Global Projects 2007 25 Critical Lessons V10

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  • 1. 25 Critical Lessons for Teams That Are Running Global SAP NetWeaver BI Projects Dr. Bjarne Berg Director SAP BI MyITgroup
  • 2. What We’ll Cover …
    • Introduction
    • Scoping the SAP NetWeaver BI project
    • Getting the project started
    • Designing InfoCubes — the good, the bad, and the ugly
    • Improving Performance — what to do, and how to do it
    • Understanding the curse of MultiProviders
    • Cleaning up and ODS management
    • Considering global integration points
    • Wrap-up
  • 3. Introduction
    • SAP NetWeaver BI (BI) has matured substantially over the last decade
    • In this session we will explore the lessons learned from a variety of companies, looking at real examples
    • We will pay particular attention to design principles, performance enhancements, and explore what you can learn from other’s mistakes
    • We will also look at BI trends and what others are doing in the SAP NetWeaver BI space
  • 4. BI Has “Grown Up” and Is Now a Core Infrastructure Requirement
    • 59% of companies now have an enterprise data warehouse
      • This number will grow to 86% by 2009
    • However, only 39% of companies have a BI competency center and only 54% have an enterprise information strategy
    Source: Business Week Research, Sept. 2006 Where will your company be in three years?
  • 5. What We’ll Cover …
    • Introduction
    • Scoping the SAP NetWeaver BI project
    • Getting the project started
    • Designing InfoCubes — the good, the bad, and the ugly
    • Improving Performance — what to do, and how to do it
    • Understanding the curse of MultiProviders
    • Cleaning up and ODS management
    • Considering global integration points
    • Wrap-up
  • 6. Global Master Data Integration and SAP NetWeaver BI
    • When an organization has multiple SAP R/3 systems, the SAP NetWeaver BI master data integration can be cumbersome
      • Determine what local master data needs to be maintained in the BI system and load it as separate master data
      • Determine what global master data needs to be maintained in the BI system and load it to the shared areas
        • To do this you will need master data mapping rules or tables
      • If you have conflicting master data, consider loading the local masterdata to DSOs (make it reportable) and merge the global master data to be used by the InfoCubes
        • Alternatively, you can load versions of master data into custom master data objects in SAP NetWeaver BI and use the merged master data as the “0 objects”
    If you have multiple regional transaction systems, plan on spending 5 - 10% of your global project time on master data integration, design, and testing.
  • 7. Global Master Data Integration and SAP NetWeaver BI (cont.)
    • You can also decide to use the SAP NetWeaver Master Data Management (MDM) tool to manage and merge the global master data in a central location
    If an MDM implementation is warranted, make it a separate project and don’t include this as part of the global BI project. The BI system simply extracts the new merged and integrated master data. Source: SAP NetWeaver Magazine, Alan Joch
  • 8. Privacy and Security Concerns
    • European and many Asian countries have strict privacy rules
    • European Union Commission’s Directive on Data Protection protects personal information from Europe to countries whose privacy practices are not deemed “adequate”
      • All European Union (EU) member countries are bound by the European Commission’s finding of adequacy
    • Your company can become entangled in many local laws, or seek participation in the “safe harbor” agreements by the Department of Commerce (costs up to $500)
      • The safe harbor eliminates the need for prior approval to begin data transfers, and makes approval from the appropriate EU member countries automatic
    • Some European Restrictions
    • Personal information cannot be collected without consumers’ permission. They have the right to review the data and correct inaccuracies.
    • Data processing companies must register their activities with the government.
    • Employers cannot read, copy, or transfer workers’ private email.
    • Personal information cannot be shared by companies or across borders without express permission from the data subject.
    • Safe harbor agreements can reduce exposure to such legal issues.
  • 9. Tip 1: Capacity and Scalability Is the Top Concern for Your CxO
    • Don’t under size your global BI system
      • Spend adequate funding on hardware, memory, processing power and disk space
    Source: Intel, SAP & Business Week "Seizing the BI Opportunity" 2006. A survey of 353 top C-level officers in large companies, reported that the top BI concern was the scalability of their solutions.
