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As a part of the BI Brainz Think Tank, we were tasked with converting 10 Fortune 500 data visualizations into SAP Cloud Analytics. I was asked to show up to Las Vegas with an enterprise data visualization built in a tool I had never seen or used (Cloud Analytics) for our booth display at SAP Insider BI2016. You may find yourself in a similar situation, but you’ll have to deliver to your users instead. Based on this very daunting experience, below is a list of my first impressions of SAP Cloud Analytics and what you should expect…

 

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If you want to gain a step by step technical tutorial then check out my previous post: “10 Tips on How I Executed my first SAP Cloud for Analytics Data Visualization”.

 

 

The Learning Curve is NOT steep

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Prior to building my first Cloud Analytics dashboard, I had never seen the tool before. Upon launching it on my desktop, I was greeted with a friendly interface. All menu options were clear and easy to find. When you get started you are guided by visual prompts.

 

The actual data visualization building process is simple. Tasks like importing data models are straight forward, the most difficult part being setting up the Excel sheet for consumption by the Cloud Analytics data modeler. Adding and manipulating charts proved to be easy. In general, if you’re coming from a data visualization tool that requires coding you will breathe a sigh of relief.

 

Surprised with the Modern Chart Selection for an SAP tool

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When using a new enterprise data visualization tool, hacking is usually required to get your desired look and feel. Cloud Analytics quelled this issue by partnering with Hichert to provide a clear set of preset charts available directly in the tool. The charts are categorized into sections to make the selection process easier for you.

 

In the future I hope to see gauges, alerts, and more numeric formatting options. These simple additions would make the tool more complete from a visualization standpoint.

 

I Did NOT have to yell at my Computer

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It’s the truth. When using clunky self-service BI tools one can get a bit emotional when files disappear, or functions don’t work. Thank goodness, my experience with Cloud Analytics has been fairly smooth so far, performance wise. The tool is still new in its production, so there were a few hiccups with the Data Modeler when importing data. The good news is that SAP support was quick so I was never down for long. They assured us that most of these minor issues will be fixed leading up to the full production release.

 

 

You don’t have to be technical to use it

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Minor technical knowledge is required. If you plan to connect your data from HANA or BW it’s fairly simple. The tool is created so users can build quickly and efficiently. This leaves more time to explore and visualize the data.

 

For those looking to get started quickly, I recommend reading through my first blog post: “10 Tips on How I Executed my first SAP Cloud for Analytics Data Visualization”.

 

I’d love to hear your experiences and what you want to see in Cloud Analytics. If this was helpful, let me know what else you’d like me to cover in future blogs.

Look out for my next blog post: BIDF + SAP Cloud Analytics is Better Together’

You may also follow my live journey on twitter @dariusknott using the #BIBAcademy hashtag!

 

 

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