We have all stared blankly at a data spreadsheet trying to remember that nifty trick our colleague showed us last week. In the end, most of us jump on YouTube and click through a bunch of tutorials to only realize that we were actually looking for the "vlookup" function. For something so crucial to our business, data can sometimes feel like an overly complicated burden.
So How Did It All Get Like This?
Well, we have said this before but everyone, including business, is producing and collecting a lot of data (175 trillion gigabytes of data being created and collected by 2025). For companies, this data is coming in from different products, customer segments, suppliers, and business entities. Then on top of this, there are often multiple versions of the "truth" with data in various formats and databases scattered around the company. So when you actually try to get value from your data by connecting it to the people that need it to make decisions, it can feel messy and hopeless.
For the confused end-user, who's faced with this data landscape, it's tempting to put data aside and instead "go with their gut" when making decisions. However, it's worth getting your data in order because data should be helping you make better business decisions, not slowing you down.
Data Is There to Help. No, Seriously.
Now, getting your data in order may take more than a few YouTube tutorials, but it's easily achievable with the right tools. Here's a quick rundown of what needs to happen: Data needs to be extracted from its various sources and centralized in a data warehouse. Any data with incompatible file formats, naming conventions, and columns will need to be harmonized into one cohesive data set. Then you will need to model it and give the data a structure that lets you connect all the tables. Finally, we can begin preparing it for analysis before visualizing it.
Without the right tools, this can be daunting and will require money and skilled employees like data scientists, modelers, analysts, and of course, IT to set it all up. Plus, not many vendors offer an end-to-end service that covers the entire data journey from sourcing to analytics so you will need to buy and connect different products.
How Does SAP Simplify Everything?
You only need one product for everything. SAP Data Warehouse Cloud is an end-to-end product with built-in analytics, so it spans the entire data lifecycle. You won't need any other products or vendors. It will connect and extract your data from any source (on-premise, cloud, non-SAP or SAP), harmonize it, model it, analyze it, and visualize it. All your data will be consolidated in one place, giving you a single gateway and source of truth for all your data.
SAP Data Warehouse Cloud is a business-friendly product. Business users won't need to rely on IT – or too many YouTube tutorials – to get what they need. It adds semantics on top of the data so that everyone can understand it. Business users will be able to connect and model data with an intuitive drag-and-drop graphic interface. They can mashup data on-the-fly before graduating to more complex calculations as they master the interface. At the same time, IT users get robust security and governance functionalities. IT can make sure everyone gets the memory and computing power they need with simple resource management.
Finally, data can be visualized with the native SAP Analytics Cloud integration or, because it is an open product, any other tool you wish.
SAP Data Warehouse Cloud keeps costs down because it is a cloud SaaS product. It doesn't require setup or installation, and if your computing or storage needs change, the cloud can be quickly scaled up, down, or even suspend.