  • 10. Tip 1: Capacity and Scalability — Global Hardware Example Production 12 CPUs 96 GB RAM Sandbox 4 CPUs 32 GB RAM Test 4 CPUs 32 GB RAM Development 4 CPUs 32 GB RAM
    • This company reallocated their Sun-6900 box (on Oracle) and have three app servers on the production box
    • More memory allows them to take better advantage of the parallel load of the BI system and to cache many of the frequently run queries (BEx Broadcaster)
    • The hardware also allows them to compare performance between the boxes
    Example of a large BI system
    • Key numbers:
    • 3.1 Terabytes of data
    • 2810 named users
    • About 620 active users
    Global systems must consider network connections (speed), data encryption, and distributions of application and Web servers for load balancing (due to 24-hour operations).
  • 11. Tip 2: Pick a Formal Methodology — You Have Many Choices
    • Accelerated SAP (ASAP) methodology is not your only choice
    • Even though harder to manage on a global project due to long communication lines, consider RAD, JAD, or EP based on the time to delivery and impact of failure
    Source: Bjarne Berg, DM Review 2004 Look at what your global organizational partners have done. You may know more about RAD than you think!
  • 12. Tip 3: Report Dispositioning: Don’t Throw Every Report into BI
    • Many tools exist that can report on SAP R/3 data
      • You might have static reports that belong in SAP R/3, which would not be cost effective to develop in SAP NetWeaver BI
    • Make cost-effective decisions
      • Just because the report is not in SAP NetWeaver BI does not mean it cannot be added to a Portal or viewed on the Web
    • Not all reports belong in SAP NetWeaver BI
      • Avoid using BI as a “dumping group”
    • You need to make conscious decisions on what reporting needs you are going to meet, and how you will accomplish this
    You need a formal report dispositioning process and need to evaluate every requirement as BI vs. transaction reporting.
  • 13. Tip 4: SAP Solutions Manager — EarlyWatch Reports Are Great!
    • EarlyWatch reports provide a simple way to confirm how your system is running and to catch problems
      • A “goldmine” for system recommendations
    • Run them periodically and read the details
    • A real EarlyWatch report from a mid-sized company that has been running SAP BW for the last three to four years
    On a large global project, system issues can be hard to pin-down without access to EarlyWatch reports. The monitoring reports allows you to tune the system before the user community gets access and complaints arise.
  • 14. Tip 4: SAP Solutions Manager — EarlyWatch Performance Info In a 24-hour operational systems due to time-zones, you will have less time to react and fix issues. Therefore, early detection of system issues are critical to the success of a global project.
  • 15. Tip 5: Organizing the Global Team — Six Ways to Balance the Global BI Development Effort The more distributed the BI development effort becomes, the more difficult it is to maintain communication and get cohesive requirements.
  • 16. Tip 5: Organizing the Global Team — Small Technical Team Roles Four to five team members and normally three to six months duration on each go-live depending on scope
    • These are roles not positions
      • Sometimes one team member can fill more than one role
    Many companies fail to formally assign roles and responsibilities. As a result, they have many “jack of all trades” and “masters of none.” ETL = Extract, transform and load BI Basis and functional SAP R/3 support Business Analyst Presentation Developer Business Team BI Architect ETL Developer Technical Team Project Manager Project Sponsor
  • 17. Tip 5: Organizing the Global Team — Large Functional Teams 15-30 team members and normally 6-18 months duration between each go-live In a global BI organization, you simply need to create functional teams (instead of the previous technical team models). BI Basis and functional SAP R/3 support Portal Developer(s) BI Architect Business Analyst/(sub-team lead) BI Developer Presentation Developer(s) ETL Developer Sales Team Business Analyst/(sub-team lead) BI Developer Presentation Developer(s) ETL Developer Finance Team Business Analyst/(sub-team lead) BI Developer Presentation Developer(s) ETL Developer Material Mgmt. Team Project Manager Project Sponsor/ Steering Committee
  • 18. Tip 5: Organizing the Global Team — Localized BI Training
    • Training for end-users and the local query developers should be completed in their own language to assure understanding and encourage participation
    • Developer training should be in the project language (e.g., English, German, French)
    Don’t under estimate the value and cost savings of in-house training.
