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Product Update

Q4 2020

This blog covers the new features and enhancements in the SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP Digital Boardroom Q4 2020 Release.

Please note that the Analytics Cloud Help documentation is updated at the same time as the upgrade to this release, so the links here may not yet reflect what is described below until after the upgrade is complete.

Make sure to Upgrade your SAP Analytics Cloud agent to the latest agent version 1.0.297 to take advantage of all the data acquisition types.

These are the data acquisition minimum requirements:

  • Version 1.0.99 for SAP ERP / SQL databases
  • Version 1.0.235 for SAP HANA view
  • Version 1.0.91 for SAP Universe (UNX)
  • Version 1.0.233 for SAP Business Warehouse (BW)
  • Version 1.0.75 for all other data source types

For more information, see the SAP Analytics Cloud System Requirements and Technical Prerequisites.

SAP Analytics Cloud fully supports Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome for all activities and areas of SAP Analytics Cloud including viewing, authoring and administration.

Top 5 Updates from What's New QRC 4 2020:

The features listed in the highlights section are the top feature enhancements in Q4 2020.

 

QRC 4 2020 Feature Updates:

While the highlights section pointed out our most noteworthy new features and enhancements, this quarter saw several additional updates. To view them in detail, please refer to the list below. If you’re looking to get even more information on these features, please visit the help documentation here.

 

Top 5 Updates from What’s New QRC 4 2020:

Planning

Financial Analytics Dashboard

SAP Analytics Cloud’s latest Financial Analytics Dashboard is a flexible, cross-application analytics solution that enables a company’s CFO to monitor and act on the most critical business metrics, while improving their company’s overall performance. Through access to key performance indicators such as P&L, balance sheets, cash flow, and people analytics, a CFO is granted the ability to make strong decisions with confidence.

This is all achieved by bringing together data from applications such as SAP S/4HANA, SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, and SAP SuccessFactors to help key players get the full picture when it comes to their company’s health.

What-If Analysis

SAP Analytics Cloud users can now quickly simulate different scenarios by creating private simulations on data uploaded from Excel. Basic simulation features such as entering values, copying and pasting, and undoing or redoing changes are available. This allows you to simulate the impact of different strategic changes on business outcomes so you can gain valuable insights on the fly.

Data Action Nesting and Monitoring

In SAP Analytics Cloud for planning, embedded data action steps are now available. With one simple click, you will be able to add an entire data action as a step within another Data Action. This simplifies the overall design and administration of Data Actions, while also streamlining the end user experience by allowing them to run a series of Data Actions with a single click. Creating your plans has never been quicker.

After running data actions in a story, analytic application, or scheduling data actions using the Calendar, you’ll now be able to monitor and manage your data actions on the new Data Action Monitor page—providing greater visibility to task owners. The Data Action Monitor will provide updates on:

  • Current status of executed/scheduled data action
  • Timing of when a data action was triggered
  • Use who triggered the data action
  • Which object the data action was triggered from (e.g. specific story)

Analytics Designer

Mobile iOS Integration

This next capability is an exciting one! End-users are now able to use the SAP Analytics Cloud mobile iOS app to list, view, and interact with the analytic applications that were created by their analytics designers.

Smart Assist

Smart Insights Enhancements

Efficiently find the answers to your business questions with this new Smart Insights enhancement. Smart Insights will now find more meaningful insights on your hierarchical data by basing the analysis on the most interesting level of your dimension hierarchy, opposed to solely using the leaf node level. Details of your dimension hierarchy will also be displayed when you hover over a selected dimension member in the Smart Insights panel, or in the Dynamic Insight text.

Furthermore, to use Smart Insights against a Live HANA data source, users can implement advanced features in a one-time only step. From then onward, users can effortlessly discover new insights on the fly. For all HANA permissions, each filter added by a user is considered when generating insights, so information is tailored to their respective workflows. When we use a Live HANA source, we can therefore be confident that we are getting the latest insight every time.

