This is the first in what I hope are several blog posts regarding my experiences with SAP Analytics Cloud.
I am heavily involved with two product features of SAP Analytics Cloud: Business Intelligence, and Digital Boardroom. More to come on Digital Boardroom in a future post.
We have several initiatives underway to create what we consider next generation analytics solutions on top of SAP Analytics Cloud. We have invested considerably in the past few years to create standard, single source of truth data models in SAP HANA. This includes highly transactional data, combining budgets and forecasts, and reporting on it in real-time.
With SAP Analytics Cloud, we retain that investment, and can directly connect using Live Data Connection to our SAP HANA systems and begin creating stories in a matter of minutes. There is a lightweight semantic layer, or model, sitting on top which allows for the ability to create calculations, similarly how you would in other semantic tools.
I can also define features for these calculations, such as:
Creating stories is easy and fast. Since I have a well-defined data model, with a user-friendly semantic layer (either defined in HANA or in SAP Analytics Cloud), I can create a story in just a few minutes.
I took a HANA-based sales forecast model and created a full top-down view, with drill support, various charts, KPIs and thresholds, in less than 30 minutes. I could easily save and share with colleagues to get immediate feedback on content and design.
The value proposition for me and my customers, is that I can connect in real-time to my transactional models, and using the power of SAP HANA and SAP Analytics Cloud, create compelling visualizations using charts, with built in targets, and thresholds. This allows me to get meaningful interpretations of data in-front of executives, and allow the data to tell the story. An additional value proposition is that I can add multiple data models into the same story, which elevates the level of insights.
Those of us in BI have used many tools over the years to provide the most meaningful report possible. What sets SAP Analytics Cloud apart for me, is how rapidly I can build a story and push it into productive use, all while adding more value, by way of compelling visualizations and insights.
All the charts can be interacted with either in unison, or individually. Meaning, if there is a dimension or value you want to investigate, just click on it. The chart will update, or if you want, you can have supporting charts update as well. If you have a hierarchy, that is even better and you and drill away.
Give it a Try
- Take a test dive so you can get a feel for what the user experience is all about.
- Stay informed of SAP Analytics Cloud releases. They are coming almost every 2 weeks.
On my next blog, I will dive into some of my favorite features. Let me know if you have any questions.