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This guide was developed as an introduction to help you get up and running. Read this page and start exploring your data with SAP Analytics Cloud.

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View this article in Spanish.

Home screen

After logging into SAP Analytics Cloud, you’ll be greeted by your home screen. The home screen is the front-page news of your organization. It’s a place where you can easily access information that’s most important to you.

SAP Analytics Cloud

Your home screen can be customized with data and visuals unique to your business. But first, you’ll have to create a story using your data. 

Tip: When accessing SAP Analytics Cloud use Google Chrome as your web browser.

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Introduction to stories

A story is a collection of charts, graphs, and other visualizations that give insight into your business. They are the main output of SAP Analytics Cloud. A story can help you quickly understand the nuances of your business to help you make better decisions, faster.

To learn more about stories, check out our introductory guide to stories.

search to insight SAP Analytics Cloud

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Introduction to models

In SAP Analytics Cloud, models are the backbone of stories. A model is the clean and defined version of your raw data used to create the visualizations contained in your stories. Models must be created before you can start to visualize your data in a story.

modeler SAP Analytics Cloud

There are two ways to create a model:

  1. Story Mode: Importing data directly into a story is the quick and simple way to create a model. When data is imported directly into a story, a private model is created that you can immediately explore. You can also publish a private model to create a new public model.
  2. Modeler: Importing data into the modeler allows you to add features such as hierarchies, formulas, and to geo-enrich your data. Models created using the Modeler are public and can be used for multiple stories.

To learn more about data modelling, check out our introductory guide to data models.

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Import data in story mode

The quickest way to start using SAP Analytics Cloud is to import your data directly into a story. Importing data in story mode creates a private model that you can then use to explore your data and create basic visualizations.

From the menu select: Create > Story

create a story SAP Analytics Cloud

Next, choose how to start your story. 

You can either:

  1. Start with the design: Develop your story using a templated layout or choose from a blank canvas, responsive, or a table page.
  2. Start by importing data: Connect to your data by either importing it directly from your PC as a local file (.xls or.csv), or by connecting live your cloud-based and on premise data sources.

create a story in SAP Analytics Cloud

To learn how to connect to your data, please see our connections playlists.

Saving a story

As you create your story, be sure to save it so that you can come back and work on it later.

save story SAP Analytics Cloud

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Review and prepare your data in story mode

SAP Analytics Cloud analyzes your imported data and assigns the columns as either dimensions or measures.

What’s the difference between a dimension and a measure?

  • Measure — quantitative numerical information
  • Dimension — qualitative information (can be both numerical and descriptive information)

Tip: Since qualitative information can sometimes be numerical, dimensions may be designated as measures automatically.

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Import data with the modeler

The modeler has advanced functionality that allows you to add features such as hierarchies, formulas, and to geo-enrich your model. By creating your model using the modeler, more features are available to create robust visualizations.

To import data to the Modeler, select: Create > Model

create a model SAP Analytics Cloud

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Review and prepare data with the modeler

SAP Analytics Cloud analyzes your imported data and automatically assigns the columns as either dimensions or measures. Check that your columns types are designated correctly and correct any errors that have been detected.

modeler SAP Analytics Cloud

Tip: If your data set is large, over 2000 records, you are shown a sample of your data. Any changes you make to columns in the sample data is applied to all records.

Set Hierarchies

Hierarchies within your data allow you to explore dimensions at multiple levels with parent-child relationships. A sales hierarchy could look like this: Product > Category > Type 

For example, the hierarchy of beverage sales data at a chain of convenience stores could look like this: Beverages > Beverage categories (alcohol, carbonated drinks, juice and other) > Types (orange, apple, pear) and so on.

Geo-enrich data

Using the Modeler, you can geo-enrich your model in order to produce geo-mapping visualizations in your story. Use location data to gain additional insights into your business and see local trends faster.

geo-enrich data model SAP Analytics Cloud


geo map SAP Analytics Cloud

The modeler has more functions available to customize your data. For more information using the modeler, including how to set hierarchies and geo-enrich your data please check out our models playlist.

Create your model

Once you’ve defined your data and corrected any errors, the next step is to create your model.

create a model SAP Analytics Cloud

In model view you can add descriptions, formulas, and hierarchies. 

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Create a story

To create a story you can import data, select data from a live datasource, or choose an existing model.

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Once you’ve selected your datasource, you’re ready to explore your data and create visualizations in story mode.

Create visualizations in story mode

In data exploration view, select the measures and dimensions that you’d like to explore through visualizations. For example, you could visualize the gross margin (measure) based on store locations (dimension). You can filter your dimensions by selecting an entire category or by selecting specific category items.

A visualization is generated in the lower pane after you’ve selected your measures and dimensions.

data view story SAP Analytics Cloud

The visualization is generated in an automatically suggested format, based on the data you’ve selected. You can change the type of visualization at this stage, say from a bar graph to a line chart, or you can add it to a page within your story to refine later on.

Once you’ve created a visualization, the next step is to copy it to a page of your story. You can copy your visualization to an existing page in your story or create a new canvas page.

copy visualization to a story SAP Analytics Cloud

If you want to move things around later as you’re working on your story, it’s as simple as copy & paste. SAP Analytics Cloud has a clipboard function that allows you to move visualizations easily between the pages in your story.

You can create as many pages as you need and rename them to anything you want. You may want to order your pages with key information, like a snapshot of KPIs, on the first page. On subsequent pages, you can drill-down into more details of your data. You can reorder your pages by dragging dropping them within the toolbar.

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Customize Pages

Once you’ve copied your visualizations to your pages you can customize them even further using SAP Analytics Cloud’s templates and tools.

Layout templates

Not a designer? Not to worry. There are layout templates that you can choose from to design the pages of your story. You can access layouts by selecting the Format icon. You can choose or change your layout later with the Layout Panel.

Layouts and templates SAP Analytics Cloud


The Designer tool has both the builder and the styling panels, which allow you to further customize your visualizations and design of your story.

Builder Tool

Builder tool SAP Analytics Cloud

Use the builder panel to change the style of your visualization, add measure and dimensions and customize it by colors. You can also add filters to the visualization to isolate dimensions within a visualization.

Styling Tool

styling tool SAP Analytics Cloud

With the styling tool you can also customize the design and properties of the individual tiles that house your visualizations. For a detailed explanation of all of the options available, check out our design playlist

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Additional Resources

SAP Analytics Cloud earns a top ranking from BARC

See how SAP Analytics Cloud performed in the world’s largest survey of Business Intelligence software users.