 

QRC 4 2020 Feature Updates:

Administration & Infrastructure

Extended Translate Support for Content Catalog

With SAP Analytics Cloud, we are always striving towards universal accessibility. For content published to the Analytics Content Catalog, you can now translate third-party link names, content filter names, and member names in your stories and analytics applications. This means you can search for, view and consume content in your preferred language.

Filter Content Packages Based on the Lines of Business or Industries in the Content Network

SAP Analytics Cloud’s Content Network provides various premade analytic dashboards, stories, and data models for a variety of analytic scenarios related to various industries and lines of businesses. With this new update, you can now easily and quickly find content by applying filters to your search. Content publishers can add filters to the content packages from a set of available options.

Analytics Designer

Pattern-based Functions to Create String-based Functions

As an application designer, you can now use pattern-based functions to create string-based functions by providing only input and output examples instead of writing script code. By leveraging machine learning to automatically generate string-based functions, this new enhancement makes it more convenient to generate string-based functions without coding.

Exporting Data to PDF

Have you ever wanted to convert your table data to a PDF file? Well, your wishes have been granted because Data Analyzers can now export data from tables in the form of a PDF file. You will also be able to configure the following for the exported PDF document:

  • Scope Selection
  • Page Orientation
  • Appendix and Page Size

Value Driver Tree Widget

As an analytic application user,  you can now use the Value Driver Tree widget for a variety of budgeting and forecasting scenarios. Analytics Designer provides the following API script:

The Value Driver Tree widget is a tool that you can use to connect areas of your business and run “what if” scenarios so you can make informed data-driven decisions.

Export Entire Table as PDF with Analytics Designer

Have you ever wanted to convert your table to a PDF file? Well, your wishes have been granted. Analytic application users can  export their full table as PDF or together with other widgets during the application PDF exporting and scheduling process. Analytics Designer provides the following script API to enable the exporting to PDF capabilities:

Viewing Custom Messages of Scheduled Tasks

As an analytic application user, you can now view user-defined warning and error messages of your scheduled publication tasks in the Calendar, using the available script API: Scheduling.logMessage(messageType, messageText).

Switch Widget

Application designers can now design a switch widget to allow application users to tap the switch and change the state to “on” or “off,” providing a more user-friendly experience. The application developer can configure the following properties:

  • Background color
  • Button handle color
  • Boarder color
  • Size, position


Provided script API:

Sending Notification to the SAP Analytics Cloud Mobile iOS App

For all you Application Designers, we’ve enhanced the Notification API. Now, SAP Analytics Cloud iOS App users can now receive notifications in their analytic applications.

Provided script API:

Filter Line Working with Multiple Widgets

As an application designer, you can now define a filter line for a group of widgets. Application users can then filter members for multiple widgets at once. The filters defined in the filter line will be merged with the filters applied to the same dimensions in these widgets.

Option to Always Initialize Widgets on Startup

As an application designer, when your application has background loading, you can now use the widget action “Always initialize on startup” to optimize the startup performance of your analytic application. This allows you, for example, to access widgets that are used in the onInitialization script without the need to wait for these widgets to be initialized in the background.

Flow Panel for Responsive Layout

As an application designer, you can now add a flow panel to your applications. The flow panel allows you to display content in a flow layout, which automatically adjusts size to different devices—enabling you to easily create responsive scenarios without any coding efforts.

CSS-like Theme

As an application designer, you can now define multiple CSS class styles either as a global default or per widget. The styles conform to CSS standard and are no longer limited to the existing styling properties provided by Analytics Designer.

PauseRefresh Script API

Application designers can now use the PauseRefresh API to allow application users to pause the refresh of tables or charts until the user has completed corresponding actions or necessary initial loading activities. This can improve the efficiency of retrieving and updating a table or chart when running an application.

Data Change Insights to support Remote Repository Schema (Beta)

You can now configure where to store your Data Change Insights snapshots. The storage place is the local tenant by default. If you are a live data connection user and want to save data changes to your own HANA system, you can also choose any other remote data repository that you configured in Data Repositories.

