Selecting a Data Source


After completing this lesson, you will be able to Describe data sources.

Types of Data Sources

Data for a story can come from a file, a SAP Analytics Cloud model or dataset, or an outside data source.


A limitation to a public dataset is that you cannot change its data source. For example, if your public dataset was originally created from a flat file but you now want to use a BW query, you have no option to make that change. Embedded datasets, on the other hand, do allow you to change the data source via the Add New Data option.

You can also convert an embedded dataset into a model, but any transformations you made to the dataset are lost and must be recreated in the model. A public dataset cannot be converted to a model.

Data Preparation

You can prepare and transform the data to meet your story needs in the Data Preparation area. Here, you can change the data, including adding transformations using either a simple or more robust transformation editor.

The Data Preparation step with the Dataset Overview panel open on the right.


  • If using data from SAP Datasphere, you directly access a SAP Datasphere model located in a specific space defined in SAP Datasphere.
  • Data preparation is only possible with imported data. If you choose SAP Datasphere as your outside data source, you cannot manipulate the data because it is live, not imported.

Where the Data Comes From

Data for SAP Analytics Cloud stories can come from many different data sources, both SAP and non-SAP. Your SAP Analytics Cloud administrator must create connections to any source that contains data you need. These connections can be used to create models in SAP Analytics Cloud.

SAP Analytics Cloud models are able to access the most data sources. A model can access a live data source directly, or it can import data from a source database or system. The figure Data Sources shows a small sample of the data sources available for stories.

Example of the available data sources. Import and live connections have to be created by an administrator.

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