Using SAP Analytics Cloud Smart Discovery


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Run Smart Discovery to create a story

Smart Discovery

Smart Discovery provides you with a powerful aid to data exploration by using machine learning to explore data and uncover valuable insights. It allows you to do the following:

  • Discover the key influencers driving your key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Gain insights about these influencers
  • Identify outliers
  • Analyze patterns in your data
  • Use historical data to predict future outcomes
  • Simulate what-if scenarios

Smart Discovery uses a combination of statistical analysis and predictive analytics to discover insights that are difficult and expensive to find manually. It automatically generates a story containing the analysis of the data that can be used to drive further analysis. The visualization generated can be used in a final story.

An SAP Analytics Cloud story is open on screen showing the Smart Discovery pane open on the right side of the screen.

The Smart Discovery Story

After you run the Smart Discovery, a story is automatically created.

There are four pages created for each story:

  1. Overview
  2. Key Influencers
  3. Unexpected values
  4. Simulation


The Smart Discovery overview page with data related to target salary

Key Influencers

The Key Influencers report shows the important factors influencing your target variable. In this example, the TOTAL_SALARY is displayed. To see which other variables are correlated influencers, you can select the bars in the chart. You can run Smart Insights on the bars of the chart to further explore the data.

The Smart Discovery key influencers page

Unexpected Values

The Unexpected Values report compares the actual to the expected values. In the example, you can see that unexpected values are listed. The difference column indicates which employees are paid more or less than the expected rate. You can use this information to build an analysis of any salary disparities.

The Smart Discovery Unexpected values page is displayed.


In the simulation report, you can modify the value of the influencers to analyze how they change the target value. It is a way to use the data to perform what-if scenarios and immediately see the impact on the target value of the report.

The Smart Discovery Simulations page is displayed showing influencer values that can be updated using dropdown menus and the main target value for the current selection of influencers selected.

Use Smart Discovery to Analyze Data

Business Scenario

You are trying to answer the question "What influenced total salary for employees in our company?" You decide to run a Smart Discovery to help explore the data and assist in identifying the key influencers and unexpected values in the data set. Having explored the data, you wish to use the impact simulator to change values and discover the impact of those changes on your story.

In this practice exercise, you will:

  1. Run a Smart Discovery to automatically generate a story.
  2. Explore your Smart Discovery story.
  3. Simulate scenarios by changing key values in the data.

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