  • 19. Tip 6: You Have to Plan for Global Cockpits
    • 58% of all companies reported that they were already using BI dashboards and 25% more planned to do it in 2007 – 2008
      • Source: Business Week Research Sept. 2006, survey
    • Dashboards are no longer cutting-edge
      • Expected by senior management
    Dashboards and cockpits should be in your long-term global BI strategy (three to five years).
  • 20. Tip 7: Pick a Project Language and Stick with It!
    • If you don’t enforce a global project language, BI project documentation becomes fragmented
      • The project team will quickly disintegrate into groups based on the language with which they are most comfortable
    • Enforce a project language and require that all emails are written in it and all notes are taken in the same language
    • Don’t allow “side bars” in languages that others don’t understand
    Make sure the project language is clear, and that pertinent documents are translated in a timely fashion.
  • 21. What We’ll Cover …
    • Introduction
    • Scoping the SAP NetWeaver BI project
    • Getting the project started
    • Designing InfoCubes — the good, the bad, and the ugly
    • Improving Performance — what to do, and how to do it
    • Understanding the curse of MultiProviders
    • Cleaning up and ODS management
    • Considering global integration points
    • Wrap-up
  • 22. Tip 8: In the Blueprinting Phase: Model Your Global Solution Standard Content Storage Requirements Storage Objects + 1. Create a model based on pre-delivered SAP NetWeaver BI content 2. Map your data requirements to the delivered content, and identify gaps 3. Identify where the data gaps are going to be sourced from Map functional requirements to the standard content before you make enhancements
  • 23. Tip 9: Accept Cultural Differences — No Culture Is Dominant!
    • Cultural differences should not be tolerated, but embraced
    • Europe has longer vacations (four to six weeks are common, not exceptions)
    • Family time is important — don’t plan 12-hour workdays for four months
    • Not everyone is equally interested in hearing how we do things in the US
    • Many cultures find it offensive to talk about salaries, and money
      • Talk about value and deliverables instead
    • Consider a co-project manager
  • 24. Tip 10: Meet Local and Global Requirements
    • In most global organizations there are varying product hierarchies, financial reporting requirements, mapping of accounts, data integration, and tool requirements
    • Try not to solve only the enterprise reporting needs of the corporation, but also the local reporting and analytical needs
      • This way you will get local support and ensure the system will actually be used
    • A successful global BI project has more that one constituent
    If you ignore local requirements, they will simply reinvent your effort and find work-arounds and other tools.
  • 25. Tips 11: Determine Where to Start
    • All functional areas are not equally supported by strong standard BI business content
      • Some areas have much you can leverage, others will require significant enhancement to meet your requirements
      • The differences are often due to customization in SAP R/3 by companies and/or industry solutions
    Focus on an area that solves a problem instead of becoming a “replacement” project. Gradually, using a priority-phased approach, solve other business problems. A good way to think of a BI rollout is in terms of business problems. * Rapidly improving content
  • 26. What We’ll Cover …
    • Introduction
    • Scoping the SAP NetWeaver BI project
    • Getting the project started
    • Designing InfoCubes — the good, the bad, and the ugly
    • Improving Performance — what to do, and how to do it
    • Understanding the curse of MultiProviders
    • Cleaning up and ODS management
    • Considering global integration points
    • Wrap-up
  • 27. Tip 12: InfoCube Design — Making the Right Design Decisions
    • Dimensions
      • BI allows you to create up to 16 dimensions in a single InfoCube (13 are free)
        • However, using all 16 on a first implementation limits any future extensions without major redesign of the system
      • Line item dimensions increase query performance
        • These are physically stored in the fact table and therefore have fewer table joins
    • Key figures
      • While no limitations are imposed by BI for the number of key figures, typical implementations contain 1 - 25
        • While a higher number may be required (i.e. CO-PA), you’ll notice tradeoffs of load performance when many records are loaded
      • While more than 45 key figures are not necessarily wrong, it might be considered unusual — you should perform an impact study of the extract on SAP R/3
  • 28. Tip 12: InfoCube Design — General Guidelines
    • Navigational attributes
      • Lends flexibility to the way users can access data
      • Common configuration consists of 1 - 35 attributes
      • While technically not incorrect you should review InfoCubes that do not contain any navigational attributes
      • Review any InfoCube that contains more than 60
        • This may be an indicator that too much information is being placed in a single InfoCube
    • Hierarchies
      • Hierarchies are ways for users to “drill-down” into the data for analysis purposes
      • Typical configurations tend to have 1 - 8 hierarchies
      • Review any InfoCube with no hierarchy (or with more than 8) to validate the design with end-user navigation
    For global projects you need to consider global and local currencies as well as various units of measures (e.g., lbs, kilo, tons, gallons, liters). Once decided upon, these units of measures should be available in all relevant InfoProviders.
