SAP Analytics Cloud—What’s New for Financial Planning
SAP Analytics Cloud’s heart beats for its planning capabilities. While SAP Analytics Cloud has strengths in planning, the solution includes a large set of analytics and reporting capabilities as well as integrated predictive features that are easy to use for FP&A professionals and other business planners. For example, users can predict a forecast automatically after a data input or a value change.
With the latest bi-weekly update or, “Wave”, of SAP Analytics Cloud, many planning capabilities were added and fine-tuned. In this blog post, we’ll take a deeper look at SAP Analytics Cloud’s new financial planning and analysis capabilities. With the release of Waves 8-11 we added many new features that strengthen SAP Analytics Cloud’s position as a single decision-making platform that brings together planning, BI, and predictive analytics in one simple cloud.
More Power for Planners
To support the planning power user, we added new functionality to the table component (grid) used in SAP Analytics Cloud Stories (interactive visualizations of data). Within the grid, we have many shortcuts known from Microsoft® Excel available.
With the new custom columns and rows feature, a planner can easily add additional information into the grid using common Microsoft® Excel-like formulas. They can also create customized formulas based on existing data on the grid. Custom cells also support in-cell charts making it easy to create IBCS (International Business Communication Standards) compliant variance reports in seconds.
Integration with SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office (Read and Write)
With the new release of SAP Analysis for Microsoft® Office, there is now support for SAP Analytics Cloud planning models. Planning users can work in their familiar Microsoft® Excel environment and connect directly to SAP Analytics Cloud.
There is full support of SAP Analytics Cloud’s public and private versions with which a Microsoft® Excel User can create powerful planning and reporting worksheets.
Data Actions and Advanced Formulas
With the new Data Actions function, SAP Analytics Cloud adds the possibility to create any necessary action on top of/with your planning data. Data Actions can be used to create and populate a new planning or forecast version, copy data between sections of your model, or create a more complex transformation. A data action can easily be triggered using the “Play Button” inside your story. An SAP Analytics Cloud planning version can be chosen by the end-user or asked for by using value prompts.
Members on the Fly
With Members on the Fly, a planning user can dynamically add new members to a dimension without leaving the planning process or story he/she is in. This is very powerful and often required in project planning or headcount planning where you need new dimension members or you want to plan before they are available in the operating system. The new dimension member is visible immediately and available for data input.
Data Locking and Enhanced Data Access Rights (DAC)
In the forecasting process, multiple planners provide figures for their area of responsibility. The responsibilities are defined by a process controller and enforced by data locking. The new data locking is available for every planning model. “Driving dimensions” define the granularity level on which you can set locks. Each cell can have multiple lock states (open, locked, and restricted). Restricted cells can be edited by special, “Owner” during the planning process.
The lock states can be visualized in the grid/story to indicate the status and give planning users guidance.
Enhanced Calendar and Process Integration
Many organizations are still struggling to control their planning processes such as which process has what planner involved, which datasets are already submitted and approved etc. With the reworked calendar and input task, SAP Analytics Cloud gives full transparency into the planning process.
Integration with SAP S/4HANA Cloud
SAP Analytics Cloud now has deep integration with SAP S/4HANA Cloud providing one financial management suite for planning, analysis, and execution including P&L, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow planning. With the new pre-built content for financial planning and analysis, all required connections to SAP S/4HANA Cloud are automatically created.
Planning data can also be retracted into SAP S/4HANA Cloud. SAP Analytics Cloud planning structures can be filtered and mapped to only export the required data.
The pre-built financial planning and analysis content is available for free in SAP Analytics Cloud’s content library on each customer tenant.
Integration continues to be key for the planning development team. In addition to improved SAP S/4 HANA Cloud integration, we plan to deliver live connectivity to SAP BPC “embedded” models, and SAP BPC, “optimized for SAP S/4HANA” models.
- If you would like to learn more about how SAP Analytics Cloud can revolutionize your planning and analysis process watch the demo.
- Read the blog, “The Future of Planning: An Interview with Matthias Kraemer” for more on the advantages of planning in the cloud.
We’ll be publishing more details in further blogs, so stay tuned here. In the meantime, ask your questions below.