Select Data Source Dialog

At application runtime, users can now open the Data Source Dialog to change the underlying data model for table widgets—allowing you to easily and quickly switch to a different data model when running your applications.

Open the Data Source Selection Dialog via the script API:
Set data model via the script API:

Integration with SAP Analytics Cloud Mobile iOS App

This next capability is an exciting one! End-users are now able to use the SAP Analytics Cloud mobile iOS app to list, view, and interact with the analytic applications that were created by their analytics designers.

Data Integration

Make an Embedded Dataset Public

With this new update, you will now be able to convert an embedded dataset into a public dataset in SAP Analytics Cloud. This new feature allows other users to utilize the embedded data throughout different stories.

Support Live Connection from SAP Analytics Cloud to SAP HANA Cloud

We have an exciting announcement! You can now work with live SAP HANA Cloud data in SAP Analytics Cloud. By connecting to SAP HANA Cloud, you can quickly connect to your data in real-time, so your organization can develop powerful applications, leverage advance analytics, and therefore make strategic business decisions. For more information, including limitations, see Live Data Connection to SAP HANA Cloud.

 

Deduplication Transform

We understand that data wrangling can be a tedious process. With SAP Analytics Cloud, one of our main objectives is to alleviate some of the common challenges that accompany the data wrangling process. That is why we are excited to introduce the new Remove duplicate rows transform. This feature allows you to remove all duplicate rows across all columns in a dataset. Once you’ve deleted the duplicate rows from the sample, you’ll be able to see the total number of rows that were removed. Preparing your data is now easier than ever.

Live Connectivity from SAP Analytics Cloud to SAP HANA Cloud

Did someone say simplification? Yes, you heard right! We have simplified the connection setup to SAP HANA Cloud. SAP Analytics Cloud users with Cloud Foundry tenants can now connect to live data from SAP HANA Cloud using SSO or basic authentication, without needing to set up the SAP HANA Analytics Adapter. This new enhancement allows you to quickly connect to the product in a matter of minutes—saving you time and effort!

Ability to Set Aggregation Type for a Measure in the Dataset

From the dataset overview panel in Smart Wrangling, you will now be able to define default aggregation behavior—including SUM, COUNT, NONE—for your measures, so that you don’t have to create a calculation for standard aggregation behavior in your story. Here are the following options. This feature overall saves you from having to create calculated measures for aggregation in every story.

RowNumber() Function Added in the Custom Editor

In SAP Analytics Cloud, you can create a new Custom Expression to add a unique row number to each row of your dataset, which can then be used to see individual measures instead of aggregated ones in your story. This update provides a quicker way to uniquely identify rows of a dataset, making this particularly helpful for creating aggregations.
Note: It’s not guaranteed that a given row will have the same number for the sample, the full data, or between data refreshes.

Live Data Connect 3.1 for SAP Business Objects

Available with SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2 SP7+ and BI 4.3, SAP Analytics Cloud users can now perform live data connections to SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence document data models. Leveraging on-premise SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence document data from SAP Analytics Cloud enables you to reuse extensive calculations, solve complex queries, and merge data providers to inform a more agile business intelligence process.

Data Visualization

Refresh Indicator Enhancement

When you refresh a story or use story/page filters, you now have a more visible indication for the table refresh similar to charts that are being refreshed, removing confusion and providing greater clarity regarding the refresh status of your data.

Suppress Zeros and Nulls

With this new update, you can now suppress zeros and nulls on SAP BW tables and charts within your story. In SAP Analytics Cloud, the Zero Suppression feature makes it easier to extract meaning from data as it allows you to remove redundant or invaluable data.

Statistical Aggregations in BI Calculations: Median and Quartile Formulas

You can now create statistical aggregations that will calculate the median values and the first or third quartile values in your stories. These formulas allow you to understand the distribution of your measure values and create valuable business insights. For example, you can use this enhancement to understand the distribution of your employee salaries, identify larger outlier order values or create customer spending groups based on quartiles. Note that this new capability is only supported for models based on acquired or live HANA Connections.