  • 29. Tip 12: InfoCube Design — Evaluating Designs (Real Example)
    • The observation relates a company’s current BI system to normally observed configuration parameters, which serve as benchmarks to what is commonly seen at other implementations
    Cubes with many red or yellow codes should be examined KF = Key figures
  • 30. Tip 12: InfoCube Design — Evaluating Designs (Another Example)
  • 31. Tip 13: Partitioned InfoCubes That Are No Longer the Same
    • Often when InfoCubes are physically partitioned, changes occur as new development and fixes are applied
      • After a while there is a risk that some of the physically partitioned InfoCubes no longer are identical
      • This can cause many issues (i.e., If archiving is used, you must ensure copies of these older datastores are maintained to be able to restore data)
    A real example
  • 32. Tip 14: Naming Conventions Should Be Followed
    • InfoCubes should be named:
    • 0 ABC_ C 01 or
    • Z ABC_ C 02
    • ODSs should be named:
    • 0 ABC_ O 01 or
    • Z ABC_ O 02
    • MultiProviders should be named:
    • 0 ABC_ M 01 or
    • Z ABC_ M 02
    ODS = Operational Data Store
  • 33. What We’ll Cover …
    • Introduction
    • Scoping the SAP NetWeaver BI project
    • Getting the project started
    • Designing InfoCubes — the good, the bad, and the ugly
    • Improving Performance — what to do, and how to do it
    • Understanding the curse of MultiProviders
    • Cleaning up and ODS management
    • Considering global integration points
    • Wrap-up
  • 34. Global Performance Issues
    • Global projects have many performance challenges
      • Hardware must be optimized for 24/7 operations and network capabilities
      • BI system must also have optimal backup and disaster recovery windows and rapid data load processing
    • Since most of the query rendering time is spent on the database, it is important that global projects spend serious time optimizing the database reads by leveraging tools such as the BI Accelerator and the classical SAP NetWeaver BI aggregates
    The correct definition of global aggregates can dramatically reduce the time spent on database reads by the BI queries, thereby delivering faster query results to the users in various geographical locations.
  • 35. Tip 15: Performance Enhancements Are Available — Use Them
    • Check indexes periodically
      • Under RSA1  Manage  Performance
    • Check database statistics to route queries faster
      • At this company, 50% of the InfoCubes had outdated database statistics that should be updated
    • For large InfoCubes, or cubes with many users, the percentage used to build the database statistics can be increased to 15 - 20%
      • May yield improved query routing
  • 36. Tip 15: Performance Enhancements — Aggregates Are Often Incorrectly Built (Real Example)
    • Several cubes have no aggregates, while others can benefit from generating new proposals
    • A score above 30% for average aggregate valuations should be a target for a data store
  • 37. Tip 15: Performance Enhancements — Correct Aggregates Are Easy to Build
    • This example shows the benefits of aggregates by using system statistics to generate proposals
      • This very large InfoCube had over 160 queries attached to it and only one aggregate
    • Select the run time of queries to be analyzed (e.g., 20 sec)
    • Select time period to be analyzed
      • Only those queries executed in this time period will be reviewed to create the proposal
    • High value aggregate proposal (users who had queries that ran over 20 seconds during the last six months, would have benefited from 438 times — each query execution)
  • 38. Tip 16: Memory Cache Is Often Set Too Low
    • The cache settings at many companies are too low
      • For example, at one large company the cache was set at 100 MB for local and 200 MB for global cache, which is too low for a system with thousands of users and 4 TB of data
    • Review the settings with the Basis team and look at the available hardware
      • During the review, use the transaction code RSCUSTV14 in SAP NetWeaver BI to increase the cache if needed
      • Focus particularly on the global cache
    • To monitor the usage of the cache, use transaction code RSRCACHE and also periodically review the analysis of load distribution using ST03N – Expert Mode
    Example: At one company over 61% of all 35,644 navigation steps in a month accessed the database instead of the cache, even after the query was executed.
