End-to-End Carbon Data Management: An example of third-party integration with SAC’s Data Import API
Yao Yao, SAP Analytics Cloud Planning & Analytics Product Management
Colin Zhang, SAP Innovation Center Network
Carbon data management is becoming increasingly important as individuals, organizations, and governments become more aware of the impact of carbon emissions on the environment. By managing and reducing carbon emissions, we can help mitigate the effects of climate change and work towards a more sustainable future.
Effective carbon data management involves tracking and analyzing emissions data, setting reduction targets, and implementing strategies to achieve those targets. This not only benefits the environment but can also lead to cost savings and increased efficiency for organizations. As a result, there is growing interest in carbon data management and a need for effective tools and technologies to support this important work.
Carbon data management involves collecting and analyzing data from various sources, such as raw material carbon data, transportation logs, and production processes. To effectively manage this data end-to-end, it is often necessary to integrate multiple systems. For example, one software may be used to collect carbon data, while another may be used to track and visualize carbon data. These different tools must be able to communicate with one another and share data to provide a comprehensive overview of an organization’s carbon footprint. This is why we are starting the project to integrate SAP Carbon Data Collaboration and SAP Analytics Cloud together. By doing so, we can provide a comprehensive solution for carbon data management that allows for effective data collection, tracking, analysis, and reduction of carbon emissions.
In this blog, we demonstrated how we connect SAP Carbon Data Collaboration and SAP Analytics Cloud together using SAC’s Data Import API. We will talk about:
- What is SAP Carbon Data Collaboration
- What is SAP Analytics Cloud and its Data Import API
- How to build the End-to-End Carbon Data Management Solution
What is SAP Carbon Data Collaboration?
To reach net zero emissions before 2050, all businesses need to account for and disclose carbon emissions. However, there is no global, unified, cross-industry approach for sharing accurate, trustworthy, verifiable, and auditable carbon data across the entire value chain. SAP Carbon Data Collaboration is an innovation project for businesses to share validated and certified CO2 data within the supply chain while upholding the privacy and data sovereignty of the data owners. Based on the decentralized technology, zero-knowledge proof, and Self-Sovereign Identity, Carbon Data Collaboration provides a decentralized platform for partners to share carbon emission data freely, without boundaries and vendor lock-in. More information can be found here.
To prepare the technologies for wider industry adoption, SAP is incubating the SSI component as a BTP service called Decentralized Identity Management to abstract the technical complexity and provide simple-to-consume APIs for SAP applications. At the same time, SAP is exploring further applications of zero-knowledge proof techniques and improvements in their efficiency and scalability.
To better understand how Carbon Data Collaboration works in the real world, let’s imagine Factory A and its supplier Supplier B need to track carbon emissions collaboratively. Factory A, for example, would like to request carbon data from Supplier B. The workflow is as follows:
- Both A and B need to first register and establish a trusted partnership on SAP Carbon Data Collaboration.
- Then Factory A can submit a carbon data request to Supplier B, requesting the carbon emission data for a specific product for a certain period.
- Supplier B will receive a request from Factory A and can share its carbon data securely with one click through the SAP Carbon Data Collaboration.
Figure 1: Carbon Data Collaboration Home Page
What is SAP Analytics Cloud and its Data Import API?
SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) is a cloud-based business intelligence and analytics platform that can be used to turn data into insights. When it comes to carbon data management, SAC can help organizations track, analyze, and visualize their carbon emissions data in real time.
SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) comes with templates across different industries to help business build data analysis report quickly. For example, SAP Product Carbon Footprint Analytics in SAC is a comprehensive dashboard showing total carbon emissions associated with products’ lifecycles. This includes all emissions associated with the production, transportation, use, and disposal of the product. By providing detailed insights into a product’s carbon footprint, organizations can identify areas where emissions can be reduced and take steps to mitigate their impact on the environment. In our case, we will leverage this business content to help Factory A visualize and manage its carbon footprint.
Figure 2: SAC’s Product Carbon Footprint Analytics page
Now we have both tools for collecting and analyzing carbon emission data, but how to integrate them together? In the SAP Analytics Cloud Q2 2023 release, the new Data Import API was made available. This API makes it possible to load data into SAC data models from external applications including third-party applications. This new feature opens a lot of opportunities to integrate and feed models in SAC in a scheduled but fully automated way. More information about this API can be found here.
Figure 3: SAC Data Import API Document front page
Therefore, with the help of the new Data Import API, we can use SAP Carbon Data Collaboration to collect and exchange carbon data, then use SAP Analytics Cloud to analyze and visualize these data, and build an End-to-End carbon data management solution.
How to build the End-to-End Carbon Data Management Solution?
The overall architecture of the solution is shown below.
Figure 4: Architecture of the solution.
The key to this integration is the data import API of SAC. When the carbon emission data is submitted by suppliers in the Carbon Data Collaboration, the import data API is triggered. Carbon emission data is then imported into the data model hosted on SAC, associated dashboard will then be updated.
In this case, we used three data import API endpoints: /models, /models/modelID/metadata, /import/ModelID.
This endpoint is used to fetch model information on the SAC tenant. It will return a list of models that you can import with their associated ID, name, description, and URL. We use this endpoint to identify which model we’re going to import our data to.
Once we get the model and associated model ID, we can use this endpoint to check the metadata of this model, preparing for the data import. By understanding the metadata structure of the model, we will get information on how to write the body of the data import job.
Once we know how to write the data import job body, we can use this one-click import API to import the data. In this case, if the user in the SAP Carbon Data Collaboration submitted the carbon emission data for 202201, which is 20, then we will post the number 20 in the data import job and import the data into the model.
So far, we have successfully built the connection between Carbon Data Collaboration and SAP Analytics Cloud.
Here we use a short demo to show how this whole solution works.
Overall, the recent attention to the ESG topic has become a driver for innovation. This blog provides a creative approach to building an end-to-end carbon data management solution with SAP Carbon Data Collaboration and SAP Analytics Cloud.
How do you manage your carbon data? What is your current challenge? It will be great to hear your thoughts on this topic. Comment below and let’s innovate together!