Simulation for Agile BI

SAP Analytics Cloud users can now quickly simulate different scenarios by creating private simulations on data uploaded from Excel. Basic simulation features such as entering values, copying and pasting, and undoing or redoing changes are available. This allows you to simulate the impact of different strategic changes on business outcomes so you can gain valuable insights on the fly.

Reorder Dimension Facets in Explorer

Good news for users who use SAC Explorer. You can now set your own custom order of the dimension facets for exploration. Your custom facet order will be stored with the Exploration view when saving your story or bookmarking. Custom order of facets makes exploration and ad-hoc analysis easier and more convenient by allowing you to curate the default facet order in your views compared to choosing certain dimension facets every time from a long list of dimension facets.

Duplicate BI Story Calculated Measures/Dimensions

As a Story creator, you will now be able to duplicate calculated measures, calculated dimensions, and cross calculations, in the stories which will help in reducing your time spent on creating calculations and increase productivity.  For example, you can now use an existing or newly created restricted calculation for Sales Revenue in the year 2019, duplicate it, and then change the time restriction to 2018 to create Sales Revenue for the year 2018 and quickly compare the company’s performance over two years.

Note: Only Calculations will be duplicated but not the input controls.

Replace Model Behind Story for Acquired Models

You can now replace any acquired model in your story with another acquired model that has additional measures and dimensions, alongside the original measures and dimensions—providing you with more flexibility when it comes to repointing models. Replacing the model preserves the configuration of all widgets in your story.

Suppress Zeros and Nulls on Charts for live HANA Models

With this new update, you can now suppress zeros and nulls on charts based on acquired HANA models and live HANA Models. In SAP Analytics Cloud, the Zero Suppression feature makes it easier to extract meaning from data as it allows you to remove redundant or invaluable data.

Automatic Format for Decimal Places in BI Charts and Geo Widgets

In SAP Analytics Cloud, you will now see the option “automatic” under Decimal Places in the Styling panel. With this new option, the scale will automatically update with a minimum of three decimal places for Charts and Geo maps.

Choropleth Layer Support with Live HANA Cloud Connection

SAP HANA Cloud users can now view and utilize choropleth layers in geo maps. Please note that, in order to correctly set up the spatial files within the SAP HANA Cloud instance with synonyms within the administrative page, sysAdmin is required. Synonyms are required for Live HANA Cloud. While Live HANA customers will be able to set up geo choropleth synonyms with this new enhancement, synonyms are only supported for Live HANA 2.00.024.09 + customers.

Mobile

New Optimized Story View for SAP Analytics Cloud Mobile on iOS

It isn’t a well-kept secret that we all want fast loading times when using any mobile application. This next feature will help with just that in our SAP Analytics Cloud iOS app. You can now leverage the new Optimized View in your mobile-enabled stories, to enable faster loading times.
Please refer to this guide to learn about specific limitations.

Disable Mobile Cache for Enhanced Security

Security is always top of mind when developing SAP Analytics Cloud. For the SAP Analytics Cloud iOS app, administrators can now disable the cache for app users to prevent offline access, adding an extra layer of security.

China Cyber Security (CCSL) Compliance for SAP Analytics Cloud Mobile

The iOS and Android mobile apps are now compliant with the China Cyber Security Law (CCSL). This applies only in the following usage scenarios:

  • The device language is set to Chinese.
  • The device is set to China Standard Time (CST).

For more information, see Downloading and Setting Up the Mobile App.

Modeling

Add or Remove Dimensions from a Model with Existing Artifacts

This next enhancement will help you simplify model maintenance.  For models with private versions, you can now add or remove dimensions. Upon deleting dimensions, a warning message will let you know what dependencies will be impacted.

User and Teams Validation

This next enhancement helps speed up the loading times of your models in SAP Analytics Cloud. When opening or saving a model, a user validation is triggered. This feature allows you to easily detect and un-assign missing or invalid users with data access and rights on dimensions linked to your model.

