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If you have read my post "3 tips to survive as a SAP BI consultant in 2015" from January 2015, you have to admit I was not far off on my predictions:

  • Analytics indeed are now full integrated at Business Suite. That is true for Business Suite powered by SAP HANA with SAP HANA Live, Smart Business, Smart Business Executive version, etc. and it is even more true when it comes to S/4 HANA. As you probably know, S/4 opens a whole new prisma of possibilities when it comes to combine transactional and analytics. You can see a post about it here.
  • SAP BI was never and will never be about tools. You have probably see the discussions about tools simplification and how the roadmap looks into the future. The idea is to have less tools, consolidate investments and have a better product as consequence.
  • BW did not die and will not die any time soon. I understand we still have apocallipse prophesies in place about a time when no Data Warehouse and no SAP BW will be required but the cold truth is when it comes to harmonize data from different sources, when it comes to large historical data and when it comes to integration to data lakes, we still need good old SAP BW.

It then raises the question: what to expect for 2016? Or more to the point: 3 tips to survive as a SAP BI consultant in 2016. First of all, a little bit of context:

  • 2015 was a very busy year, full of novelty - S/4 HANA, SAP Vora, Cloud for Analytics (C4A) and Digital Boardroom were officially announced
  • SAP confirm its commitment on delivering Cloud sollutions
  • We could see clearly SAP customers and partners adopting and embracing the Digital Transfomation

With that said - and without further delays - here are 3 tips to stay on top of your game in 2016:

  1. Understand Big Data beyond buzz words. Yes, I know, Business Intelligence and Big Data are not the same thing. However, as much as companies move into a higher mature stage, those companies will perceive more and more the value data driven discussions and decisions can bring into the organization. With that in mind, soon we will all be discussing how to integrate internet navigation logs, sensor data, monitors data, images, video, voice and etc. to our Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) and how to show in the same report how navigation patterns impact our sales numbers, for example. In that kind of scenario, as a SAP BI consultant you must be ready to dig into SAP HANA Vora, Hadoop integration and also SAP HANA Data Warehouse Foundations. After that, if you still have some time, it is worth to check out how to get different types of data in real time or near real time into a EDW or Big Data environment.
  2. Learn how new (maybe not that new) tools and concepts fits in your current or future BI architecture. When SAP Lumira came out, with its great self exploratory power I have seen many people holding to it as if it was a binary discussion: either you have Lumira (and use it for everything from self exploration to Dashboards) or you did not have SAP Lumira and then you were outdated. Truth is when it comes to BI we are talking different shades of blue (that is SAP after all). It is up to us to help our customers to adopt the new solutions, tools and trends yet preserving all they have invested so far. It is about how to evolve their current environment, capabilities and value. Besides SAP Lumira, I see there will be a lot of discussions about SAP Digital Boardroom - which by the way - is 100% Cloud solution and can be integrated with every customer on premise implementation.
  3. Stay tuned and stay hungry. As we already know, changes are frequent and necessary. New solutions, new tools, new needs and more fun. Stop learning and keep pushing to your customers (internal or external ones) the same SAP BW or SAP BO projects, over and over again is not a recipe for success but for retirement.

Any other tip you would like to share? Leave a comment or reach out to me.

All the best

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