What is SAP Analytics Cloud?
SAP Analytics Cloud is a single cloud solution that allows business users to discover, analyze, plan, predict, and collaborate all in one place. Combining business intelligence, augmented analytics, financial planning, and predictive forecasting, SAP Analytics Cloud is designed to meet all your data visualization and planning needs in one solution.
The Fundamental Components of SAP Analytics Cloud
SAP Analytics Cloud centers around three fundamental components: data, models, and stories. Understanding these fundamental components will help you navigate through SAP Analytics Cloud, allowing you to get the most out of the program.
SAP Analytics Cloud is built on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, empowering both planning and business intelligence users to connect, prepare, and leverage data from a wide range of sources. For instance, you can import your data from spreadsheets, on-premise databases, cloud databases, or all three. To explore your data connection options, visit our Data Connections page.
Once your data is connected, you can start modeling your data. Models can be used for both analytic and planning purposes.
Analytic models allow you to clean and prepare your data for creating a story. Using machine learning technology, SAP Analytics Cloud automatically cleans your data and can detect possible data errors during the modeling stage. The program can also deduce whether or not a column of numeric values is a measure or dimension.
Other noteworthy modeling features include:
- Defining and organizing measures and dimensions,
- Splitting and combining columns,
- Creating calculations and formulas,
- Adding hierarchal relationships,
- and geo enriching your data.
For planning, you will have access to additional modeling features that will provide you with even more control over your data. A few stand-out modeling features include:
- Advanced Data Entry capabilities: SAP Analytics Cloud provides a user-friendly data entry table enabling you to seamlessly model your data. You can enter relative or absolute values into individual cells and copy cell values within the data entry table. You can also plan at any level of a hierarchy and the data will automatically roll down to the lowest level. If you need to adjust proportions between members or reallocate your marketing spend, SAP Analytics Cloud contains Spreading, Distributing, and Assigning features.
- Version Management: To understand how different financial plans relate to one another, SAP Analytics Cloud Planning contains a Version Management panel. This panel allows you to create and copy different versions of your data.
- Data Actions: Data actions allow you to make structured changes to model data, including copying your data from one model to another. You can use data actions to model sequences of copy-paste operations, allocation steps, and scripted calculations.
To learn more about how to create models on SAP Analytics Cloud, check out Introduction to Data Models.
After creating a model, you can further enrich your data by creating a story. Stories allow you to explore and visualize your data in the form of charts, tables, geo maps, and other visual elements.
Using machine learning technology, SAP Analytics Cloud’s provides many augmented analytics features such as:
- Search to Insight: With Search to Insight, you can ask SAP Analytics Cloud conversational questions regarding your data, instantly providing you with the information you need.
- Smart Insights: The Smart Insights panel is one feature that you do not want to miss. Using machine learning technology, this feature automatically provides insights to help you understand your data. With the Smart Insights panel, you can drill through insights and find the ones that are meaningful for your business.
- Smart Discovery: Explore and simulate hidden relationships and structures with Smart Discovery. This feature uses machine learning to identify the key influences of a selected measure or dimension, enabling you to further explore your data and uncover valuable insights.
- R-Visualizations: Enhance your SAP Analytics Cloud story by visualizing with no limitations. The enhancements of interactive R-Visualizations leverage machine learning and statistical capabilities to strengthen your data analysis.
For stories based on planning models, there are a variety of key features that will help you effectively execute your planning initiatives:
- Currency Conversion Tables: SAP Analytics Cloud Planning contains Currency Conversion features where you can view your data in different currencies, apply a different set of exchange rates, and analyze multiple exchange rate scenarios side-by-side. To learn how to create a currency conversion table, click here.
- Value Driver Trees: By linking different nodes together in a directed graph, the Value Driver Tree tool allows you to visualize the relationships between drivers and top-line metrics. This feature can help you book values to drivers and inputs, visualize the flow of value through the accounts, and see the overall impact on KPIs in the later years. Follow this guided playlist to learn how to create a value driver tree.
- Predictive Forecasts: Using a time-series algorithm, SAP Analytics Cloud’s predictive forecasting predicts how values are going to trend based on historical data. For an unbiased understanding of your key business influencers, create a predictive forecast to gain deeper insights into your data. Check out this article to learn more about Predictive Forecasts.
In SAP Analytics Cloud, all your stories can be shared with other users and compiled into an SAP Digital Boardroom agenda to present to major stakeholders. You can further support your analytic and planning initiatives through conducting online discussions, sharing files, and generating tasks.
It’s time to put these features to use and start gaining meaningful business insights
As highlighted throughout this article, SAP Analytic Cloud contains data, modeling, and story functionalities that were designed to meet both your business intelligence and planning needs. From flexible data connections to machine learning smart features, SAP Analytics Cloud helps your business confidently make informed data-driven decisions. To learn how to use SAP Analytics Cloud, check out our “Getting Started with SAP Analytics Cloud” guided playlist, here.