  • 39. Tip 17: Use the BEx Broadcaster to Pre-Fill the Cache Distribution Types By broadcasting the query result of commonly used queries to the cache, your users do not need to execute the query from the database. Instead the result is already in the system memory (much faster).
  • 40. Tip 18: Focus Performance Enhancements on Large InfoCubes
    • Typically 20% of the cubes and queries will see 80% of the usage
      • Focus on these, when performance tuning, or it can become overwhelming
    • InfoCubes with over 100 million rows should be analyzed for performance enhancements, such as broadcasting of queries to cache, aggregates, indexes, database stats, etc.
    Avoid building local queries that are unique to the various geographies or business units. Focus instead on the reusability of global queries that are saved as local views (favorites).
  • 41. What We’ll Cover …
    • Introduction
    • Scoping the SAP NetWeaver BI project
    • Getting the project started
    • Designing InfoCubes — the good, the bad, and the ugly
    • Improving Performance — what to do, and how to do it
    • Understanding the curse of MultiProviders
    • Cleaning up and ODS management
    • Considering global integration points
    • Wrap-up
  • 42. Tip 19: Avoid “Swiss Army Knife” MultiProviders: It Will Be Slow!
    • There is a temptation to use only a few MultiProviders to build all queries
      • This may dramatically slow down queries
      • Hint: This design may prevent queries from being executed in parallel
    Avoid attempting to build a single MultiProvider to do all functions of the data warehouse
  • 43. Tip 19: “Swiss Army Knife” MultiProviders and Parallel Processing
    • To avoid an overflow of the memory, parallel processing is cancelled as soon as the collected result contains 30,000 rows or more and there is at least one incomplete subprocess
      • The MultiProvider query is then restarted automatically and processed sequentially
      • What appears to be parallel processing corresponds to sequential processing plus the preceding phase of parallel processing up to the termination
    • Generally, it’s recommended that you keep the number of InfoProviders of a MultiProvider to no more than 10
    Avoid creating InfoCubes that are specific to one country or business unit. If you do this, you will have to later combine them in large MultiProviders that may cause slow performance.
  • 44. Tip 19: “Swiss Army Knife” MultiProviders and Parallel Processing (cont.)
    • Consider deactivating parallel processing for those queries that are MultiProvider queries and have large result sets
      • With SAP BW 3.0B SP14 (SAP BW 3.1 SP8), you can change the default value of 30,000 rows — refer to SAP Notes 629541, 622841, 607164, and 630500
    • A larger number of base InfoProviders is likely to result in a scenario where there are many more base InfoProviders than available dialog processes, resulting in limited parallel processing and many pipelined sub-queries
  • 45. What We’ll Cover …
    • Introduction
    • Scoping the SAP NetWeaver BI project
    • Getting the project started
    • Designing InfoCubes — the good, the bad, and the ugly
    • Improving Performance — what to do, and how to do it
    • Understanding the curse of MultiProviders
    • Cleaning up and ODS management
    • Considering global integration points
    • Wrap-up
  • 46. Tip 20: Clean Up Old Objects That Are No Longer Used
    • After a few years of running SAP NetWeaver BI, companies often have many objects that are no longer used
    • Cleaning them up makes for a simpler development environment, which is easier to navigate and has a positive impact on analysis on when designing new objects
    Keep your environments clean of obsolete junk.
  • 47. Tip 21: Don’t Replicate Legacy Data Logic in SAP NetWeaver BI
    • It’s tempting to replicate the SAP transaction system in the BI environment
    • You can spot this when you find many ODSs that serve as lookup tables (easy to recognize, since these systems have many ODSs and each of them have few fields)
    Don't allow the BI system to become a replication of the transaction system, merely because that is what your developers know.
