Business Intelligence

How SAP Analytics Cloud Optimizes Business Intelligence and Planning

As the world of big data analytics matures, more businesses are adjusting to SaaS-based solutions.


These solutions must meet the growing functionality demands made by data analysts bombarded with continuous growth in the amount of data being collected through traditional means and newer, cloud-based avenues.


SAP has a robust suite of business intelligence (BI) solutions, such as SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office, SAP Lumira, SAP Predictive Analytics, SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence, and more. But while the products in SAP’s business intelligence suite provide users with analytical, data visualization, predictive, and reporting solutions, the relatively siloed nature of these applications reduces their potential efficiency. SAP addressed this landscape limitation in 2015 by launching a new solution that offers centralized business intelligence functionality, called SAP Analytics Cloud.


SAP Analytics Cloud allows companies to work with their data more effectively, with the ultimate goal of providing the option of bundling SAP’s major business intelligence competencies and functionalities into a single solution. It is provided as a software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud-based business intelligence and analytics technology.


Benefits of SAP Analytics Cloud

SAP Analytics Cloud encompasses many efficiency-enhancing possibilities for users. For example: live data connections, integration of the SAP Digital Boardroom and other add-ons, mobile access to data, and advanced modeling capabilities that are compatible with SAP S/4HANA.


SAP built SAP Analytics Cloud around an easy-to-use SAP Fiori interface. It’s based on four areas of functionality—business intelligence, planning, predictive analytics, and analytics designer—that help to mitigate the complexities of analytic evolution, providing users with the ability to harmonize and understand their data. Let’s take a closer look at each.


The business intelligence area is a combination of all BI functionality, from data connectivity to reporting and collaboration. Business intelligence in SAP Analytics Cloud includes the option to upload data, define models from scratch, and fix quality issues in uploaded data. Storytelling, which is the BI reporting feature in SAP Analytics Cloud, allows business and IT users to easily visualize their data.


SAP Analytics Cloud’s planning component consists of tools and functionality that enhance planning processes. Data models are extended by planning-specific properties, and some additional functions are provided to better analyze key performance indicators (KPIs). In addition, users can create input-ready forms, apply extended formulas, or create additional chart types like the value driver tree.


There are a number of automated and manually-executed processes available to users for predictive analytics. The automated functionalities are beginner-friendly, offering easy introductions into machine learning and the application of statistical methods to data. And for the more well-versed users, there are also advanced manual options that offer a broader flexibility.


The analytics designer is the newest component of SAP Analytics Cloud. It allows for building complex analytical applications that enable power users to extend standard reports by using scripting and defining more detailed settings on chart behavior, filters, or other elements.


The SAP Analytics Cloud Book

For many companies, these advancements in the realm of analytics fall in line with their business goals. To help you understand this innovative solution and manage your data with maximum efficiency, we’ve published SAP Analytics Cloud.


This book provides both users and administrators with details on SAP Analytics Cloud’s interface and functionalities. Readers will find this guide to be a helpful resource for solving all essential tasks and challenges related to the solution.


Start with an introduction to SAP Analytics Cloud and explore the architecture of the solution. You’ll dive into data integration and learn about the supported data sources and the technical details of data connections. You’ll then explore the interface of the solution and how to access each piece of functionality.


You’ll be introduced to the components that make up the solution, starting with business intelligence. Learn the aspects of data modeling and see what it looks like in SAP Analytics Cloud. You’ll learn the idea behind models and put your knowledge to the test by creating your own model.


In the following chapters, you’ll cover the rest of the functional components of SAP Analytics Cloud. Understand how the planning engine works and walk through an example to gain a better understanding.


Next is predictive analytics where you’ll explore various practices, like machine learning, that are embedded in SAP Analytics Cloud. Learn the difference between automated functionalities, called smart assist, and functionalities that require users to define explicit predictive scenarios, called smart predict.


Move on to the last component incorporated into the solution—the analytics designer. You’ll become familiar with the concept of applications and be provided with an example to reference when as you create your own applications.


In the final chapters, discover SAP Digital Boardroom, a visualization layer on top of SAP Analytics Cloud. Explore it as a concept and then create an example boardroom. Wrap up with an exploration of SAP Analytics Hub and SAP Analytics Catalog.


Who Is This Book For?

This book is for users of the SAP Analytics Cloud solution. Those working with other SAP BI solutions and looking to make a transition to SAP Analytics Cloud should also reference this book. It’s helpful for consultants, administrators, and architects of analytics landscapes and databases.


About the Author

Abassin Sidiq is a product manager of analytics at SAP. He has worked at SAP since 2012 and has been a part of product management for various analytics solutions since 2015. He has been part of SAP Analytics Cloud development since the product's inception.


How to Purchase

If you’re interested in purchasing SAP Analytics Cloud, follow this link and choose the format that works best for you: e-book, print edition, or bundle (both e-book and print).


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Also check out our overview on all of SAP's intelligent technologies.


SAP Analytics Cloud
SAP Analytics Cloud

Discover the next generation of BI with this guide to SAP Analytics Cloud! Get your data into the system and see which data models to use in which situations. Next, learn about stories — how to create visualizations for them, publish them, and enhance them. With information on using SAP Analytics Cloud for financial planning, predictive analytics, dashboard creation, and more, this book is your one-stop shop!

Learn More

SAP PRESS is the world's leading SAP publisher, with books on ABAP, SAP S/4HANA, SAP CX, intelligent technologies, SAP Business Technology Platform, and more!