Qlik makes pulling data from SAP applications simpler


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Qlik, a provider of data integration and analytics software, this week announced it has made it easier to pull data from SAP applications using a set of accelerators optimized for specific business processes.

The first in what will become a series of accelerators is focused on SAP Order to Cash analytics. The accelerators combine data integration and analytics software from Qlik to reduce the time and effort required to surface insights from specific processes within an SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) application.

The overall goal is to make it simpler to pull data from any SAP application into the data warehouse of their choice, said Matt Hayes, vice president of SAP Business at Qlik.

While SAP currently provides connectors to those databases, its primary focus is on moving data from its applications to a data warehouse based on the SAP HANA database, Hayes said. In contrast, a set of more agnostic connectors provided by Qlik makes it easier to pull data from an SAP application into data lakes provided by, for example, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, Google, or Snowflake, added Hayes. He asserted that Qlik data integration software enables real-time delivery of SAP data from any source to any target.

The focus on data integration and analytics within enterprise IT environments has never been greater. Due to the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, business leaders are trying to optimize in real time a wide range of processes. Achieving that goal requires increases reliance on analytics applications that are only as useful as the most recent data collected.

As organizations launch various digital business transformation initiatives, many of them are discovering they need to be able to pull data from SAP applications that function as systems of record in the enterprise. The challenge has always been that data from an SAP application has to then be normalized alongside other data to enable end users to surface insight from data created using multiple applications. Many organizations are now investing in data warehouses in the cloud to collect massive amounts of data that can be accessed more easily by a range of analytics applications.

Qlik is making a case for a Qlik Sense analytics application that runs in memory to make it easier to surface insights in near real time as data is continuously pulled from various sources. “You never have to refresh the data,” Hayes said.

However, IT teams can employ the data integration software Qlik provides without having to adopt Qlik Sense. This week Qlik revealed it has developed a unified connector based on SAP BEx/InfoProvider joint connectivity and SAP SQL connector software to streamline the process of pulling data from any SAP application into the Qlik Sense Enterprise edition of its analytics software.

SAP has never been especially focused on making it simpler to pull data from its applications and databases. The company has its own portfolio of analytics applications that are tightly integrated with its data warehouse and associated data virtualization tools. However, many organizations have standardized on a wide range of applications that are employed to analyze data aggregated from multiple data sources. Many of the users of those applications want to be able to access data without IT intervention, Hayes noted. Most IT teams are inclined to enable that access so long as the integration and analytics software employed doesn’t have a material impact on the performance of the SAP applications they are running, added Hayes.

Qlik minimizes that impact by identifying what subset of data in an SAP application is actually new versus constantly pulling all the data in an SAP application into an analytics application, said Hayes.


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