SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) combines analysis and planning functions in a single solution. SAP provides SAC updates on a quarterly basis and offers new functionalities that make SAP Analytics Cloud even more powerful.


We provide an overview of which innovative features have been added in the recent past and which functionalities are on the roadmap for the rest of 2024 and beyond. A key focus in the further development of SAC is on expanding standard functionalities, reducing restrictions on existing functions, integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and improving integration options in the overall architecture.



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Recently implemented functionalities in SAC


Just Ask

Just Ask is a further development of the “Search to Insights” functionality, which generates explanatory texts for diagrams etc. With the help of Just Ask, users now also have the option of asking SAC for specific content and having it displayed.




Just Ask is particularly suitable for users who are not yet familiar with the individual function modules of SAC but want to access relevant information at short notice. Synonyms are used for metadata and master data so that the business department does not have to use technical terms for its queries. Administrators can set up which data models Just Ask is available for and how extensive the communication should be. Overall, Just Ask is a powerful tool that quickly provides employees with the information they need to complete their tasks.


Data Analyzer

In SAP Analytics Cloud, the content of data models is evaluated and visualized using tables and diagrams. However, not every user should be able to create stories themselves, especially in the planning sector. The Data Analyzer enables ad hoc analyses and the addition of further dimensions when consuming content - without the risk of disrupting the planning process.




The Data Analyzer not only works with SAC models, but also with the data models in SAP Datasphere, with live views in SAP S/4HANA and with live queries in SAP BW. If you jump from a story to the Data Analyzer, the default settings are applied. Further information can then be added in the Data Analyzer.


Composite widgets

SAP_Analytics_Cloud_Composite_WidgetsNumerous objects are available in a SAC story for the design and visualization of content. Composite widgets are assembled widgets that represent a separate artifact. A composite widget is created once and then acts as a single point of construction to store links and functionalities. It is therefore the ideal feature for headers and footers, for example. Composite widgets that have been created can be reused and imported anywhere. Changes are made centrally in the composite widget and are automatically adopted in every story in which the widget is used.


With their functionalities, composite widgets are a simple alternative to custom widgets, which can be used to combine complex, interrelated function modules. However, overly complex composite widgets can have a negative impact on performance.


Multi Actions

Multi Actions play a particularly important role in planning processes. In the past, the loading of master and transaction data first had to be defined in the data model and then the various loading processes had to be coordinated. A Multi Action combines and orchestrates the individual process steps such as loading processes, data actions, prediction scenarios, version management and data locks. This means that users no longer have to keep an eye on the individual processes, but can bundle recurring activities. All that is required is to define the correct sequence of processes; synchronization then takes place out-of-the-box. With the help of triggers in the calendar or via an API, control is also possible from an SAP BW system, for example.


Custom Disaggregation

SAP_Analytics_Cloud_Custom_DisaggregationWith the Custom Disaggregation feature, users can control the distribution behavior based on a reference key figure. If no reference key figure is available, a linear distribution is carried out for the entire year and, if necessary, for other dimensional aspects. The high-performance functionality considerably simplifies the use of seasonalizations, as data actions and complex secondary calculations are no longer required.


Further new features in SAC

In addition to the features already presented, further functionalities have been added to SAP Analytics Cloud in the recent past. For example, the Rest API is an interface provided by SAC. It can be used to trigger and control actions and loading processes from other systems. This means that not all activities have to be carried out in SAP Analytics Cloud.


SAP has also removed some restrictions in the comment function. Comments are now data-independent and can also be written to calculated key figures. SAC now also offers the option of changing the data import and the data actions are transferred to the folder structure. This means that existing folder authorizations for the data actions are adopted. Previously, the authorizations had to be defined separately for each data action. The Story 2.0 feature enables a much more flexible way of working. This is because scripting is only added where it is actually needed.


Roadmap 2024: Upcoming innovations for SAP Analytics Cloud


Just Ask & Joule

If you look at the SAP Analytics Cloud roadmap for the rest of 2024, users can look forward to a whole range of exciting features. Among other things, SAP is continuously expanding the Just Ask functionality. This will provide users with improved and more complex suggestions in future and will also allow them to use attributes rather than just dimensions. Comparative analyses can also be carried out and queries can be made in different languages. In future, Just Ask will also be available for data models in SAP Datasphere.




In addition, the AI assistant Joule will support the construction of stories in SAC in future. With the help of the chatbot, stories can be created quickly and easily and enriched with additional, helpful information.



This feature is planned for the end of 2024 or the beginning of 2025. The Compass includes a Monte Carlo simulation function and identifies the most important drivers, on the basis of which forecast and simulation values are determined that include, for example, a pessimistic, a realistic and an optimistic scenario. No IT or statistical knowledge is required to use the compass.




Further upcoming innovations

The functionalities that have been announced for SAP Analytics Cloud for 2024 include the repointing of the data model. This enables a story to be moved to a different data model. The underlying data model can also be changed for data actions.


Until now, there have been two ways to bring data into SAC: via tables or by loading values into the data model using data management. In future, an import button will be available in a story that can be used to load data directly into SAP Analytics Cloud, which will simplify data import considerably.


The presentation of different time horizons for actual and plan data has presented a certain challenge to date and can only be realized by hiding non-relevant columns. In future, asymmetrical layouts will make it possible to define different time horizons directly for each version.


SAP is also expanding the Custom Disaggregation feature and extending the options for defining the distribution and specifying the logics in phase 2. For example, calculated key figures can also be used in future. A live connection to SQL databases ensures that data for visualization does not have to be imported into SAC first, but can be accessed directly. And Embedded SAC enables the use of stories in other systems, for example from Microsoft. Jumps to SAP Analytics Cloud are no longer necessary.


SAC and SAP Datasphere: Progressive linkage

SAP is consistently pursuing the strategy of increasingly linking SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP Datasphere. Over the course of the year, data models can be created in SAP Datasphere and function modules such as connectors, transformation and HANA libraries can be used. Furthermore, the data model from SAP Datasphere can then be used directly as a foundation to build stories and data actions.


The most important advantage of this strategy for the user is the avoidance of data silos. In future, it will also be possible to migrate existing data models. Artificial intelligence will be used to generate forecast data. Despite the increasing fusion, one thing is certain: SAP Analytics Cloud will remain an independent product in the future. The link with SAP Datasphere should always be considered optional in order to better map certain functionalities.


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