SAP Analytics Cloud – Data Models and Integration – Tips & Tricks


Introduction

I have been working with SAP Finance and Business Intelligence transformations for 20+ years. Just recently on an implementation project (led by Sopra Steria) with an early adopting SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud customer in the Nordics, integrating ERP (amongst others) with SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) for reporting and visualization.

As I came across few issues related to SAC (Enterprise Edition) with integration from SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud, I decided to share some insights/resolutions.

Data Blending vs Account Dimension

Having data reside in SAP S/4HANA (ERP) and separately in an Excel spreadsheet requires integration within SAC. As illustrated in below example, many times Forecast and/or Budget data can exist in Excel only, as it may carry additional reporting dimensions not represented in SAP Controlling model. For Profit & Loss (by Account) analysis however, Forecast/Budget needs to be integrated with Actuals data from ERP system, so variance analysis can be performed.

Planning Model (Quick Reference – Version)

Wanting to integrate data from different versions, like Budget and/or Forecast in SAC, requires public dimension Version in Data Models to keep these versions as Dimension Members. By default, however, after having created a new Data Model only “Actual” version is being provided. Further versions can be added only via Story app (not directly in Data Model app).

Excel Integration with Google Drive

Ongoing changes in an Excel file might require real-time updates to SAC Data Model/Story, this can be achieved by different means – eg Google Drive integration.

Local vs Public Dimensions

Integrating data from S/4HANA, that is, replicating ERP Accounting data to SAC Data Model, requires SAC Data Models to included all dimensions (and measures) with respective mappings. With few dimensions not keeping master data, concept of Privat dimension needs to be applied, eg Journal Entry and Journal Entry Item. Below illustration describes the use of Private Dimensions.

Note: with Public Dimensions, fact data requires all dimension members to be in place prior to load, otherwise an error log (Rejection Summary) will be issued.

Inactive Data Sources (OData)

Having Data Sources from SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud in Production System to function just as they did from D/Q System environment was expected, however this did not prove right during system cutover. Below some insight on root-cause and resolution.

Replication – Cost Center Hierarchy

Cost Center Groups (Hierarchies) are central in Story building for Controlling, along with other groups/hierarchies. However, required hierarchies would initially not be showing (Data Model > Public Dimensions > Data Management > Query/Filters). Below some pre-requisites on source system side.

Other Resources

Aside from “help.sap.com”, documentation on SAP Analytics Cloud is being available via Help feature on SAC Launchpad, with excellent short videos on specific SAC topics, as per below.

Summary

SAC has become a solid cloud solution for BI, Planning and Predictive. It comes with a rich variety of Business Content, that is, samples of Stories and Data Models (Finance probably being best represented). Business content can be adopted and connected to customers SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud (2208), however it is advisable to plan with additional time during Realize phase for converting SAC (sample-data-based) Business Content to integrate with customers SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud, as Data Models still need to be cloned, Stories adjusted, and Data Source connected. Some LoB-specific reporting for example Production Planning & Control require new Custom Stories, Data Models and Data Sources (Custom CDS views, type External API), leading to increased setup times during Realize phase.

Hope you found this blog helpful, looking forward to hearing your feedback.