Planning

Copy and Paste Values in a Table with an Advanced Filter

In SAP Analytics Cloud for planning, you can now copy and paste values in a table where Advanced Filters are enabled. This includes copying underlying values where the target cells are already booked or pasting a value without weighting where the target cells do not have pre-existing values.

Embedded Data Action Steps

In SAP Analytics Cloud for planning,  embedded data action steps are now available. With one simple click, you will be able to add an entire data action as a step within another Data Action. This simplifies the overall design and administration of Data Actions, while also streamlining the end user experience by allowing them to run a series of Data Actions with a single click. Creating your plans has never been quicker.

Validation Warnings

Accuracy is key during the planning process. With this new enhancement, you’ll be able to mitigate any potential errors when entering plan values. In tables, unbooked data cells will now be proactively disabled for data entry if they are invalid according to the validation rules of the underlying model. A grey dash character (-) indicates that you can’t enter data, providing you with guidance to plan on valid member combinations.

New Enhancements to the Calendar with the List View

Collaboration is a huge part of the planning and analysis process. That’s why we are introducing the “List View.” Now, you can monitor and manage your calendar events with greater efficiency with “List View.” You can now easily toggle between List, calendar, and Gantt chart to provide an overview of your planning processes.

Create Rules and Dimensions Relationships with Greater Flexibility

You can now create rules and dimension relationships directly in the rule builder without the need for attributes. With this new enhancement, you now have the benefit of referencing parents directly as part of the rule and the ability to apply to all decedents.

Support New Time Function “LAST”

When writing advanced formulas scripts in a Data Action, you can now use the new function LAST() to retrieve the last time period of the year taken from the given date argument. The other two-time scope selection functions FIRST() and PREYEARLAST() have been enhanced as well to support returning a time period of the year taken from a given date argument. The date argument can be a date type dimension, a dimension attribute, a fixed date, a single selection of an external parameter, or TODAY().

ATTRIBUTE Function Without RESULTLOOKUP

When writing advanced formulas scripts in a data action, now you can use the ATTRIBUTE function together with IF condition; for example, “IF ATTRIBUTE([d/Employee].[p/HRGrade]) > 25 THEN”. Also, you can use the ATTRIBUTE function standalone for the number variable assignment, without needing to include RESULTLOOKUP as part of the calculation. All similar functions that return numeric values (I.e. DATEDIFF, DATERATIO, DAYSINMONTH, DAYSINYEAR, DAY, MONTH, YEAR) now have the same behavior.

Monitor Planning Calculations and Processes in One Place

After running data actions in a story, analytic application, or scheduling data actions using the Calendar, you’ll now be able to monitor and manage your data actions on the new Data Action Monitor page—providing greater visibility to task owners. The Data Action Monitor will provide updates on:

  • Current status of executed/scheduled data action
  • Timing of when a data action was triggered
  • Use who triggered the data action
  • Which object the data action was triggered from (e.g. specific story)

Platform Services

Scheduling a Story in PowerPoint File Format

For all you PowerPoint users, you’ll be excited for this next feature. In SAP Analytics Cloud, the PowerPoint presentation, .pptx format, will now be supported as a file type while scheduling a story. This way, you can send your data visualizations in a PowerPoint format, so your end-user can easily integrate the slide in future presentations.

Manage Schedules

In SAP Analytics Cloud, you can now appoint specific users as Schedule Administrators. Schedule Administrators are able to manage all the schedules available on a tenant in the following ways:

  • Delete unwanted schedule created by other users
  • Discontinue certain schedules that are not required anymore
  • Change time of the schedules

Schedule Administrator can Delete any Schedule Within Tenant

To effectively manage and delete unwanted schedules from your tenant to free up scheduling slots, the administrator can now delete the occurrence or recurrence of a schedule. Here, the schedule owner will be notified when a schedule is deleted.

