An easy way to visualize your home sensor data with SAP Analytics Cloud
Hello World! This is my first blog entry so here is a short introduction of myself: I’m a SAP BI/BO consultant who’s interested in everything data related e.g. analytics, IoT, HANA, SCP, etc. This topic might interest you if you work with SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) and you’re looking for different kind of showcases.
So let’s assume you´ve rigged your house with smart home devices (doors sensors, temperature sensors, smart lighting etc.) and enjoyed all the nice features they provide you with. You have your own apps where you can monitor the streaming data and control the functions, but there’s still something you’re missing – proper visualization and analytics of the data!
Now I’ve been loading my house with sensors and creating some more or less useful functions with them for the past year or so. The basic apps are great for controlling and configuring your own routines – a lot can be done without a single line of code. Since I’ve been working with SAC I thought why not combine the visualization and analytics capabilities along with my house’s sensor data. With all the connection options of SAC there’s no one way to do it, but this right here is a simple guide how connect your sensor data to SAC without any coding. You will have to activate some services, but that’s about it and everything can be done in an hour. If you want to take things further e.g. sending your home sensor data to HANA, there is already a great blog about it: https://blogs.sap.com/2015/07/22/pushing-data-into-hana-with-ifttt-and-smartthings/
To make this guide work, these are the necessary components you’ll need:
- Smart home hub
- Smart home sensors (door sensors, motions sensors, temperature sensors etc.)
- Google sheets (Google Drive account)
- SAP Analytics Cloud (trial or fully licensed version)
In short, this is how the architecture can be described: the smart home sensors send the streaming data to Google sheets via IFTTT services and SAC reads the data with the integrated Google Drive connection. If you don’t have a Google Drive account, you can set one up in minutes (gmail account required). Check that you can access the Google Sheets section and then you can move to the next step. Next you’ll configure the IFTTT service https://ifttt.com that sends the data from your smart home hub to Google Drive. I’m using Samsung Smart things, but IFTTT supports several different hubs (Google Home, Amazon Echo, Logitech Harmony etc.). You can find good instructions on how to activate the IFTTT service from your smart home hub’s website, but if your using SmartThings, check out this link: https://support.smartthings.com/hc/en-us/articles/211978466-IFTTT
Now that you have your smart hub sending data to Google Sheets via IFTTT you need to do some spreadsheet trickery to enrich the sensor data into a better format. The incoming data comes in a pretty raw format and the final form depends on the sensor your using, but in general terms it should look something like this:
Every single detected motion creates a new row in the spreadsheet above. This is why your better off creating another spreadsheet that references to the original sensor data spreadsheet. That way you can enrich the data into a better format. The way I do it is by importing the raw data into another spreadsheet where I divide the data into a more readable format like the following:
After this it’s time to do the rest of the work in SAC. Login in to your trial or fully licensed account and create a new Google Drive connection:
Give the connection a name and click the hyperlink to sign in to your Google Drive. A pop-up will appear (remember to allow pop-ups in your browser!) and then you can enter your Google account details after which you can sign in.
After that you should have a working connection to your Google Drive account. Now that we have Google Drive connection up and running, let’s create a model.
Select your connection that you just created and the pop-up lists all the Google sheets that you have. It will import the data as it is in Google sheets and after that you can finalize your data.
Just remember to schedule the model update to a repeating cycle and then we are ready to start visualizing your sensor data!
Now create a new story, select your Google Drive model and we can begin to visualize and analyze the data on what’s happening in your house.
Here’s a little something I have done (remember that you can use all the features of SAC e.g. smart insights, predictive capabilities etc.):
Obviously, you can use many more chart options than the ones I have displayed. One more tip: create your visualization story on a responsive template, that way you can always access your visualized sensor data with your mobile device anytime, anywhere.