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PA vs HANA PAL

I am a freshly minted HANA application consultant, got certified recently.

I have a question here, please excuse me if it is childish. Why do we need the SAP Predictive Analytics tool when we have the HANA PAL built in to HANA? The HANA PAL also contains all the algorithms which the PA tool has, and seems simpler too for someone with knowledge of SQL scripting. PAL + Lumira can be used in a similar fashion as the PA tool. Finally, why do we need the R algorithms, when SAP's native algorithms do the job just as well (SAP website has a rather prominent disclaimer which says SAP does not provide support for R and is not responsible for any (mistakes?)).

Also, why do we need Lumira to display the raw (or analyzed) data when the PA tool can also do the job? I am confused so please help me. What is the best way to learn SAP PA? Shall I download a free trial of the PA tool and print the online help content (which seems excellent for newbies)? SAP press has a horrendously expensive book on PA...not sure if it's worth the money.

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    Posted on Jun 11, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    I'll try to take away some confusion...

    Why we need Lumira? Well if you have PA, you don't because PA = Lumira + predictive capabilities.

    Why we need PA if we have HANA (PAL)? If you like programming in SQL, you don't... however, if you (or your colleagues or clients) like a (nice) interface, you can use PA.

    Why do we need R algorithms? If you're ok with the 'basic' algorithms delivered in PAL, you'll be fine... but, in reality you may need many more algorithms... in that case, you can access them via R. Mind you, the processing is then done on a separate (non-HANA) server and the results are passed on to HANA.

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