In this blog post I will discuss the new model in SAP Analytics Cloud and how to get started with it. It has been recently introduced to better align with source systems, improve performance, improve calculation capabilities and to generally improve the model experience in order to give users more flexibility.
How to use it?
In order to create a new model from scratch rather than the classic model go to the modeler section on SAP Analytics Cloud, select the create a new model option and then select the ‘New Model’ option as opposed to the ‘Classic Account Model’.
How to move from the classic account model to the new model?
To benefit from these extended functionalities, you can convert your classical account model into a new model type using the button Migrate to New Model Type in the modelling area. There are some constraints to note which can be viewed here.
One constraint is that you cannot migrate your classic model to the new model type if you have stories associated to the model. You will get a warning message stating the migration is not possible like in the image below.
In order to view what stories or Analytic Applications are associated to the model, you can open up the model, click on the details button and view the related objects section.
In order to keep the existing stories but to migrate the model and it’s data to the new model type my suggestion is to duplicate the model and then migrate this to the new model type. To do this, navigate to files and select your model. Then select the ‘copy to’ icon which is highlighted in the below image and re-name your model.
What are the benefits of the new model over the classic account model?
Flexible model structure – Both accounts and measures are available as structures for your data and the account dimension is now optional. The flexibility allows for better data aggregation & explicit data types (decimals & integers). Accounts and measures can be blended together which reduces the record count and improves performance.
Improved Calculations – Since you can now add measure calculations to your model you can reuse them across different stores and analytic applications as well as adding them to some data action steps. Account values can be changed from positive to negative based on dimension properties which makes it easier for users like accountants to analyse data.
Enhanced Currency Features – You can add multiple base currency measures to models and add currency conversion measures on top of them. This way, you can model and plan on multiple currencies like transaction, local, or group currencies, and instantly view the results across dependent currencies.
Data Integration – The new measure-based model aligns more closely to other SAP source systems such as SAP S/4 HANA. This allows for faster integration and less data adjustments because you can import the measure-based data without having to transform them into accounts members.
Improved Data Wrangling – Advanced Expression Languages which already exists for datasets can now be used with the new model. You can create additional columns as well as create formulas to do your wrangling activities. With the improved modelling UI, you can match source and target columns via drag and drop and you can now save your data wrangling before completion and complete it at a later time. New status indicators for data loads have improved the experience by allowing the end user to see what exact stage encountered a problem and can go directly into it from the monitor to complete adjustments to finish the data load.
What are the Limitations?
There are a number of limitations to the new model as of Q2/2021. Further details of some limitations can be found here. I would suggest keeping an eye out on the product roadmap here for upcoming updates & improvements. The limitations are subjects to change with ongoing updates.
In this blog post we learned an overview of the benefits and limitations of the new model type as well as learned how to get started using it. To learn even more on the new model type and to keep up to date be sure to check out the help documentation, as well as this presentation by product managers Derek Johnson & Scott Godfree. Please feel free to share any feedback in a comment under this blog post and if you have any further questions on SAP Analytics Cloud be sure to leave a question in the community also here.