For the first release of 2018, the SAP Analytics Cloud team is delivering what I consider huge advancements forward in SAP Analytics Cloud. You can read the full blog post here, but I will discuss four features below, which have a significant impact on improving my team’s ability to deliver analytics for our customers.
With Wave 2018.01 and HANA 122.14, the following are possible:
- Data blending with a live data connection
- This allows joins between two HANA models from the same HANA instance!
- Advanced Story Calculations for Live HANA Models
- Avg, Count, Min/Max aggregations, plus count dimensions
- Time period calculations, such as YoY, YTD, etc.
- Variance Support for live HANA Models
- This further enriches charts by allowing for time, period and measure variances in charts.
- Threshold based in comparison to another measure
- This provides for complex thresholds our business has requested, instead of using hard-coded values.
Why do I point to these specific features? For a few reasons. First, the ability to blend (aka join) two HANA views together may seem like a simple feature, but this gives us the ability to do some joining in the story layer, and use the combined results in the same chart. This is another commitment that the team is listening to customers to improve the product, and give the user greater flexibility to tell their story. For me, this will reduce our need to build additional HANA models, which improves reusability.
Second, the additional aggregations, plus dynamic time period support, further improves the ability to build multiple charts using the same data source (or in my case HANA view) and provide a variety of time-based visualizations, with less maintenance. Before, I was having to either manually switch the time filters, or maintain calculated objects in the HANA view, which can be expensive, depending on the way time is stored in your data.
Last, variance support and improved thresholds both add richness to charts, so that analysis can be conducted with context. This further reinforces the idea that if we make the tool intuitive, and simple, the data becomes the show, which I think we can all agree is a good thing.
Stay informed of SAP Analytics Cloud releases. They are coming almost every 2 weeks.