Discontinue and Move Schedule Occurrence or Reoccurrence to Cancelled State

You can now discontinue an occurrence or a series of a schedule. Once you discontinue a scheduled publication, the overall status of the schedule will show “canceled.” This enhancement helps you make room for essential scheduled publications in SAP Analytics Cloud.

Customer SMTP Server Configuration

As an administrator, you can now configure an SMTP server of your choice for email delivery in SAP Analytics Cloud.

Commenting Privileges for Story, Analytic Application, Model, and Folder

In SAP Analytics Cloud, you will now be able to control who can view, add, or delete comments on your stories, analytic applications, and folders while sharing it with your users and teams. This is particularly useful when you are dealing with confidential information.

Smart Assist

Enhancement on Hierarchical Data

Efficiently find the answers to your business questions with this new Smart Insights enhancement. Smart Insights will now find more meaningful insights on your hierarchical data by basing the analysis on the most interesting level of your dimension hierarchy, opposed to solely using the leaf node level. Details of your dimension hierarchy will also be displayed when you hover over a selected dimension member in the Smart Insights panel, or in the Dynamic Insight text.

Improved Search to Insight Autocomplete Suggestions

In SAP Analytics Cloud, we’ve streamlined the search suggestion experience. Now, Search to Insight will automatically group matching measures and dimensions (that are found in multiple models) into the same search suggestion. Additionally, the measures and dimensions that are suggested are now ranked based on the frequency that they are used in Stories.

Chart Interactions in Search to Insight

In SAP Analytics Cloud, you can now directly interact with your search results from Search to Insight. This provides the following benefits:

  • Quickly answer follow up questions. For example, by drilling on a dimension member
  • Efficiently filter or exclude dimension members that aren’t your focus
  • Easily export your search results to Excel

Re-pointing an Acquired “Identical” Model in a Story

Within Data View, you can now replace any acquired model in your story with another acquired model that has the same structure, saving you time and effort. Replacing the model also preserves the configuration of all widgets in your story.

Search to Insight via Home Page Hides Embedded Models

When using Search to Insight, embedded models are now only included in the search scope if the query is initiated from within a story. This will increase your data relevancy by providing more meaningful Search to Insight suggestions.

Display Descriptions in Smart Predict Debrief for Planning Forecasts

In SAP Analytics Cloud, Smart Predict was designed to help you predict future outcomes, so you can make meaningful, data-driven decisions. With this new enhancement, we are making it easier to understand your predictive results from Smart Predict. Now, the information displayed in the Smart Predict debrief will be based on dimension descriptions instead of IDs.

Predictive Planning—Enhancements to Smart Predict

Great news! Using Smart Predict, financial planners can now generate forecasts using the default currency or local currency. This update empowers you to predict and plan the evolution of your financial KPIs expressed in your local currencies.

Add-Ins for Microsoft Office

Highlight Changed Cells in Planning

With SAP Analytics Cloud add-in for Microsoft Office, you can now see which of your cell values are being affected by your data input within your planning models and stories. If your new entered value is successfully processed, the visible values which are affected and changed by this data entry will be highlighted in yellow.

New Features in Add-In for Microsoft Office

Great news! We have a handful of new features for the SAP Analytics Cloud, Add-in for Microsoft Office. These enhancements include:
1.     The ability to log off from your SAP Analytics Cloud Tenant
2.     Removing tables within your workbook
3.     With one click, swapping axis allows you to move all dimensions (including Account / Measure structure) in the Rows axis to the Columns axis and vice versa.

Availability on Windows Desktop App

You’ve asked, and we’ve listened! The SAP Analytics Cloud, Add-in for Microsoft Office will now support your application version of Microsoft Excel on your Windows desktop. Now, you can leverage the best of the Microsoft Excel interface with the planning and analytic benefits of SAP Analytics Cloud right on your Windows desktop application.


SAP's strategy and possible future developments are subject to change and may be changed by SAP at any time for any reason without notice. This document is provided without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. Read more