Discover, Decide and Differentiate: Creating Direct Access in SAP

September 7, 2022
January 30, 2024

SAP is “one of the world’s leading producers of software for the management of business processes, developing solutions that facilitate effective data processing and information flow across organizations.” It’s a solid company with a big footprint. They are not going away anytime soon, and you’re invested in the infrastructure that was not only pricey but part of your organization’s landscape.

Unfortunately, there are gaps in what you can do with SAP, especially around analytics. Organizations view SAP as a premium product, the Rolls Royce of infrastructure. Implementing an analytics tool that doesn’t take advantage of all those premium features is not reasonable. You need a Rolls Royce of analytics. Without that, data analysis and intelligence will continue to be a weak spot, and you will be wasting time and effort.

How do you analyze your SAP data and use it for deeper insights?

In many situations, businesspeople utilize their IT department to extract data from SAP and reload it into a BI and analytics system. The hope is to get the insights needed for better business results. In a perfect world, you could query directly against your SAP system and leave the data where it is. (Hint: We’ve got a solution for that.)

Adding to the struggle, tools available on the market nowadays make it painful to embed visuals, reports, and dashboards. If you use a product like Tableau or Microsoft Power BI, you run into functionality roadblocks:

  • IT needs to provide significant custom work to have embedding capabilities
  • The organization requires a substantial financial investment to enable self-service for all
  • Direct query capabilities produce limited visualizations
  • These tools have slow query speeds
  • Forced cloud migrations cause companies to lose the entire infrastructure that they invested heavily in

Kumar Singh, Research Director at SAPinsider, in his report, Creating Value Through Decision Intelligence in SAP Landscape, recommends that your analytics products be “fluid” and give people with varying levels of skill the ability to reap the benefits of having a powerful aid in decision-making.

He writes, “Integration is a crucial aspect of these solutions. Robust decision intelligence platforms should seamlessly integrate with other critical business applications. This becomes much more imperative in the SAP technology landscape.”

How one company made SAP data work for them

Let’s look at a real-life solution to these challenges and how one organization overcame the obstacles.

A large multinational retailer working with multiple data sources, including SAP BW/4HANA, wanted to merge their SAP data with other sources, such as SQL, Oracle, and Exasol. The company had a mix of data sources and nowhere to bring it all together in one place.

Their executives were looking to replace their proprietary system, which carried point-of-sale (POS) information from 3,200 stores. The information was moved into BW/4HANA. To produce visualizations, the organization implemented SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) and was able to generate a few dashboards.

At the same time, the financial lead of this company was performing extensive manual work with her data. It took several days to get a single view of the disparate financial systems in their data warehouse. Their existing toolset was not efficient. Someone in her peer network told her about Pyramid Analytics.  She investigated it, loved its functionality and strength, and decided to use Pyramid for all her financial data. Her choice was validated when what formerly took the better part of a week now took just a couple of hours.

The company found that it could combine financial and non-financial data into a single dashboard without moving and duplicating data into BW/4HANA. Afterward, they realized that the Pyramid Decision Intelligence Platform provided improved functionality and user controls and could take advantage of ragged hierarchies to deliver different financial reporting to each trading company, no matter where they operate.

With Pyramid, they now have a direct read of a view refreshed every ten minutes from over their 3,200 locations with BW/4HANA and have plans to implement Pyramid Analytics in more projects moving forward.

In key areas of their business, they are now running seamlessly. Their data from BW is pushed to their data warehouse where it can be consumed—direct query allows them to run it directly from BW and combine it with data from SQL Server. It’s a powerful solution, especially for finance, because it can combine financial data with other data sources. They save time with no redevelopment because they use all the views they created in BW.

Pyramid connects directly to your SAP data, as well as other sources, to present deeper insights.


Additional benefits of using Pyramid include native connectivity, not having to pay for separate licenses, and an easy implementation process. They have improved functionality and user controls and can now move to a monthly forecast instead of quarterly. The organization is happy to use a mature, end-to-end self-service environment with no technological gaps.

This is an ideal scenario, and it came about using the Pyramid Analytics Decision Intelligence Platform. With Pyramid, you don’t have to remove SAP from your infrastructure; you enhance it and get more value from it than you did before. Because more than any other analytics platform, Pyramid understands SAP. Pyramid is SAP Certified for SAP HANA, BW/4HANA, and Netweaver. In addition, Pyramid is a Silver SAP Partner and is available on the SAP Store.

We deliver multi-source direct data access with the fastest direct query engine. You reduce cloud operational costs by performing all queries and complex calculations of SAP data directly at the source. And as the above example illustrates, you save time and money with Pyramid.

Find out more about this pioneering software and read up about how we work with SAP to enhance your investment. First, check out the SAPinsider report Creating Value Through Decision Intelligence in SAP Landscape or SAPinsider’s The Future of Business Intelligence Benchmark Report. Then give us a call or ask us to demonstrate how much you can gain from using Pyramid.

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