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Author's profile photo Vinayak Gole

Intuitive Insights with SAP Analytics Cloud’s Search to Insight:

SAP Analytics Cloud, also popularly abbreviated as SAC is a one stop solution for all Analytics processes within an enterprise. Built on the ideology of SAP’s one cloud one solution, the SAC incorporates multiple analytics processes within a single product. An end to end analytics solution, SAC incorporates multiple solutions for Planning, agile and self-service BI, modern visualizations, augmented and predictive analytics. SAC enables the business user to effectively power decisions based on data and not just information. With the in-built augmented analytics features, the business user is now empowered to handle data as a seasoned data analyst.Of the many augmented features available one is of Search to Insight.

Search to Insight: An overview:

SAC incorporates multiple smart features in addition to regular data handling capabilities which enable users to work easily with the available data. Some of the features currently available are:

  • Smart Discovery
  • Smart Insights
  • Smart Forecast
  • Search to Insight

While each of the features presents a set of unique capabilities for handling, wrangling and manipulating data, the Search to Insight feature is differentiated by the ease of use and Natural Language based querying capabilities. Business users no longer need to comprehend technical concepts and can converse and work with the system in terms of business queries. The conversational Intelligence algorithm further supports the user by auto complete and auto suggestion features saving a considerable amount of time spent in query building.Some of the benefits of Search to Insight are as below:

Ease of use:

Business users need not understand the nuances of Database and data concepts or the underlying SQL for creating a query. The system interacts with the business user in natural language and responds with the best suited visualization for the query asked. Business can focus more on business and less on technology.

Increased productivity with augmented analytics:

Augmented analytics enables the end user to derive better value from analytics with the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence. The Search to Insight algorithm not only enables Natural Language Processing but also prompts the user with possible options for fine tuning the question for drilling down or for better analysis of the data.The output created from the Search to Insight can be included in a report for further key insights into the data prepared.Overall time taken for analyzing data and building a dashboard is reduced considerably leaving the end users with more time for core business.

Step by step guide for analyzing data with Search to Insight:

The below steps highlight how to connect, initiate and improve the interaction with Search to Insight. Incorporating data analysis from a Search to Insight interaction into a story is also brought forth from the below steps:

  1. Login to the SAP Analytics Cloud through the URL as shown below:
  2. The Home screen comes up. Click on the bulb icon as shown in the figure below:
  3. The Search to Insight window comes up as shown in the figure below. The key components of the application are:a. Query Panel:The Query Panel allows users to type a query in natural language. The query panel also allows selection of the model for querying and also provides recommendations on the query to be created. This is detailed further in step 4.b. Recommendations window:The recommendations window uses an algorithm to come up with the best contextual objects to add further value to the measure selected for the query. This is detailed further in step 6.c. Prompts:If a model has been created with prompts then they can be entered from this option.

    d. Exit:

    Clicking on the exit button will end the Search to Insight session.

  4. The first step is to select a measure for data analysis.If the user is unaware of the model and has only information on the measure, the query can be directly typed in the query window and the system will show recommended models (1) and contextual dimensions as shown in the figure below (2). If the user is aware of which model to explore, it can easily be selected from the cube icon highlighted in the diagram below.
  5. Select the measure to be explored. In this particular case, we are checking Sales from the model demo_sales_data_sample. The application puts forth all measures and dimensions from the model.
  6. Select the dimension to add contextual value to the analysis. This is as depicted in the figure below. In this particular case Year_ID has been selected.
  7. On clicking the Magnifying Glass icon, the results are displayed as shown. The current analysis draws a comparative analysis of sales across years. The results can be copied viewed in the window or copied into a csv file.

The other option is to create a report directly and use Search to Insight to build chart and contextual analytics from the data available. This option can be exercised by creating a story directly post logging into the system:

  1. From the selection panel on the left, select Create and Click Story. This will initiate a new Story creation.
  2. Select an option for building the story. In this case, a Canvas page has been selected for building the story.
  3. The system requests for a visualization type to be added to the story. However, instead of selecting a visualization type, click on the bulb icon from the top left corner to bring up the Search to Insight application.
  4. Select the model for analysis by clicking on the cube icon as shown in the figure below. Data models suggested by the system also come down in the list below:
  5. In the Query Panel, type the business query for analyzing the data set. The application will also bring up suggestions on best fit measures and dimensions. Select the most appropriate for data analysis. . In this particular case, we are Sales from the model demo_sales_data_sample has been selected.
  6. Click the Magnifying Glass icon to run the query. The results as shown as in the figure below. The report created can be used in a new story using a canvas or a responsive page or in the story already under creation.

The Search to Insight feature in the SAP Analytics Cloud can thus be used for analyzing data using augmented analytics. The output can either be downloaded or consumed in a report thus easing the entire process of creating a dashboard.

The syntax for asking questions for the best responses can be gathered from the following link:

Of the many features that SAP Analytics Cloud provides, the Search to Insight tool provides the business users with an easy to use interface for interacting with data. With intuitive features specifically designed with the end user in mind, the special feature enables business users to connect to data in simple natural language. Answers which enable drilling into the data, instead of reports or dashboards provide the business users with the right tools, needed to better understand organization data and how it impacts day to day business. Search to Insight can easily be the most powerful tool for business users to initiate data driven decisions.

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      Author's profile photo Martijn van Foeken
      Martijn van Foeken

      Hi Vinayak,

      Nice blog about Search to Insight. Maybe a nice addition to add the link in the help documentation with the supported syntax for asking questions:

      Kind regards,

      Martijn van Foeken | Interdobs


      Author's profile photo Vinayak Gole
      Vinayak Gole
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you Martijin,

      I have updated the post with the link for help as advised.

      Best regards


      Author's profile photo Kishore JS
      Kishore JS

      Hi Vinayak,


      Nice Blog and very useful content.


      Thank you & Regards


      Author's profile photo Vinayak Gole
      Vinayak Gole
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you for reading Kishore!

      Author's profile photo Jabin G George
      Jabin G George

      Hi Vinayak ,

      I read it really a wonderful article. I gained lot of insights about SAC just by going through your blog.  I would say very well written .Thanks for sharing such interesting updates

      Author's profile photo Vinayak Gole
      Vinayak Gole
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you for reading and liking Jabin!