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Getting Familiar with Predictive Analysis to Forecast Expenses

Many moons ago in a previous position as a budget analyst I used SAS in previous position to budget and forecast expenses, including workload.  Yes, this was on the mainframe.  SAS had (still has) great time series analysis functions.

Now I am trying it with Predictive Analysis.  Has SAP made this accessible to non-statistician types like me?  See below.


Figure 1

In Figure 1,  I create a new folder


Figure 2

In Figure 2 create a new Analysis


Figure 3

In Figure 3 I select a .CSV file as a data source


Figure 4

I recommend previewing the data, in case there might be bad characters


Figure 5

Figure 5 execute/run view the visualization


Figure 6

At the prompt, say Yes to the Visualization perspective


Figure 7

Select Adhoc Chart

A familiar interface appears for those using Analysis Office or Design Studio


Figure 8

Open up the Algorithms and select Time Series Exponential Smoothing


Figure 9

Figure 9 select Output Mode, dependent column Expenses, and predict period is 12 months


Figure 10

Figure 10 is the familiar prompt and say Yes


Figure 11

Figure 11 shows the predicted expense values


Figure 12

Figure 12 shows to write the forecast results out to a file

Overall I found this easy to use and I am not a statistician.  First I want to thank the many people who helped me including SAP’s Scott Leaver, Vishwanath Belur , and fellow Mentors/IBMers Vijay Vijayasankar  and   Tomas Krojzl

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  • Hi Tammy,

    nice overview, but i was wondering how it compares to what you have done in SAS. we all know that “there are lies, damn lies, and then there’s statistics”, but have you ever seen statistics used for financial statements?



    • I am only comparing it to the budgeting side where in a previous position we used SAS time series analysis to forecast expenses.

      Also in a previous position we manually programmed SAS financial ratios; things have changed a great deal in that area. 

      I still remember the SAS statements


  • Hi Tammy,

    Thanks for sharing all your try-outs/demos of new products with the community, and doing it in great style too!

    This one certainly looks like a nice solution. Would love to get my hands on it 🙂 .

    Cheers, Fred

  • Hi Tammy,

    I’m making myself familiar with HANA Studio and Predictive Analysis at the moment.

    If I understand correctly one has to manually select the forecasting algorithm (both in P.A. as well as in HANA Studio). Is that correct?

    If so I don’t really understand it. Shouldn’t P.A. be so smart to automatically pick the best forecasting algorithm for the given data set? Or at least suggest one?

    Thanks, Christian