Exploring Model Data Sources

Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Describe the key elements of import and acquired data

Live Data

We have already discussed live versus import connections. Models use those connections to reflect specific data from that data source. A live model simply uses a live connection for the data it represents.

Since a live connection merely provides access to data, there is no data contained in a SAP Analytics Cloud live model. The model only points to the specific data in the live data source. Consequently, you cannot manipulate any data in the model; any data manipulation must be done in the source database/system.

In addition, you cannot write data to the model (because doing so would really be writing back to the original source system), so live models are analytic models. The single exception is a live model to BPC Embedded, but that is outside the scope of this course.

Because only SAP sources can be accessed using a live connection, a live model reflects only SAP data.

Note
SAP Datasphere requires a connection be created in SAP Analytics Cloud, but no SAP Analytics Cloud model is necessary. Stories can access SAP Datasphere data directly.

Acquired Data

An import model uses an import connection to import (copy) data from a source database or system into the SAP Analytics Cloud model. This means that there are always two versions of the data – one version in the original data source and the copy in SAP Analytics Cloud.

Because the data is copied into the model, if the original data source changes, the changes are NOT reflected in the model. As it is very likely that data in the original data source changes regularly, you can schedule the import process to occur on a regular basis in order to keep the model data in sync with the original data source.

Schedule Data Import:

Schedule data import settings.

In addition to being able to schedule the data import process, you can also manipulate the data in the SAP Analytics Cloud model. It is a copy, so none of the manipulations are reflected in the original data source. The data preparation interface is user-friendly and fairly intuitive.

Modeling Work Flow

Modeling Work Flow

Regardless of the style of model (analytic versus planning) or type of model (live versus import), the overall modeling work flow is the same.

  1. Identify your data sources
  2. Decide to acquire data, use live data, or both. Things to consider in this decision include:
    • Performance
    • Security
    • Planning
    • Smart Predict
    • Necessary data wrangling
  3. Create connections in SAP Analytics Cloud
  4. For live data, create live models
  5. For imported data
    • Create dimensions and import mast data
    • Create models and import transaction data
  6. Create stories
Note
For both model types – live or import – most data preparation should be done within the original source database/system, including data optimization and data enhancement, before using the data in SAP Analytics Cloud.

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