A BW consultant and developer are one in the same. The consultant however, works with many clients implementing solutions based on their past experiences. Consultants generally know what questions to ask in order to reach an optimal solution for the client, while developers await instructions from consultants. Let’s take a more detailed look at each job role.
Development within SAP BW is primarily back end object creation. This development and modeling make up where data will eventually be stored. Think of a BW developer in the same light as a housing developer that builds a neighborhood. The neighborhood is a structure that will soon be filled with occupants. The same goes for the SAP Business Warehouse. The BW environment is made up of sets of tables and the objects you create. The objects in BW (DSO, InfoCube, etc…) are the front end representation of how the data is stored within the database. These structures are empty until loaded, much like how new housing developments are empty until occupants move in.
Every BW consultant starts out as a developer. Skills that make a successful consultant…I would say being skilled in architecture and interviewing clients to design an optimized solution based around the business need. Architecture is important as you want to streamline your design to avoid redundancy and potential performance issues. Ensure that your design takes into account the future data growth as this is often overlooked. We have seen clients with InfoCubes filled with billions of records that have been rendered useless because their gargantuan size has made loading and reporting almost impossible.
Communication is key when it comes to client interactions. You need to find a balance between what you bring to the table and what the client actually is looking for. Unfortunately, this means that sometimes the best solutions are often overlooked, regardless of whether or not its the right thing to do.
You must always remain flexible and willing to work on projects that may be unfavorable. This kind of project diversity makes you increasingly more well-rounded of a consultant and ready to take on new tasks being better prepared.