Introduction to SAP Analytics Cloud

Objectives
After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Position SAP Analytics Cloud as an analytics tool

Introduction to SAP Analytics Cloud

Evolution of Decision Making

Decision making has evolved.

Watch this video to learn about the evolution of decision making.

Decisions are part of a continuous process. All organizations must ask, discover, analyze, predict, plan, and take action. There is a significant advantage to doing this together, all in one place, enabled by technology. The reality in many enterprises is that these activities are disconnected.

Data engineers are tasked with data tracking. Data analysts and data scientists are tasked with analyzing the data. Finally, the results of the analysis are delivered to another group of decision makers, whose decisions are then passed along to employees who act based on the decisions. It is rare for one software package to support two or more of these activities. Without visibility across the whole process, it is difficult for an enterprise to learn. Missing functionality across this process often results in a lack of evaluating alternatives, understanding risk and constraints, and prescribing next best actions. 

Learning and experimenting are continuous. Insight-driven companies purposefully measure the impact of applied insights, and then optimize in closed loop, agile cycles of experimentation and learning. This process enables organizations to get the right insights in front of the right users for fast decisions.

SAP Business Technology Platform

The SAP Business Technology Platform is the glue that holds everything together.

The SAP Business Technology Platform allows customers to harness the power of data; from managing the amount (SAP S/4HANA) and span (SAP Data Intelligence) to ensuring the quality (SAP Data Warehouse Cloud) and ultimately using it to make intelligent business decisions (SAP Analytics Cloud).

SPAN: SAP Data Intelligence.

AMOUNT: SAP S/4HANA, SAP IQ, SAP ASE service

QUALITY: SAP Data Warehouse Cloud

USAGE: SAP Analytics Cloud/ SAP BusinessObjects BI Reporting

In other words, the SAP Business Technology Platform strategy connects all elements of data processing--from a database, data management, to data warehousing, analytics and planning--into one seamless experience.

SAP Analytics Cloud

As the Usage arm of the BTP, SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) helps all types of decision makers (strategic, operational, tactical) to:

  • Improve decision-making with all analytical capabilities in one place.
  • Make smarter and faster decisions with Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven insights.
  • Gain enterprise-ready insights and take action in the context of business processes.

Unlike relying on standalone spreadsheets, or stitching together a multitude of niche BI, planning, and predictive analysis tools which do not deliver a scalable foundation to address the complexities of modern business processes and ever changing requirements, SAP Analytics Cloud enables end-to-end decision making with all analytics capabilities in one place, providing BI, planning, and augmented analytics capabilities in one cloud-based solution.

Capabilities of SAP Analytics Cloud

As an all-encompassing system and service, SAP Analytics Cloud has all the capabilities you need to be successful in all aspects of your business. These capabilities include:

  • Providing a seamless end-to-end analytics experience that simplifies complex work flows with one solution, allowing businesses to transition easily from insights, to plan, to action.
  • Being big data-ready and scaling to grow as your business does​​.

The benefits of SAP Analytics Cloud are as follows:

  • Analyze, predict, and plan in one experience across all devices.​
  • Make end-to-end decisions with data management and analytics together in one place​​.
  • Scale to meet the needs of your business and diverse users across all decision types (strategic, operational, and tactical).

SAC can also help your business make smarter decisions faster with AI-driven insights by seamlessly integrating AI technologies such as Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Query (NLQ), and Natural Language Generation (NLG).

The capabilities of this technology include:

  • NLQ/NLG as the primary interface to find the right content and key insights (Smart Insights and Search to Insight)​.
  • ML algorithms applied to guided data discovery, and key influence and pattern detection (Smart Discovery)​​.
  • ML algorithms to leverage historical data to build predictions with no data scientist required (Smart Predict).

The benefits of this technology include:

  • Being able to ask questions in a conversational manner with instant results explained in natural language.
  • ​Detecting drivers of a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) and taking the next best action using automated ML that discovers unknown relationships in data​.
  • Predicting potential outcomes and forecasts with the push of a button.

SAP Analytics Cloud Core Functions

Discovering, visualizing, planning, and predicting data are core requirements for many business users. Additionally, the ability to combine information in the form of a report, application, or in a spreadsheet from one location, should be available and accessible anywhere and any time. This is exactly what SAP Analytics Cloud systems and their services deliver.

Let's look at the core functions of SAP Analytics Cloud.

Lifecycle of Data in SAP Analytics Cloud

Data used in SAP Analytics Cloud can be located either on a cloud server, on a physical server at the customer’s location, or a combination of the two. Regardless of where the data is located, SAP Analytics Cloud provides data preparation, simulation, forecasting, and storytelling capabilities for the data.

SAP Analytics Cloud is available in two editions: embedded and enterprise.

  • SAP Analytics Cloud embedded edition is being delivered, at no additional licensing or cost, across SAP's intelligent enterprise applications, including SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, SAP S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Customer Experience, SAP Ariba, and SAP Fieldglass. It provides operational analytics, with live connectivity to the underlying data, allowing users to take action within the context of their application.
  • SAP Analytics Cloud enterprise edition provides the full range of functionality of SAP Analytics Cloud, allowing customers to extend analytics beyond the scope of the application data, and to address typical scenarios by analyzing data from multiple sources. This course provides an overview of SAP Analytics Cloud enterprise edition's main functionality.

SAP Analytic Cloud Embedded Solution

SAP Analytics Cloud, embedded edition is a reusable business service on SAP BTP for business intelligence (BI). Built natively on SAP BTP, it provides a unified and secure public cloud experience to maximize data-driven insights and decision making.

The following features are included in the SAP Analytics Cloud, embedded edition:

  • Stories
  • Models
  • Calculations
  • Mobile App
  • Calendar
  • Security
  • Connections: SAP Analytics Cloud, embedded edition supports live connection to your remote SAP HANA database on SAP BTP.

The SAP Analytics Cloud, embedded edition service includes license Business Intelligence embedded. With this you have access to the following features:

  • Business Intelligence functionality

  • Enterprise-level data source connectivity to SAP HANA

  • Team collaboration features

  • 24/7 SAP Support and Service Level Agreement

SAP Analytics Cloud Enterprise Edition Architecture

There are two options for using SAP Analytics Cloud enterprise edition:

  • Exclusively cloud-based
  • Hybrid of on-premise and cloud solutions

A cloud-based solution helps customers understand their data in context to make fast and confident decisions. The integration of business intelligence, enterprise planning, predictive, and augmented analytics in a single engine allows for a smooth experience from reporting, to simulation, to enterprise planning, and back again, all augmented by machine learning.

However, SAP is not following a "Cloud-only" Strategy but instead a "Cloud-first" strategy. Consequently, SAP has a hybrid option to allow customers to leverage their existing on-premise systems in conjunction with SAP Analytics Cloud as the front-end interface that provides a single platform and software to summarize data in different views with one entry point.

Similarly, customers can leverage their existing data assets with their highly valued live connectivity to SAP Analytics Cloud, SAP Analytics Cloud for business intelligence, and statement of direction systems such as SAP BW/4HANA, SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, and SAP BusinessObjects.

Our connectivity also extends outside of SAP systems so that customers can have a complete view of their business, wherever their data resides. Pre-built content that packages SAP's business domain expertise is included for many industries.

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