Tuesday, July 11, 2023

The Semantic Layer & Self-Serve Analytics

In a recent TDWI blog post, “How a Semantic Layer Helps Your Data Teams,” David P. Mariani (CTO, AtScale) says “The semantic layer may be the key to making the self-service data revolution a reality for everyone.” We heartily agree.

Yes, organizations typically have numerous BI & Analytics tools, and it is important that users of these tools have access to appropriate data, but an organization’s Analytics program typically also requires access to many more data sources than tools. A semantic layer is critical to both.

APOS Live Data Gateway simplifies data connectivity and creates a semantic layer for data assets, centralizing data modelling, security, and single sign-on to provide a governed, single version of the truth. It democratizes Analytics by:

  • Extending Analytics live connectivity to non-SAP data assets
  • Enabling self-serve analytics – based on self service data modelling, allowing users to create views on data assets to form a semantic layer
  • Virtualizing connectivity – creating a single, simplified and consistent connection point into the available relational, OLAP, Cloud, and Hadoop data
  • Leveraging the security and governance inherent in the organization’s data assets

The SAP Analytics Cloud Opportunity

SAP Analytics Cloud is the preferred SAP Analytics solution, integrated with its enterprise solutions, which process which process a very large portion of the world’s commerce. In 2022, SAP reported that:

  • SAP customers generate 87% of total global commerce ($46 trillion)
  • 99 of the 100 largest companies in the world are SAP customers
  • 97 of the 100 greenest companies in the world run SAP

Where does the data take us when we ask where the vast majority of transactional data is used for AI, ML, BI, Planning, and Predictive Analytics? It takes us to SAP Analytics Cloud. APOS Live Data Gateway presents an unparalleled opportunity for data system vendors to offer their solutions to organizations running SAP solutions.

APOS Live Data Gateway serves data for consumption by SAP Analytics Cloud through the SAP Native protocol, but can also be consumed via OData, JDBC and ODBC, meaning that most Analytics tools can use it to analyzed curated data. APOS Live Data Gateway also has support for Power BI DirectQuery.

Self-Service Analytics

APOS Live Data Gateway’s Data Preparation Layer provides a simplified semantic layer for business users to easily navigate data and be shielded from the complexities of the underlying data structures.

Data complexities are managed centrally, and end users of the semantic layer can quickly and easily build reports and visualizations, all while strong data control and governance protect against inappropriate data access.

Three types of views can be created on data within the Data Preparation Layer:

  • Semantic Layer View – non-technical users can select tables and fields and joins in APOS Live Data Gateway’s Web UI.
  • Freehand SQL View – technical users can create views based on SQL queries in APOS Live Data Gateway’s Web UI.
  • OLAP View – create a subset of existing measures and dimensions from an OLAP cube data source in APOS Live Data Gateway’s Web UI.

The Fourth “V”

Volume, velocity, variety are known as the three “Vs” of big data, but there is a fourth “V” – Veracity, which reflects the ability to deliver accurate information. Veracity is largely achieved by eliminating data latency through high-performance live data connectivity.

Watch APOS Live Data Gateway providing high-performance live connectivity to a Snowflake data set of 288 billion rows:



Learn more about APOS Live Data Gateway

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