Education: HANA Modelling vs. S/4HANA Analytics

I have been asked for an education advice by the folks from my BW past. In this blog I will discuss the pros and cons of two career options for SAP BI specialists: HANA Modeler vs. S/4HANA Analytics developer. Being both, I am sharing my subjective thoughts.

For those lost what I am talking about, this video will serve a good intro into S/4HANA Analytics.

 

First things first: what do we believe in?

While technically both modelling approaches are possible on both types of the systems: traditional Business Suite @ HANA and S/4HANA (subject to SP levels), to me it all comes down to the question which type of the systems will prevail in the long run? If I were to believe in S/4 as much as SAP does, certainly the latter will be in majority.

 

Customer choice between the two

Now, a little situation to decide which approach will the customer take if they have an S/4HANA system. Let us compare pros and cons of using the two different environments:

HANA Modelling: build Calculation Views S/4HANA Analytics: build CDS views
Pros:

·         GUI available!

·         Quite mature environment, potentially less bugs

·         A lot of literature, courses, best practices

·         May be used to build a HANA-native Data Warehouse (subject to licenses)

Pros:

·         Something that SAP bets on

·         SAP-delivered content needs 0-installation

·         SAP-delivered content is evolving a lot

·         CDS views are ABAP entities. Thus, contrary to marketing naming (S/4HANA something), these are DB-agnostic and knowledge reusable

·         ABAP-managed users and authorizations

·         Enough (nearly-) free education. I will make a separate post on that

Cons:

·         SAP-delivered HANA Live content is not evolving anymore

·         In many cases DB users require creation & role admin (aka “red tape”)

·         HANA Modelling knowledge is not directly applicable on other DB’s

·         Loses out on simplifications (think sFin, sLog, etc.)

Cons:

·         No GUI, only coding. Many consultants will drop out at this point, but is it bad?

·         New environment, more bugs, notes, etc.

·         Education just starting

·         Not suitable for building an integrated Data Warehouse (without BW).

 

Now, which one will the customer take? In the long run, I think they will follow SAP with their S/4HANA vision and modelling using CDS technology.

 

Conclusion

All-in-all, if you:

  • think S/4HANA implementations will take off
  • haven’t invested HANA Modelling education
  • don’t mind a bit of coding

taking the S/4HANA Analytics route, i.e. learning to build CDS views and expose them to the preferred front-end(s), makes much of a better sense. Take S4H410 or follow my future blog posts on a (nearly-) free way to obtain the same knowledge.

 

If you:

  • think there will be more migrations of existing environments to HANA DB
  • have unrecovered investment in HANA modelling education
  • willing to wait for a decent GUI for CDS’es (fingers crossed here)

take HA300 and a certification exam and enjoy yourse