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Ewan Maalerud

Ewan Maalerud

Ewan is part of the Digital Customer Experience team for SAP Analytics Cloud, based in Vancouver, Canada. He’s passionate about data analytics and communicating the value of using data to optimize business outcomes.

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For organizations already using SAP S/4HANA to manage all areas of their business from HR, sales, marketing, finance, manufacturing, etc., SAP Analytics Cloud is the perfect complementary solution.

While S/4HANA includes embedded analytics as a standard feature, there is still a great benefit to having SAP Analytics Cloud as a separate analytics tool.

In this post, we’ll look at how SAP Analytics Cloud complements SAP S/4HANA embedded analytics to maximize the value of SAP S/4HANA.

What is SAP S/4HANA?

For those unfamiliar with SAP S/4HANA, it’s an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software that helps with the integration and management of business activities such as planning, purchasing, manufacturing, sales, marketing, and more. It acts as an organization’s digital core, consisting of a suite of integrated applications that can collect, store, manage, and analyze data.

SAP S/4HANA embedded analytics

SAP S/4HANA has its own embedded analytics tool, which enables users to interact with real-time data. It has forecasting capabilities that help you predict, simulate, and perform what-if analyses. You can also create business dashboards and reports where you can drill into transactional data to answer ad-hoc questions and find insights about your business.

By bringing transactions and analytics together in a single platform, SAP S/4HANA embedded analytics acts as a single source of truth without the need to access other tools or jump between screens.

What is SAP Analytics Cloud?

SAP Analytics Cloud is a cloud-based analytics tool that companies of all sizes can use to analyze their data. Data can be imported or connected live, modeled, and converted into charts, graphs, tables, and other data visualizations to extract richer meaning and help inform more data-driven decision making.

Since SAP S/4HANA embedded analytics and SAP Analytics Cloud sound similar, you may be wondering what’s the difference and why it’s a good idea to have both.

There are many benefits of using SAP Analytics Cloud with SAP S/4HANA embedded analytics, here are some of the main ones.

Data on the go

While both SAP S/4HANA and SAP Analytics Cloud can be deployed in the cloud, SAP Analytics Cloud has a mobile app for iOS. This allows you to view and share stories on your mobile devices. Since everything is on a secure cloud network, your data can be accessed anywhere there’s an internet connection.

Integrate other datasources

SAP Analytics Cloud can pull in data from a host of SAP and non-SAP datasources, giving you a much richer overview of your business. You can analyze data from a number of datasources, including:

  • SAP Fieldglass
  • SAP SuccessFactors
  • SAP Ariba
  • SAP Concur
  • Salesforce
  • Google Analytics

Advanced modeling capabilities

SAP Analytics Cloud offers robust modeling capabilities that are compatible with SAP S/4HANA, giving you control and customization over your data. Our modeling capabilities allow you to clean your data so that you can get more accurate analysis. You can set up multi-level hierarchies, advanced formulas and aggregation, currency conversion, fix errors on a large scale, and so on.

In the card view mode, you can get a better overview of your data.

Live data connection

S/4HANA offers a live data connection with SAP Analytics Cloud.

Live data connections are a lot like flying first class, once you experience it, it’s hard to go back to coach. SAP Analytics Cloud connects live to SAP S/4HANA, which means that any changes made to your data in the source are reflected immediately in SAP Analytics Cloud.

The benefit of connecting your data this way is that the data remains in the source system so you’re not transferring large amounts of data. Any existing models you have can be used directly by SAP Analytics Cloud to build stories for visualization and analysis without replicating the data.

Other solutions cannot do this; they require the cumbersome and laborious task of exporting data from the ERP, modeling in Excel, and importing into the analytics solution. With SAP Analytics Cloud, getting the most up-to-date information is a matter of hitting the refresh button.

Integrating Digital Boardroom

SAP Digital Boardroom is an add-on feature of SAP Analytics Cloud. It enables executives to transform meetings from static presentations to completely interactive discussions based on live data.

Bring in information from third-parties, competitors, HR, and your financial data to give a real-time view of business performance across an entire company and industry and visualize all the critical metrics you need.

Dive deeper into your product line to discover which products are selling and which regions are the most profitable. You can even set up alerts to notify you of things you need to be aware of. This is great for analyzing exactly where your business is at presently or what it did in the past.

SAP Analytics Cloud integrates seamlessly with SAP S/4HANA, combining all lines of business into one powerful and robust analytics solution.

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.