SAP offers a lot of free online courses (MOOC’s) through its openSAP platform. The cool thing is that you can work on them your own computer, wherever and whenever you want. They already have a nice range of BI related courses, about SAP HANA, BI4 and BW on HANA. More will be added in the future. All information is open and SAP even gives you access to a demo environment and tools.
I just finished the BI Clients and Applications on SAP HANA course that ran in Q4 of 2014. I really like the idea of openSAP, but there is still a lot of room for improvement:
- It’s hard to anticipate on what exact content is discussed in the videos. When I start a video I also scan through the presentation PDF to get an idea of the content and the (prerequisite) knowledge level. But, you could miss some good tips that are discussed but are not on the slides.
- There are transcripts of the spoken text, but they are not indexed or tagged.
- Basically it is a problem that the course video, slides and transcripts are now three separate files, while it would be handy if they were connected. So if I wanted to skip to a certain slide, or a part of the transcript, I would want to just click on that and the video should continue there.
- The hands-on demos are good. Most of the times I prefer the demo over the introduction slide ware. For example at the end of the course a demo of the Translation Management Tool was given, which I hadn’t used or even seen before. A few minute demo was enough to fully understand what the purpose and working of this tool was. Let me skip to this.
- Sometimes there was some very 101 level content was given (Crystal Reports is a pixel-perfect blablabla…). Let me skip this, fast.
- Some videos are around 30 minutes, which is too long. Why not split them into short 5 or 10 minute categories, for example:
- Introduction/basic features
- Advanced features
- Practical tips & tricks/best practices
- Hands-on demos
- You can upscale the speed of the videos to 1.5x (or slow it down to 0.7). I think there is room for a super level speed at 2.0x, as in most podcast apps.
- Talking about podcasts, why aren’t the videos offered as a podcast stream? Video and of course also in audio as well. A lot of the topics can be easily listened to in the car, except the hands-on examples of course.
- Why is the course organized in weeks, with assignments at the end of them that have to be finished within 10 days or so at a specific date? I haven’t been able to make most of these assignments.
- The self-test questions that you can do after every video have no real purpose. Check for example these bs questions:
You can check the openSAP courses yourself at open.sap.com.