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Analytics

News, events, thought leadership and more.
StephenW
Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

We’re excited to have DVW Analytics, a long-time Alteryx Alliances Partner, contribute to the Analytics Blog. Darron Walton, CEO of DVW Analytics, shares how DVW Analytics enables Analytic Process Automation for SAP.

 

 

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With the introduction of Analytic Process Automation (APA), Alteryx has reframed not only how we think about Alteryx as a company, but also how we use the individual components that comprise the Alteryx APA Platform to deliver business benefit quickly.

 

As CEO of DVW Analytics my primary focus is on making it as easy as possible for our SAP customers to work with their data in the Alteryx APA Platform.

 

Why?

 

Well, for those organizations that run SAP, the SAP systems are the richest source of high-quality business data available to the organization and its employees.

 

While SAP offers a range of analytics products to customers, we are seeing an increasing number of SAP customers adopting Alteryx for its analytics and process automation capabilities.

 

When you combine Alteryx with SAP, the results can be genuinely astounding. But don’t take my word for it. Take a look at the on-demand webinar, “Analyse + Automate Your SAP Data” with Coca-Cola European Partners.

 

In the remainder of this blog, we’ll demonstrate how Alteryx and DVW Analytics can enable Analytic Process Automation for SAP customers.

 

Let’s start with a little more about Alteryx APA.

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So, on the left we have the automation of asset inputs and on the right the automation of outcomes for people and the automation of outcomes to applications.

 

These are the two areas where DVW Analytics supports SAP customers in their APA journey.

 

DVW Analytics is an Alteryx Technology Partner that develops and sells three categories of connector that include:

 

For the purposes of this blog, we will focus on enabling APA for SAP with our flagship product, the Alteryx Connector for SAP (ACS).

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Automating Asset Inputs

 

The DVW ACS Read capability supports the extraction of data from a wide range of SAP systems including but not limited to:

 

  • SAP ECC
  • SAP S/4HANA
  • SAP BW including SAP BW on HANA and SAP BW4/HANA
  • SAP Business Suite applications including SAP ERP, SAP CRM, SAP SRM, SAP HCM, and SAP PLM
  • SAP Industry solutions including SAP Oil & Gas (IS-Oil), SAP Utilities (IS-UTIL), SAP Telecommunications (IS-Telco), SAP Retail (IS-Retail), and more

 

Across these different SAP systems, users can extract data from a comprehensive set of SAP data objects. This allows the DVW ACS to be used effectively by everyone, including business users, IT users, SAP novices, and SAP experts. According to your specific use case, you can extract data from:

 

  • SAP Tables
  • SAP Transactions (T-Codes) and Reports
  • SAP Queries
  • SAP HANA Views
  • SAP BW Queries and Query Views
  • SAP BW InfoProviders
  • SAP Attachments e.g., PDF, image files

 

By way of example, take a look at how Alteryx and the DVW ACS can be used to extract SAP General Ledger accounting data into Alteryx – a very common use case.

 

 

 

 

Automating Outcomes for People and Applications

 

For many of our customers, the ultimate destination for the SAP data that has been blended and analysed within Alteryx may be visualisation tools such as Tableau and Power BI. For others it could be cloud applications such as Salesforce or even the dear old spreadsheet for those still stuck in them.

 

At Alteryx Inspire, Apex Tool Group talked about their experience creating measurable returns with Alteryx and the DVW A.... Underpinning one of their use cases was the ability to be able to extract data from SAP (in this case SAP BW), analyzing the data in Alteryx before pushing to Salesforce.com and Tableau.

 

The DVW ACS Write capability opens up the ability for our users to load, create, or update data back into their SAP systems from Alteryx. Currently, ACS Write capability is supported for SAP systems including:

 

  • SAP ECC
  • SAP S/4HANA
  • SAP BW including SAP BW on HANA and SAP BW4/HANA
  • SAP Business Suite applications including SAP ERP, SAP CRM, SAP SRM, SAP HCM, and SAP PLM
  • SAP Industry solutions including SAP Oil & Gas (IS-Oil), SAP Utilities (IS-UTIL), SAP Telecommunications (IS-Telco), and SAP Retail (IS-Retail)

 

This ability combined with the capabilities of Alteryx explode the number of potential use cases that are available to SAP customers with the Alteryx APA platform. As a customer recently said, “I’m really only limited by my imagination in what I can do.”

 

Examples

 

Let’s consider a couple of examples focused on process automation and data migration.

 

Process Automation

 

There are an almost limitless number of process automation use cases ranging from the posting of G/L Journal Entries into SAP to the generation of Goods Movements and the creation and modification of master data records such as the Material Master. These are typically time-consuming, manual tasks performed by SAP end users.

 

Watch this example of how Alteryx and the DVW ACS can be used to automate a task such as the posting of G/L Journal Entries into SAP.

 

 

 

 

Data Migration

 

The implementation of SAP S/4HANA will be front of mind for the majority of SAP customers over the next few years. The primary reason is that the dominant ERP application used by SAP customers today, SAP ECC, goes out of mainstream support in 2027. This may sound like a long way away. But, when you consider that many of these programmes will span multiple years and run into the tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars, 2027 is closer than it seems.

 

Using the DVW ACS with the Alteryx APA platform, SAP customers can reduce the time, cost, and risk associated with an SAP migration.

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In the above example, the DVW ACS Read capability is used to perform the mass or selective extract of data from the source SAP ECC system into Alteryx. No army of developers required.

 

Alteryx is then used to review, cleanse, transform, and prepare the data for loading into the target SAP S/4HANA system.

 

The DVW ACS Write capability is then used to load the data from Alteryx into the SAP S/4HANA system. We support IDOC and BAPI for this.

 

Finally, the DVW ACS Read capability and Alteryx are used to reconcile the migration with extracts from both the source and target systems.

 

Watch this simple example of SAP ECC Pricing Condition Record data being migrated to SAP S/4HANA.

 

 

 

 

While I’ve focused on SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA migrations, the same principles apply to Non-SAP to SAP migrations and SAP to Non-SAP migrations.

 

So, by using the Alteryx APA platform with the DVW ACS, SAP customers can:

 

  • Reduce the cost, time, and risk associated with an SAP migration
  • Provide enhanced visibility of the migration process for business sponsors and business users
  • Enable simplified migration reconciliation reporting (on-the-fly reconciliation is possible)
  • Improved collaboration through the migration process with the use of Alteryx Connect

 

Anecdotes

 

Not all our customers like to be named but I can share some anecdotes to conclude on:

 

Global Oil & Gas Company

 

  • Before Alteryx & DVW Analytics: Analytics project with $5M budget & implementation timeframe of 6 months
  • With Alteryx & DVW Analytics: Project delivered with 1 person in 1 week (During the DVW ACS trial)

 

Global Consumer Goods Company

 

  • Before Alteryx & DVW Analytics: 12-week SAP development project required to perform one data extract before analytics project could commence
  • With Alteryx & DVW Analytics: 3-days to build the data extract workflow

 

Global Beverage Company

 

  • Before Alteryx & DVW Analytics: 3-months for 2 resources to build a Customer Profitability solution which took 8 hours to execute. No flexibility to customize the solution to specific markets
  • With Alteryx & DVW Analytics: 1-day to build a customizable solution. Execution time reduced to 6 minutes from 8 hours

 

Global Apparel and Footwear Company

 

  • With Alteryx: Analytics saved 1 week per month
  • With Alteryx & DVW Analytics: Data extract and analytics saved 3 weeks per month

 

 

Get a free trial of the Alteryx Connector for SAP today.