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SAP BO Cloud Overview

Our colleague Dinar is currently exploring the capabilities of SAP Analytics Cloud. He has prepared a brief and informative overview of the tool, providing reference links to tutorial videos and blog articles for more information.

DAHLBEER · Wednesday, December 12, 2018

SAP BO Cloud Overview

SAP Business Objects (aka SAP Analytics Cloud) is an agile analytics tool on a cloud platform for business intelligence, planning, and predictive analytics. Built on the SAP Cloud platform, it brings high performance and scalability. SAP BO Cloud can work with data from different sources via importing data into the cloud or creating a secured connection to the source. Data stays behind a firewall, not going into the Internet. Data for the model might be from a flat file, BPC, Google Drive, SAP Hana models, BW, Universe, SAP ERP, SuccessFactors. 

 

There are two types of models available in SAP BO Cloud: one for analytics (Connected (Integrated) Model) and one for planning (Manual (Standalone) Model). Each model can be integrated into a story. A Story is a set of charts, tables, geo-maps and other visual elements to represent a business situation, help to analyze and input data: 

  • Financial planning 
  • Reporting & analytics 
  • Supports profit & loss, balance sheet, and cash flow 
  • Carry-forward of the balance sheet 
  • Dashboards & visualizations 
  • Integration of information between SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP Analytics Cloud 
  • Create an input task 

Here are nice intros into SAP BO Cloud: video1 and video2.

Model types

Models are created on the start page. Source: Link

A model can be created to share and analyze data with different users provided different accesses rights. It is possible to create charts, geo-maps, points of interest, assign responsibilities (for ex. For planning purposes), restrict data access, introduce variables and formulas, provide currency conversion. 

In addition to these “hard” tools there is also a “soft”-tool – now it is possible to have a discussion with a colleague(s) other specific charts, tables, or reports directly in the cloud. That communication helps to deliver the right results and contact with the responsible person(s) directly. 

Each model has its pros and cons. The table below explains the features of them: 

 

Connected model is easy to start with because it does not require any data manipulation on the SAP Analytics Cloud side. There is no data replication and all security and data modelling is performed on the back-end of a source system. This model is good for ad-hoc analysis, however not applicable to planning. 

The other model, Manual or Standalone, requires more time for development because data is replicated into the model and security must be implemented separately within the model. This model is good if a new security model is needed or data should be collected from different sources. On the other side, it is possible to analyze and plan within the model. However, the write-back of data into the BW is still not an easy task. 

Story

Story is an “umbrella”, a tool that connects different models and/or data sources to tell about business via charts, tables, graphs and bring hidden insights from data. A Story visualizes data. Stories can have an adjustable design so that it will be available and good-looking on different devices like computers or smartphones. Moreover, there are three privacy levels for stories: Public, Shared, Private.          

 

          

Pic. Source 

Each story consists of story pages that might be based on independent models or data sources with different visual elements. These story pages can be used for analytics or planning (data input) purposes.  

Digital Boardroom is an add-on for Cloud Analytics which helps executives to view stories on large screens and answer questions directly.

Here is a short 7 min video on how to create a story in SAP Analytics Cloud.

Useful links on Youtube channel

In order to make a start into the new tool easier for customers, SAP Analytics cloud have created a Youtube channel with training demos covering all product features available:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLs5htBIwERYWSixKSqQHzndop33aBCz1U

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