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Beyond Business Intelligence: An SAP Analytics Cloud Deep Dive

SAP Analytics

Beyond Business Intelligence: An SAP Analytics Cloud Deep Dive

NIMBL | Nov 03, 2019

SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC)

SAC is a product that stands out for its end-to-end approach towards exploiting data to gain competitive advantage; it’s a decision maker’s dream come true. Built on SAP Cloud Platform and powered by HANA in-memory technology, SAP Analytics Cloud gives you the capacity you need to explore big data, use predictive analysis tools, and strategize with real-time insights backing your decisions. It goes beyond being a Business Intelligence (BI) software solution; it is a solution which allows you to leverage advanced technology (Machine Learning for example) into everyday processes. SAP Analytics Cloud integrates high-level data analysis to assist decisions from planning to execution in any business area, on any level. For leaders and decision-makers, this product provides a wider, deeper view of your company, its infrastructure and its performance. In this blog, we will explore some of SAP Analytics Cloud’s main capabilities. Those capabilities include:

  • Business Intelligence
  • Predictive Analysis
  • Planning and Forecasting
  • Digital Boardroom

Business Intelligence

SAP Analytics Cloud is like a brain that can see, interpret, and analyze every piece of information generated by your organization’s ERP and data stored in your cloud environment and servers. That brain also gives you a list of options and visually-explained best-and-worst scenarios for business decisions you need to make. Having this tool at your disposal helps you make choices with confidence and tangible evidence to support those choices.

SAP Analytics Cloud is built on the versatile SAP Cloud Platform and powered by SAP HANA in-memory data-basing. It integrates directly with S/4HANA and SAP BW, as well as other non-SAP applications through data connectors for a centralized intelligence from multiple sources. Business Intelligence tools can be accessed from any web browser and can provide data analytics and insights in real-time. Through SAP S/4HANA’s Embedded Analytics functionality, for example, results are calculated instantly after inputting variables. You have the power to create BI reports at any time of the day, without the need for data replication to a data warehouse. Business leaders can analyze information and make confident decisions while traveling.

Predictive Analysis

Back before the internet was a household term, business managers probably often wished they had a calculator that could predict the future. The technology they dreamed of is quite real today and is called SAP Smart Assist.

SAP’s Smart Assist functionality combines HANA in-memory data-basing with advanced machine learning, allowing you to produce automatic insights across a wide range of detail. Smart Assist has four main features: Smart Insights for data points, Smart Discovery for guided analysis, Smart Transformations for data models and workflows, and Smart Grouping for data point comparison. You don’t just receive raw numbers; Smart Assist guides you through the analytical process with detailed visual explanations and natural language, ensuring that usability is truly comprehensive. Smart Assist lets you run simulations for different scenarios and comes packed with recommendations that are backed by real-time predictive analysis. Clarity and comprehension of your data and how decisions will perform over time will help you make strongly-informed choices every time.

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Planning and Forecasting with Real-Time Insights

Traditionally, planning and forecasting of business decisions was an arduous task. Picture the classic image of long printed reports and spreadsheets in coffee-fueled boardroom meetings with nodding heads and tired expressions. Most of the time, all those numbers and papers were for show; decision-makers would end up taking their gut instinct on many critical decisions when insight wasn’t available or clear. Today, insight can be clear as daylight and collaboration can be more effective than ever. SAP Analytics Cloud lets you collaborate, plan, and analyze directly from S/4HANA, from your office, home, or smart device.

Planning with insight means you can develop nuanced strategies while answering the question “What if?” for many different scenarios. You can forecast the future value of your resources and top performers to make the necessary adjustments and ensure every decision aligns with business goals. SAP Analytics Cloud lets you create budgeting forecasts executed with pinpoint precision and understand what factors can affect your KPI’s moving forward.

On top of that, SAP Analytics Cloud turns your organization into an intelligent enterprise. You start on predefined rules, but the software will grow and adapt to your business through its continued use. Its Machine Learning algorithms begin an intelligent discovery of your enterprise, analyzing behavioral data for insights. As SAP Analytics Cloud is used more frequently over time, it will independently learn and provide visualized insights in comprehensive every-day language.

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Digital Boardroom

SAP Digital Boardroom is an extension of SAP Analytics Cloud that serves as a literal substitute for the previously discussed traditional boardroom. This unique board portal is designed for C-Level executives, providing visibility across the entire management chain and support for stakeholder expectations. It integrates business data from your ERP and other applications connected to SAP Analytics Cloud to serve as a single, centralized source of truth for the organization.

Developed with best practices in mind, SAP Digital Boardroom evolves the boardroom process. Collaboration tools allow you to simplify boardroom meetings; reduce the preparation time, use interactive data visualizations to support discussions, and use Ad-hoc reporting to answer questions for unique scenarios. Simulation models leverage real-time analysis to visualize the impact of decisions, helping executives understand what affects each course of action and how to achieve better results.

(Note: SAP Digital Boardroom uses cloud deployment and is a SaaS extension of SAP Cloud Analytics. It is separately-priced on a per-user basis.)

Still have questions on SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP Cloud Platform? Schedule a one-on-one demo and Q&A session with one of our Practice Directors.


Written by NIMBL