  • 48. Tip 22: Avoid Direct Querying of ODS
    • To quickly solve local reporting requirements, it is tempting to bypass the global InfoCubes and query the data stores (ODSs) directly — this is a mistake
    • ODSs are for central staging of historical data, detailed analysis, lookups, and data mining — not for local reporting
    • If you allow the users to bypass the global InfoCube logic, you will find yourself supporting slow local queries that do not take full advantage of the inherent performance of the OLAP processor
    • Many local detailed queries will consume system resources, causing other global users to suffer
    • If you follow this path, you will be asked to create InfoSet queries and eventually have minimal advantages of standard content, which will lead you to the road to build a traditional legacy data warehouse
    Restrict the number of users that can access the ODSs.
  • 49. What We’ll Cover …
    • Introduction
    • Scoping the SAP NetWeaver BI project
    • Getting the project started
    • Designing InfoCubes — the good, the bad, and the ugly
    • Improving Performance — what to do, and how to do it
    • Understanding the curse of MultiProviders
    • Cleaning up and ODS management
    • Considering global integration points
    • Wrap-up
  • 50. Tip 23: Be Aware of Divergent Country Accounting Rules
    • Different accounting standards must be dealt with on global projects
      • For example, pension obligations are considered long-term debt in most European countries and long-term liabilities in the US (unsecured)
    • Accounting rules for depreciation, amortization, depletions, and allocations vary from country to country
      • For example, the US allows for accelerated depreciation in certain instances
    Plan on involving accountants and mapping tables if you are consolidating reporting for both local and global purposes. Make sure you have an audit trail of transformations.
  • 51. Tip 24: Standardize Currency and Units of Measures
    • A global BI requires standardized currencies and Units of Measure (UOM) for aggregate reporting
    • Conversions from pounds to kilos, or from liters to gallons are easy, but you have to decide how to handle currencies
      • Possible solution A: Some companies use a pro-forma currency translation rate for reporting during an interim period and a real currency translation rate when the financial books are closed or funds are transferred
      • Possible solution B: Some companies use previous month’s currency translation rate for reporting during an interim period and a real currency translation rate when the financial books are closed or funds are transferred
    Sites like www.xe.com can provide you pro-forma currency translation daily, but you have to make a decision.
  • 52. Tip 25: Determining Hierarchies — Global vs. Local
    • On a global project you can create local and global hierarchies
      • For example, a large European telecom company created a five-level sales material hierarchy in BI that reflected the Dutch reporting view, a seven-level hierarchy that reflected the German reporting view, and a four-level hierarchy for corporate reporting
      • This allowed reporting for each subsidiary and a new corporate reporting hierarchy that was not available in any local system
    • Lessons learned: You don’t have to select a single hierarchy; local needs can also be accommodated
    Trick: MultiProviders can be used to mask the complexity for the query developers.
  • 53. What We’ll Cover …
    • Introduction
    • Scoping the SAP NetWeaver BI project
    • Getting the project started
    • Designing InfoCubes — the good, the bad, and the ugly
    • Improving Performance — what to do, and how to do it
    • Understanding the curse of MultiProviders
    • Cleaning up and ODS management
    • Considering global integration points
    • Wrap-up
  • 54. Resources
    • Steve McConnell, Rapid Development (Microsoft Press 1996, ISBN: 1556159005)
    • Jeremy Kadlec, Start to Finish Guide to IT Project Management (NetImpress 2003, ISBN: B0000W86H2, Digital, 109 pages)
    • Dr. Bjarne Berg’s Web site (70+ presentations and accelerators)
      • http://csc-studentweb.lrc.edu/swp/Berg/BB_index_main.htm
  • 55. Resources (cont.)
    • European privacy laws
      • www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15221111
    • European Commission’s Directive on Data Protection
      • www.export.gov/safeharbor
  • 56. 7 Key Points to Take Home
    • Be sensitive to other cultures and don’t enforce US working methods
    • More than one methodology is available for you to use
    • Long-term environment sizing and planning is critical
    • Performance tuning is not an afterthought, but a project task
    • An SAP NetWeaver BI architecture should be formulated before a project starts
    • Plan for BI cockpits and dashboards — they are not nice-to-haves, but a critical part of BI
    • Get the global team active and develop the SAP NetWeaver BI solutions for local and global needs
  • 57. Your Turn! Questions? How to contact me: Dr. Bjarne Berg [email_address]