Congrats! So you’ve decided to invest in SAP analytics cloud!
While there are similar tools, I believe that keeping your products under one vendor simplifies development, maintenance, and support.
But now what? How do you take the initial step towards your first dashboard?
But first, a warning. You’ll be surprised to find that a number of the features for SAP Analytics Cloud are NOT available. Why is that?
For example, are you interested in the Smart Insights feature that identifies critical influencers on a measure but you have BW 7.xx system? Then, it’s time to hit the pause button.
The features list in SAP Analytics Cloud depends on your back-end system or where you’ve modeled the data. The source system and the connection type play a significant role in which features are available in your story (or dashboard).
The missing features were a hurdle that we weren’t expecting. We quickly learned that we could use only some of the features advertised for SAP Analytics Cloud due to our connection type. Let me explain.
When setting up SAP Analytics Cloud, your data can be access using these two connection types; import and live.
The import connection replicates your data into SAP Analytics Cloud’s tenant. While HANA database stores the data for quick retrieval, you should expect some data staleness or latency depending on the import schedule and frequency of the data load from your in-premise system and your cloud tenant.
The other connection type is the live connection, which has none of the data latency issues. However, this option comes with some drawbacks. Let me further explain.
If you’re like most customers, then you may have a data warehouse for analyzing large datasets. Also, you would like to leverage the reports that you have developed.
But what version number of your BW data warehouse? Is it 7.3, 7.4, or 7.5? Is it on another database system like Oracle or SQL? Or is your data warehouse on SAP HANA 1.0 or 2.0?
Who’s a brief chart to help you see what features are available (as of Release 2019.05). More information can be found in the SAP Note 2715030.
If you notice that SAP tends to favor the version of BW that are on HANA database, then you’re right. I’ve seen SAP tends to release the features on HANA before apply the same changes to BW.
When we started an SAP Analytics Cloud project for a manufacturing customer in late 2017 and throughout 2018, noticed that the SAP tends to release the features on HANA first before applying those changes to BW. The elements for BW seemed to lag approximately 1-2 quarters behind HANA.
Luckily we were on BW 7.4 on HANA so that we could connect SAC to either BW or the underlying HANA models.
SAP Analytics Cloud is a feature-rich and user-friendly dashboard application that is frequently updated. You can find more information on the release notes here: https://www.sapanalytics.cloud/product_updates
Hopefully, this article gives you some idea of the features available to you in your scenario.
In addition to the available features, there are other considerations such as security, single sign-on, and mobile. If you’re looking to start a proof of concept for SAP Analytics Cloud that you can use quickly and extend, then I would love to help.
You can reach me directly firstname.lastname@example.org.
I built analytical applications, dashboards, and reports for Fortune 500 companies that run on the SAP Platform.