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When looking at Business Process Analytics in SAP Solution Manager you basically have two ingredients

  1. Functional scope of the application itself (see previous blogs about Business Process Analytics and new features with support package 5 and possibly I will summarize the features soon again with some other words and illustrations)
  2. Key figure content with several hundred key figures available for all SAP Business Suite products.

The key figure content is constantly updated with every ST-A/PI release (or support package)

Now with so many key figures at hand it might be easy to lose track of what the different key figures are good for, what is the respective main use case and how are those key figures perhaps different from other SAP or non-SAP applications?!

Overview: 5 different key figure types

Currently we provide basically 5 different key figure types that you see listed below.

  • Throughput figures are simply measuring how many documents, line items or schedule lines have been created/posted within a given time frame. That helps creating quantity structures and load profiles for your SAP system. Other customers find those key figures mostly interesting during GoLive situations in order to understand if a new location or business process is achieving the anticipated throughput.
  • Backlog figures are checking for business documents, line items or schedule lines that are not yet in a final processing status or did not pass an important process milestone and where the corresponding planned processing date lies already in the past, i.e. the (business) transaction is overdue for processing. Backlog figures are the most important and most used key figures by Business Process Analytics customers as those key figures are indicating process weaknesses and improvement potentials. They can be used for GoLive situations in order to quickly learn if the GoLive is successful not only from  a technical but also from a functional perspective. The other main use case is the usage for supporting process excellence/improvement activities within a customer organization. Several customers are also using backlog figures in order to support formal (internal) process audit activties. Backlog key figures can lso be used for "by-products", i.e. supporting archiving activities as the backlog key figures can indicate the reason why less data is archived than expected. And even migration projects can benefit as you might migrate less data if you do not take over old, outdated backlog data from one system to the other.
  • Exception key figures are collecting error messages from different (technical) error logs and bring this data together with business context data. While backlog key figures can already give a hint as to what the root cause of a problem might be, the exception key figures are typically telling you the corresponding root cause right away just by reading the error message. Although this key figure type is rather new it is currently the hottest topic by our customers and have the chance to challenge backlog key figures as the most important key figure type. Exception key figures support all use cases of backlog key figures as well.
  • Lead time key figures are measuring the average time it took from a defined start point in a business process to the corresponding end point.As long as document backlog exists in the very same area it is no treally meaningful to look at lead time measurements. Hence lead time key figures are more complementing the backlog and exception key figures and are typically used at later stages during a process excellence/improvement project to also improve the last mile.
  • Automation rate key figures are providing a ratio of how many documents have been processed automatically vs manually within a given time frame. Automation rate key figures are (like lead time key figures) complementing the backlog and exception key figures and are typically used at later stages during a process excellence/improvement project.

Further reading

You can find all necessary information about Business Process Analytics in this document. More information on Business Process Improvement for SAP solutions can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions about Business Process Monitoring and Business Process Analytics are answered under and respectively.

The following blogs (in chronological order) provide further details about Business Process Analytics and Business Process Monitoring functionalities within the SAP Solution Manager.

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