Analyse your data live with SAP Analytics Cloud on SAP BW on HANA & SAP BW/4HANA (Part 3)

Blog series content

Please note that this is “Part 3” of my blog series. I strongly recommend that you read “Part 1” and “Part 2” first, before you continue with this blog, because they show some basics about SAP Analytics Cloud and the live connection to SAP BW itself. In addition it shows already a few great features you should see and know.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Note: I have included several videos. You can run them directly in the blog and maximize if needed. Please note as well, that there is no sound in the videos. The content speaks for itself 🙂

Before we start please follow my recommendation and check the SAP Note “2715030 – Considerations when using SAP BW and SAP S/4HANA Live Connections in SAC” to get the latest status about SAC features SAP will deliver on top for the live connectivity.

Now let’s start with “Part 3”

SAP Analytics Cloud’s innovative technology supports all levels of decision making. Built for the cloud / Built for business / Built for You!

With SAP’s unique live access – e.g. to SAP BW/4HANA, SAP S/4HANA, SAP HANA, SAP Data Warehouse Cloud – you can access your corporate data seamlessly and easily by leveraging many great features provided by SAP Analytics Cloud.


Just a short reminder – as shown in the previous blogs, one of the main reasons customers select SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) on SAP BW is the fact, that they can consume 1:1 the SAP BW queries with all their elements (e.g. structures, hierarchies, variables, variants, global key figures) including the underlying authorizations & roles. There is no need to change the SAP BW queries for special reporting purposes as we can leave them as is. This helps IT & Business Departments to consume all existing SAP BW content without changes – no data extraction, no data silos, just plug & play.

In Part 1 and Part 2 I have presented some great features and the feedback was indeed great. Now it’s time that I will present some more features.

Please note that I have also updated the full demo with a new design and some new features, so it makes sense to show some of the already presented features again. I hope you will like it 🙂

Custom Hierarchies/Groups for SAP BW Live and what about “Others”?

In the last blog I have presented the option to build “custom groups”. Just a short wrap-up. Story designers want to organize members of different dimension groups. When working on a story, you can define custom hierarchies on BW dimensions. These hierarchies can be used in charts, tables, input controls, and filters. You saw how this works if you followed the last blogs. But there is another interesting case for using this feature. Imagine that you know your Top products and you put them in a known structure. But some products needs to be combined in a separate folder which you want to call “others”. And this is possible by using the custom grouping feature.

Let’s have a look into how this would look like and please note that this is again a nice features which shows what you can do on top of SAP BW with SAC without “touching & changing” the SAP BW Query.

YoY Performance Analysis based on SAP BW Query live content in SAC

There are different ways to create a YoY performance chart based on SAP BW data. One possible way would be to create a SAP BW query with 2 structures. As usual you can create your characteristic structure with the time restrictions and then you can also make use of the cell editor for some special requests like cumulations or whatever you want to achieve. There are lots of possibilities to do great stuff without programming.

Here you can see an example how the cell editor in the SAP BW Query would look like.

And this can be easily consumed 1:1 by SAP Analytics Cloud.

So far so good. But is there another way? And what about the possibility to compare different years?
Well, there are different options (on SAP BW side and SAC side). You can create your restricted Measures in SAC, again without touching the SAP BW query. But there is a really easy way you can use as well. Or you can check if the SAP BW characteristic 0CALMONTH2 is part of your data provider. In most cases it is available as time characteristic.
But what is the difference to the characteristic 0CALMONTH? That’s easy – just look at the examples:

Calendar Year/Month – 0CALMONTH – 200702 { February 200 }

Calendar month – 0CALMONTH2 – 02

So 0CALMONTH2 is just the “month” value (or description). Just add it to your SAP BW query in the free characteristics area and you are ready:

In SAP Analytics Cloud it will become available in your model (you remember we have a live connection so the model is getting anything automatically from SAP BW). And now you can just add your measures in the columns and the month dimension (based on 0CALMONTH2 from the SAP BW Query) in the rows. In addition you add the calendar year to the color and that’s it. We have our YoY comparison and you can compare whatever you want 🙂

Let’s see how this would look like in SAP Analytics Cloud. You will first see the example with 0CALMONTH in the rows and I will also show shortly the result I mentioned above with the SAP BW Query using 2 structures.

User-defined hierarchies with custom shape files in the geo choropleth layer

There are several possibilities to visualize data based on a SAP BW query live connection in SAP Analytics Cloud. And is was already possible to use Geo maps in SAC based on SAP BW Query data. For further details please check the SAP Analytics Cloud help or the following SAP Wiki page:

With Q2.2020 you can now consume user-defined hierarchies with custom shape files in the geo choropleth layer. It allows you to drill down to a specific level. For example, you can access level two with one click.

Please have a look into the SAP Analytics Cloud help for details if you want to learn more about this feature:

Let’s see how this would look like in SAP Analytics Cloud.

