-making capabilities, and dashboards and visualization capabilities. s
There are different BI platforms with several and vendors in the market with different product lines supporting the enterprises with different infrastructure with cloud suite capabilities. Some of the major BI products include SAP Business Objects, IBM Cognos, Oracle & Hyperion, Microsoft BI & PerformancePoint, Information Builders, MicroStrategy, SAS BI, Pentaho, Dundas, QlikTech, Tableau, TIBCO Spotfire, and JasperSoft.
Capgemini, the systems integrator for Levi Strauss & Co has implemented SAP BI to management their enterprises business intelligence solutions across the globe with data warehousing capabilities in SAP BW Netweaver 7.1 EHP1 platform with BI crystal reports, SAP BusinessObjects 4.1 with Web Intelligence, Desktop Intelligence reporting capabilities (BusinessWire, 2011).
The first capability of BI is to have the ability of storing the rising flood of the data in the organization by storing them in various BW InfoCubes for storing the master data attributes table, time dependent attributes, time independent attributes, dimension tables, external hierarchy tables, fact tables, navigational attributes tables, P tables, SID tables, text tables (Cronin, 2012). Levi Strauss & Co has implemented SAP BW/BI 7.1 with Teradata foundation layer that helped provided the enterprise as a horizontal and vertical scalability of the database as a DBMS (database management system tool) with Teradata 13.10 that runs on Linux for massively parallel processing of the data extraction, transformation and loading. The following figure 1 depicts the organizational memory database layer as Teradata 13.10 for Levi Strauss & Co for their SAP BI implementation project.
Figure 1. Enterprise Memory Teradata 13.0 on Linux for SAP BI Netweaver
SAP BI Netweaver provides the second capability of BI information integration as part of SAP’s multiple integration layers of the SAP NetWeaver product. Such integration capabilities would provide TREX (Tree regular expressions for XML) capabilities for the enterprise for text mining and search and classifying capabilities by integrating the links between unstructured and structured data with check-in and check-out capabilities and version control management. Such creation of taxonomies can keep the organizations on leading edge with knowledge management concepts and capabilities. The following figure 1 shows the information integration capability as part of SAP BI solution (SAP, 2013).
Figure 2. SAP BI Information Integration Capability
Levi Strauss & Co has implemented the information integration by linking various sources of their retail physical outlets by linking the structured and unstructured data from more than 80 legacy systems with SAP BW/BI Netweaver 7.1 Teradata implementation that helped them to build a knowledge management tool for search and classification purposes of their apparel and footwear solutions product management, master data management in the organization (BusinessWire, 2011).
Insight creation for launching new products and making product intelligent decisions is the third capability of BI for creating strategic roadmap for the business enterprise with different data sizes, different locations, regions across the globe help organizations realize their goals and objectives on-time with real-time interactive BI capabilities (Howson, 2013). Levi Strauss & Co. has added an array of new capabilities for insight creations by implementing SAP BI project that had provided results with Teradata foundation layer extremely quicker and faster, to explore, visualize, and navigate the data attributes for their product lifecycle management (BusinessWire, 2011).
The fourth capability of BI is innovative and intuitive dashboard and visualization presentation capabilities that will help an organization to maximize the revenues by providing the insights into the organization with real-time data thus allowing the stakeholders of the organization to make product intelligent decisions. These dashboard and visualization tools help the organization to display the data with green, red, and yellow statuses of different scorecards on various aspects of the organization such as supply chain management, financials management, business process consolidation, logistics, inventory, and materials management (Howson, 2013).
The coming together of the dashboards and visualization tools enable the organization to maximize their return on investment and create golden standards and measurement for the enterprise performance management with key performance indicators on several business processes with sales revenues, volumes, pipeline management, marketing segmentation, web channel sales, physical store sales by affiliate, territory, and region (Howson, 2013).
Levi Strauss & Co has implemented SAP BI, BW, BusinessObjects products for their supply chain management, and apparel and footwear business retail stores for displaying the data for next 18 months for advanced planning optimization, demand planning, supply network planning, supplier network collaboration implemented by the systems integrator Capgemini consulting. SAP BI tools have been instrumental in providing the dashboard and visualization presentation capabilities for their supply chain management by adding value premium in the organization to improve their merchandise and planning operations, global supply chain management capabilities, product line planning (BusinessWire, 2011).
This paper has examined the various BI vendors providing BI products on the BI platform. This paper has discussed the real-world example of my organization Capgemini SAP BI/BW Netweaver 7.1 implementation at Levi Strauss & Co, San Francisco, CA and how the four key capabilities of BI have been leveraged by Levi Strauss & Co and discussed the business benefits realized by Levi Strauss & Co for their supply chain management, retail business, apparel and footwear solutions with enterprise memory, information integration, insight creation and presentation capabilities with dashboard and visualization tools for real-time replication of the data from the Infocubes of SAP BI.
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