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Data is one of the most valuable resources a company has, irrespective of its structure, form, or where it's stored. Its value means self-service data access is vital for all employees. Imagine all employees could delve into data and explore it themselves. They could quickly test new ideas to benefit the entire organization. However, most data is restricted to IT experts because it's challenging to integrate and analyze.

Whether data is semi-structured, stored on-premise, or in the cloud, employees should be able to consolidate it, model it, and analyze it. The thing is disparate data sources or semi-structured data is challenging to work with unless you have the expertise or specialized tools to prepare it. Ultimately, this often means business users are stuck relying on IT experts to prepare data for analysis.

The Data Flow Builder

SAP Data Warehouse Cloud's new Data Flow Builder provides business users with self-service data integration for all data sources. This way, business users can connect, integrate, and transform data themselves regardless of the data's structure or storage location. The Data Flow Builder is also open, so it doesn't matter if the data source is SAP or non-SAP.

Empowering business users to work with data themselves has its challenges, but it's worth it. With the Data Flow Builder, it won’t matter where your data is stored or if it’s structured or semi-structured – business users can extract and transform it. Furthermore, by expanding SAP Data Warehouse Cloud with SAP Data Intelligence, customers even benefit from the  data integration for unstructured data sources. Unstructured data can yield some of the most critical insights for business users. For example, with proper analysis, text-based unstructured data paints a qualitative picture of your customers. You start to understand customers' opinions of your business from emails, social media posts, phone calls, or surveys.

SAP Data Warehouse Cloud's Data Flow Builder offers the entire end-to-end process for self-service data integration of data sources. Business users can even execute the data flow without scripting anything by using graphical drag-and-drop modeling.

Getting Started with the Data Flow Builder

Building a data flow is simple. Business users can either jump in the central connection manager or a specific Space and create a connection. Since the Data Flow Builder supports data persistence, it can connect to data from various sources: cloud file storage, database management systems (DBMS), or SAP Products, like SAP S/4 HANA or SAP BW. From here, you can browse the available semantic objects in the source system and view details such as column names and types, or preview the data. Once you find the source data objects you want to reuse in SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, you can begin combining data from different sources.

Select the table target from the repository and then define the transformation. Standard transformations like projections, aggregations, joins, filters, unions are all available in the graphical modeler, so there's no need to use programming languages. However, you can, of course, also use scripting if you wish. The different data sources and data sets are then combined and integrated into SAP Data Warehouse Cloud for easy consumption.

Notably, the Data Flow Builder's transformations persist the data from the different sources. Data persistence is a crucial difference to Data View Builder, which uses data federation. Shortly, it will also be possible to schedule data flows so that SAP Data Warehouse Cloud automatically retrieves the latest data from your source system.

We are proud of the incredible capabilities of SAP Data Warehouse Cloud's Data Flow Builder and invite you to discover more here and sign up for a free trial. You can also watch the recording of a SAP TechEd session on the Data Flow Builder from December 10th by jascha.kanngiesser, an SAP Product Manager.