SAP Datasphere has two modeling layers tailored for different user groups: the Data Layer is the area where data engineers create their models with a technical approach, whereas the Business Layer is the area for business users who create their models using a more semantic approach. This allows business users to work independently from data engineers, while still being able to collaborate and share data with them. The collaboration between business users and data engineers changes fundamentally: data engineers can focus on the data consolidation and provisioning, while the business users can optimize the business models.
The IT infrastructure on the Data Layer is usually more volatile than the needs of the business user. The reasons for changes are manifold: system updates, software changes, acquisitions, and so on. All this leads to the fact that the Data Layer changes permanently and needs adjustments. Business definitions on the other hand stay relatively stable. They do not change frequently, for example, the calculation of the KPI margin.
To keep the Business Layer more robust, while continuously modifying the Data Layer, the Business Layer is loosely coupled to the Data Layer. The layers can be mapped and remapped at any point of time. Without the need of modifying the business models themselves, the data models can be upgraded and remapped to the business models.
Key characteristics of separating IT driven modeling from business oriented modeling:
- Enables business users to model their business scenario without knowing the underlying data models
- Self-service modeling for lines of business
- Hides data complexity through using business language and terminology
- One Business Catalog as the central entry point for business definitions independent of the modeling layer
- Build a stable semantic layer for all your consumers
- Flexibly change the underlying Data Layer when needed (that is, changes in storage technology) without disrupting your consumers
The SAP Datasphere Business Builder
The SAP Datasphere Business Builder is the designated tool for modeling the objects of the Business Layer. Business users can define business models in the Business Builder, which are separate from the physical Data Layer. They create their models top down, and map them to the Data Layer. The Business Layer can be used to expose business users to the data fields they need while hiding any data fields that might not be relevant.
SAP Datasphere Business Builder Artifacts
Business users can create different business entities like Dimensions and Analytical Datasets on top of the Data Layer. On top of these models, you can create Fact Models and Consumption Models as a basis for data consumption. On top of Consumption Models, Perspectives have to be defined which serve as an interface to use the data in SAP Analytics Cloud.