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SAP Analytics Cloud – News #02: Release 2021.14 – 2021.19

Welcome to another blog from the “SAC – What’s new” series. This time around, we want to present you with the most important new features in the SAP Analytics Cloud up until the 2021.19 release.

The full list for the year to date is long, and in addition to ground-breaking developments, it also includes all the additional new features, including ones that aren’t of much importance. Of course, each new feature does something good – although many are simply technical background enhancements or corrections to errors which the user doesn’t see or perceive during their daily work. We will isolate the new features for you and discuss the ones that offer genuine added value for your work.

If you are interested in the whole list, you can also find it in the SAP Analytics Cloud via “Help -> New functions” after you have logged in.

Interesting innovations in the area of planning

Optimisation of the planning process with the use of multi-actions and their automation

A multi-action offers the possibility of creating a sequence of planning processes executed via a single (planning) trigger. The multi-action designer is the environment in which the sequence of data actions and version management steps are specified, which can be executed in one or more models or versions.

To execute a multi-action of this kind, a (planning) trigger is integrated into a story or analytics application analogously to the data action. In this way, the multi-action can be started by clicking on it. The multi-action then sequentially runs through all the integrated data actions and version management steps.

The planning process using multi-actions and their automation​

This new function helps you reduce the manual workload for the administrator and the end-user, through which you can reduce the error rate and total cost of ownership.

To further reduce the manual workload of the planning process, the SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) provides the possibility to schedule multi-actions as an event in the calendar. Therefore this is executed automatically at an individually-determined point in time.

Multi-actions in SAP Analytics cloud
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Example: The current actual data for the calendar year 2021 is copied to the “Plan” version for the calendar year 2022. A percentage price increase is then carried out. Subsequently, the new prices are published as a plan version for the 2022 calendar year.

Extended collaboration options through the copying of data point-related comments between versions

The comment function offered by SAC provides the opportunity to better understand data and changes to the data, thereby simplifying the collaboration.

Datapoint comments are comments that refer to individual cells in tables. With the new function, these so-called data point comments can be retained when copying and publishing versions.

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If an end-user wants to publish their private version, the comments are automatically copied to the public version. At the same time, the SAP Analytics Cloud automatically removes duplicates. In this way, all the end-users approved for the public version have access to the comments.

Data integration - live links from SAC to SAP Business Warehouse

Activating and deactivating SAP BW Query conditions in tables

Previously, conditions defined in the BW query could not be used in the story. That has changed. The active conditions of the query can now be seen via the table properties in the story.
In addition, these can be activated/deactivated via the properties of the table.

SAP BW Query conditions in tables
SAP BW Query conditions in tables

Configuring text display options in tables

When working with tables with SAP BW live data connections, users are now able to format the ID and description of row elements in short, medium or long text via the “Display Options” context menu item. This function visually expands the text/description of dimensions in tables, available through Stories, Analytic Applications and the Data Analyzer in both the editing and display modes. Please note that the type and number of format options displayed in the submenu depend on the backend configuration and that these options are not enabled for the UDH dimension.

You can now also control the text display via the display options of the row elements of a table. Depending on the specific options you have made available in the Query (short, medium and/or long text), these are available and can be selected in the editing and display modes offering the end-user a little more flexibility.

Table structure is SAP Analytics Cloud

Analytics Designer

Displaying data source-specific information

There are also several innovations in the area of the Analytics Designer which can be used to implement complex dashboard requirements.

It often makes sense to provide technical or organisational data in addition to analytical data. Until recently, purely technical data regarding the dashboard can be obtained without problems, via the API Application.getInfo(), for example. It is now possible for provider-specific data to be read out and displayed. In conventional AfO workbooks or WebIntelligence, this is standard practice. With the API getInfo() of the DataSources, this information can now be displayed in the Analytical Application as well. For this purpose, a simple text box can be used, and the script can simply refer to a Datasource-supported widget, such as a chart or a table. In the following example, a table widget named “TB_OBJECT” is readout.

Displaying data source-specific information in SAP Analytics Cloud

Summary

The excerpts from the new functions show that SAP is putting a lot of time and effort into the optimisation and further development of the Analytics Cloud and is doing so with increasing success. That is to say that the acceptance of the solution is increasing all the time, as well as the trust in the solution.

There also remains a lot of potential in the areas of the
• SAP Analytics Cloud, an add-in for Microsoft Excel
• Mobile
• Content Management
• Augmented Analytics
• Integration of Data
and much more.

Things, therefore, remain very interesting, and we will stay on the ball for you.

SAP Analytics Cloud

SAP Analytics Cloud

Further information on the SAP Analytics Cloud, including a table to help you decide which planning tool is right for you, is available here.

More information

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About the author
Oliver Dworschak
Oliver Dworschak
Oliver Dworschak has been Senior Consultant at PIKON Deutschland AG in Saarbrücken for many years. He is primarily involved in the architecture, design and implementation of user-friendly reporting solutions based on SAP BI.

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