What about Version mapping (e.g. with value type from SAP BW)

From SAC planning models you know, that there are different categories — money you actually made (Actual), money you’re going to make (Forecast), and money you are going to spend (Budget). SAP Analytics Cloud allows you to choose the granularity of each of these categories. And exactly this is also possible if you have the version or the value type in your SAP BW query. You can manually map the characteristic values coming from the SAP BW query – e.g. from the value type to the corresponding dimension values in SAP. This is one of the tasks you can perform directly in the SAP Analytics Cloud model.

This will open the door for some nice features you can use within SAP Analytics Cloud – e.g. Actual vs Budget comparisons, Variances incl IBCS.

Just try this on your own and look what else can be done with the version when accessing a SAP BW Query live with SAP Analytics Cloud.

Using a hyperlink to jump to a source – e.g. to a SAP S/4HANA transaction

This is now something which is not depended from a live connectivity. But as its a cool feature I think you need to see and know this. Imagine you have a report based on SAP BW or SAP S/4HANA. You see your sales orders with the relevant KPI’s. Now it would be really cool, if you can jump to the transaction with the relevant details. An exactly this can be achieved.

In SAP Analytics Cloud you can create hyperlinks easily via the context menu and can jump from one story to another or to another tab – including filters. But this is also working with external links which can be generic if you add dynamically dimension values to the link by leveraging the embedded API. This is a powerful feature (like many other cool SAP Analytics Cloud features 🙂 ) and will make your end users lucky.

Just add a hyperlink in SAC where you need it via right click or context menu, prepare your link and copy it in the relevant place in SAC, select a dimension at the right point to parametrize the target application (e.g. to send the Sales Order ID to the S/4HANA system) and now you can make use of it. SAP Analytics Cloud will now allow you to jump from any part of the chart to the “jump” target of your link (e.g. a SAP S/4HANA transaction).

Now let’s have a look into a short video how this will look like.

Use Bookmarks to save the state of your story

Using bookmarks in SAP Analytics Cloud allows you easy and quick access to frequently used scenarios. And they work also with content which is based on a live connectivity. With this feature, you can save the state of prompts, input controls, tables and tables and revert to them when needed. In SAP Analytics Cloud you can to switch between multiple scenarios with easily by letting you create multiple bookmarks

Use Bookmarks to save the state of your story

You can have numeric values and embed bar charts within table cells. That feature was available already in SAP Analytics Cloud. Initially that was only working with measures. So if you have used a SAP BW Query as source, you were able to activate In-Cell charts for your measures (key figure structure members) in SAP Analytics Cloud. Even if you have used a SAP BW Query with 2 structures as source for your SAP Analytics Cloud model, it was only available for the Key Figure structure.

Many SAP BW customers requested to have this feature for their characteristic structure as well, if they use a SAP BW Query with 2 structures as source for their SAP Analytics Cloud model. And as wave Q2.2020 we delivered this and put thresholds on top for characteristic structures 🙂

Lets have a look into a video.

Using SAP Analytics Cloud Search to Insight with your SAP BW live data

Search to Insight is a natural language query interface used to query data.

While working with indexed models based on acquired and SAP HANA, SAP S/4HANA, and SAP BW live data, you can query Search to Insight to get quick answers to questions and incorporate these insights into a story.

You can ask questions such as:

  • Sales for a specified year or quarter.
  • Sales for a region or two regions by priority.
  • Compare Actuals versus Forecasted values for a specified measure in a specific time period.

The Search to Insight interface can identify and auto-complete intended dimension names, dimension values, and measure names with assisted recognition to display accurate results.

In an SAC live model you need to create an index before you can use this model in Seaech to Insights. This function can be found in the model preferences.

As I have received some questions about this topic in my last blog, I decided to show you the indexing process in the model and how it look like in SAP Analytics Cloud if you search for information.

You can also query models based on live data (SAP HANA, SAP BW, SAP S/4 HANA) when working with Search to Insight on iPhone. Yes – now you can enjoy the benefits of our conversational artificial intelligence to visualize and analyze live data on your iPhone.

Please have a look on the SAP Analytics Cloud page in the product update area what has been delivered in the different waves around the Search to Insight feature:

Now let’s have a look into the video. You will first see the indexing process in the model and then I will switch to the SAP Analytics Cloud demo you already know from the different videos to see how this will work.

SAP Analytics Cloud – Live Access to BW4HANA in 2020 –
Special Demo with many features from Blog Part 1 to 3 🙂

As a special I have created a video, where you can see all the great features from the 3 blogs in ONE video. Some of the content looks a little bit different because I have changed some visualizations. Have fun watching it.

And finally one important note. SAP Analytics Cloud & SAP Data Warehouse Cloud are the perfect match. You should see both solutions in action 😉

I hope you enjoyed this part 3 of the blog series.