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Key Considerations for Building Successful Analytics SAP HANA Models

Part 1 – SAP HANA Information Views
In this two-part blog series, I’ll discuss some key tips for building successful analytic models in SAP
HANA. These considerations are specific to Information Views and Model Design.

In this post, I’ll describe SAP HANA Information Views and provide tips how to maximize their
effectiveness.

What are SAP HANA Information Views?
SAP HANA provides information views to construct basic logical multidimensional models to produce
advanced data calculations. SAP HANA Information Views are designed to work with the different query
engines available in SAP HANA.

There are three main types of information views—attribute, analytic and calculation. All three types of
information views are non-materialized views. Any designs produced in an SAP HANA Information View
are entirely logical and the result set is materialized at run-time. This creates agility through the rapid
deployment of changes since there is no latency when the underlying data changes.

Attribute Views
Attribute Views are the first type of information view that can be developed in SAP HANA. You can use
attribute views to model an entity that is based on relationships between attribute data contained in
multiple source tables.

Attribute views:

 Act as dimensions in generic data mart terms
 Used to describe measures
 Used in SAP HANA for reusability
 Used to model master data views
 Similar to concept of a data mart or data warehouse DIMENSION table. However, SAP HANA
attribute views are logical; no data is stored beyond the source columnar table

Analytical Views
Analytic Views are the second type of information view in SAP HANA. Analytic views are used to model
data that includes measure.

In an analytic view, you develop a logical star schema to create a multidimensional model for reporting
and analytics. You can join Attribute Views to a transaction tables, define private attributes or expose
dimensional columns that act like columns normally found in an Attribute View. You can also create
calculated fields that act as custom measures using the power of SAP HANA for incredible performance.

Calculation views can be simple and mirror the functionality found in both attribute views and analytic views. the number of bikes sold per country. they require different engines o Analytic Views can only represent one type of transaction. or the maximum power consumed per month  Specifically designed to execute star schema queries Analytic View: Design Tips  Cardinality is key to accuracy—a one-to many join between attribute views and the analytic view data foundation is a must  Joining in the analytic view data foundation: o Avoid joining large tables to prevent performance degredation  Model large table joins as a single table in Data Services o Remember that each individual attribute join can only join to one table in the data foundation  You cannot join one attribute view to two tables in the data foundation  Only one fact table is acceptable  If you need more tables. g. Example: Sales Transactions and Invoices cannot be modeled in the same analytic view o Avoid Fan Traps.. then it will be a separate Analytic View  Multiple Analytic views will be merged in a Calculation View o Avoid calculated columns. calculations or restricted measures  Can be roughly compared with Info Cubes or Info Sets  Typically defined on at least one fact table that contains transactional data along with number of tables or attribute views  Leverage the computing power of SAP HANA to calculate aggregate data. However. The graphical version looks similar to . Chasm Traps and Loops – Just like Universe design Calculation Views A calculation view is used to define more advanced slices on the data in the SAP HANA database. Queries that go beyond the capabilities of the Star Schema. Both attribute views and analytic views will be the building blocks to finally create "calculation" views.Analytic views:  Are star schemas or fact tables surrounded by dimensions. e. Calculation views are used to process complex queries. They can be designed graphically or using a script. they are typically used when the business use case requires advanced logic that is not covered in the previous types of information views.

or they do not physical move data from one table to the next. however.  Calculation View should be used to resolve the following example Analytic View issues: o Chasm Traps  Multiple Fact Aggregation or multiple analytic view aggregation o Fan Traps  Aggregating columns from two fact tables that were joined in an analytic view foundation  Merge data where possible  Use variables and Input Parameters in first level projections to limit the amount of data processed  Keep as simple as possible for performance reasons! Take Away When it comes to building models. . They offer to combine different analytical views into one source of data for reporting. And often you can bridge sources for master data constructs providing there is a relatable object available. The graphical version looks similar to the data flows found in Data Services. knowing what you want to measure and how you want to measure it is fundamental to successful models.the data flows found in Data Services. they are logical or they do not physically move data from one table to the next o Processing happens in the SAP HANA Calculation Engine o Scripted views are created as sequences of SQL statements  Calculation views can be referred as combination of tables. Attribute views help you answer the “how you want to measure” question. they are logical. attributes views and analytical views to deliver a complex business requirement. However. Calculation View Design Tips  Avoid Mixing SQL Statements and SQLScript CE_ functions within scripts. This can increase HANA temp memory consumption. Use Attribute Views to increase flexibility and promote reusability in SAP HANA design. Calculated columns in Attribute Views offer a central place for logic. Calculation views:  Can perform complex calculations not possible with other views  Can be graphical views or scripted views depending on how they are created o Graphical views can be modeled using the graphical modeling features of the SAP HANA Modeler.

Analytic views are used to model data that includes measures. For example. as well as Creating SAP HANA Information Views. and Information Management magazine. and ETL concepts. . because performance can degrade with extremely large datasets. This is especially true when lots of projections are used for extensive transformations. and tuning. Use Analytic Views extensively for the incredible performance! It is best to only have one transactional table per analytic view. price. Calculation Views are powerful but use wisely. Don speaks globally and mentors on information management. Don has also authored numerous articles for publications such as SAPinsider magazine. logical and physical data modeling.loden@protiviti. I’ll discuss Real-Time centric design versus Storage Heavy Design. data quality. He authored the book SAP Information Steward: Monitoring Data in Real Time and is the co-author of two books: Implementing SAP HANA. development. governance. you can read more about modeling techniques in my article Mastering SAP HANA Data Modeling for Maximum Performance.com twitter: @DonLoden Don Loden is an information management and information governance professional with experience in multiple verticals. Don Loden. information governance. and quality. transactional fact table representing sales order history would include measures for quantity. Tech Target. and mentoring on data warehouse. He is an SAP-certified application associate on SAP EIM products. He has more than 15 years of information technology experience in the following areas: ETL architecture. What’s Next In the next blog post. Director Protiviti don. Until then. and so on.